Dogs, although they don’t speak our language, use a variety of signals to convey their emotions and thoughts, as we have explained in other posts. Believe it or not, their way of expressing themselves can differ by breed.
Animal communication systems are complex and varied, and canine language is no exception. Dogs use a variety of signals, including body postures, facial expressions, barks, and growls, to communicate with us and other dogs.
One of the most important signals in dog body language is calming signals. We won’t tire of explaining what they are, because they are very important. These are small signals that dogs use to indicate that they are calm and relaxed. Some of these signals include lip licking, yawning, and averting the gaze. Dogs can also show calming signals when they feel threatened or uncomfortable, such as when they encounter unfamiliar dogs.
Each dog breed has its own «general» way of expressing itself, which is partly genetic. For example, Chilean Terriers are known for being very energetic and expressive, while German Shepherds are more serious and reserved. English and French Bulldogs may look intimidating, but they are actually very friendly and affectionate dogs.
Small dog breeds, such as Dachshunds and Chihuahuas, also have their own way of being and expressing themselves. These dogs tend to have a lot of energy and can be very protective of their owners. However, for example, Dachshunds have a genetic component more linked to fear. On the other hand, large dog breeds, such as the Argentine Dogo and the Samoyed, tend to be calmer and gentler than small dog breeds. Of course, it’s important to consider that this is a generalization, and each dog also has its own personality and character based on their personal experiences.
Brachycephalians for example, are dogs with wide, flattened skulls, which can affect their ability to communicate through certain signals. For example, some brachycephalics may have difficulty displaying clear facial expressions due to the shape of their head and face. They may also have difficulty regulating their body temperature and breathing properly, which can affect their mood and behavior.
Additionally, some studies have shown that certain brachycephalic dog breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, may have hearing problems due to the shape of their ears. This can make it more difficult for them to detect and respond to certain communication signals, such as barking from other dogs.
Although each dog breed has its own language, all dogs use the same basic signals to communicate. Learning to interpret dog body language is essential to communicate effectively with them and understand their needs and emotions.
For example, small dog breeds like Dachshunds or Chihuahuas may show these signals more subtly than large dog breeds like the Argentine Dogo. Therefore, it’s important to know the specific characteristics of each breed to interpret their body language correctly.
In conclusion, dog body language is a fascinating and complex form of animal communication. By paying attention to the signals our dogs send us, we can better understand their thoughts and emotions and improve our relationship with them. If you have any doubts about your dog’s body language, don’t hesitate to contact a canine ethologist like Jose Veterinaria or a dog trainer for help! And remember, the dog language is universal, learn to speak it!
Learn more about calming signals and canine language here.
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