• Linda Healy

How dogs communicate

Dogs are expert communicators who use an elaborate repertoire of body postures, sounds and scent to get their message across to other dogs. Unlike humans, dogs do not camouflage their emotions so watching them act and react together will give you a good idea of what they are saying. When dogs meet, the first thing they do is establish rank. The anal sacs underneath the dogs' tails contain glandular secretions that vary in composition from dog to dog, so the nose-to-rear-end method of greeting works well for them. With one sniff a dog can learn the gender, age, sexual status, attitude and authority of another. He'll know whether they've met before, and what their relationship is likely to be. Sniffing is an important way for dogs to establish rank and status. In addition, barks, whines, howls and growls all have a place in canine communication

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