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  • Man With His Dog

    How do Dogs Try to Communicate with People

    In most cases, our dogs are more than just our pets. They are our four-legged best friend, an adopted child, a playmate. Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for no reason. They are loved and a constant part of our lives.

    That being said, it can be extremely frustrating that we don’t speak the same language. Dogs can’t use words or their hands to tell us what they want or need like humans can. But that doesn’t mean our dogs don’t communicate with us every day.

    Dogs can’t communicate in the same way as us, but they use facial expressions, barking, and body language to speak to us. Dogs can’t talk using words, but they still tell us everything they want us to know.

    Paying attention to your dog’s expressions, movements, and actions will create open lines of communication and allow you both to have a happy and fulfilled life together. Here are some of the most common ways that dogs communicate with people.


    Barking is a common way for dogs to get their point across. If a dog has been trying to communicate with its owner, but has found it to be unsuccessful, they will most likely resort to barking.

    Barking can be interpreted in a variety of ways. It may mean that your dog wants to play or they want to go outside. It may also act as an alert. Dogs will bark to let you know that they see something worth noting or that you have a visitor waiting at the door.


    Health reasons aren’t the only reason why your dog is sneezing. Dogs will sneeze when they are excited or waiting for something to happen. Dogs sneeze to show that they are being playful. They sneeze as a way to show that they aren’t being aggressive but want to have a peaceful interaction, even if they are growling or seem aggressive in this form of play.

    Eye Contact

    They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and this is incredibly true when it comes to dogs. You can learn a lot about how your dog is feeling by paying attention to their eyes. If you see the whites of your dog’s eye, they are alert and need space. If they refuse to make eye contact with you, they are uncomfortable and submissive.

    Constant eye contact could mean that your dog is being aggressive, but more often than not, if your dog doesn’t break eye contact with you, they are showing you that they trust you and their affection.

    Tail Position

    The way a dog carries its tail is probably the most recognizable way they communicate with people. A dog’s tail tells its tale of emotions and represents their full emotional spectrum.

    If a dog is wagging its tail so fervently its whole body seems to be shaking, they are extremely excited about something. If their tail is wagging slowly, they are feeling cautious. If it switches to stiff and held high, they are on alert. If it is tucked in between their back legs, they are feeling uncomfortable and submissive.

    Reading the Signs

    Dogs have plenty of other signs and postures Woman With Dog Meeting Vetthat allow them to tell you how they feel and what they want. It’s important to learn how your dog communicates with you so you know when they are feeling out of sorts. It is very likely that they will either tell you themselves, or a change in their usual communication will let you know they aren’t feeling well.

    If you notice that your dog is acting strange and you’re worried for their health, come visit us at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency. No matter how big or small, we are here to diagnose and treat your pet so they can get back home as soon as possible. We have been voted the number one animal hospital for 19 years, so you can feel at ease and know your dog is in good hands.

    We are located in Simi Valley but happily welcome pets from Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth and areas nearby Ventura County. If you suspect your dog is telling you they don’t feel well, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.

    posted on August 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm by Doctor Ron