What these dog gestures are trying to tell you
We once worked with a guy who insisted his dog could speak. He swore when the dog wanted to go outside he would let a noise escape from his throat that sounded like an elongated, "oooouuuut." Obviously dogs can't talk. But researchers say they do try to communicate simple ideas to you all the time through gestures and body language.
A study has been done at University of Salford in Manchester that attempted to unlock the mystery of canine communication. The results were recently reported in Animal Cognition, a science journal. Researchers say they've identified 47 potential gestures dogs use in trying to communicate, and they have translated 19 of these.
Here's what they say a dog wants when it does the following things.
Gently biting your arm
Short shuffles along the ground while rolling over
Lifting a back leg while laying on its side
Licking you or an object
Rubbing its head against you while leaning against you
Rolling over in front of you
Pressing its nose against you or another object
Lifting a paw and placing it on you
Holding one paw in the air while sitting
Using its mouth to throw toys forward
Standing on its hind legs
Looking back and forth from a human to another object
Using its snout and head to move your hand onto its body
Open the door for me
Lifting both paws off the ground and placing them on its owner or a nearby object
Jumping up and down, either onto an object or not, while in the same location
Play With Me
Diving headfirst under a person or object
Reaching a paw towards an object of interest
Wiggling its body underneath a person or object
Briefly touching a person with a single paw
All sounds loony to me. Apparently my dog would starve to death, because I would think holding one paw in the air while sitting meant he wanted to shake hands, using its mouth to throw a toy forwards meant he wanted to play fetch, and using the snout and head to move my hand onto its body meant he wanted me to pet him.
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