Connecting with your Canine


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Have you ever noticed your dog following you around, just staring at you? While they might be trying to tell you that they need to go outside or are hungry, they also might just be seeking your attention or waiting for some direction. Below are some ways you and your pup can better understand each other.

In the animal kingdom, showing one’s teeth is usually a sign of warning or aggression. For humans, a smile is an obvious sign of friendliness. But what does man’s best friend think when we flash our teeth? Researchers in Vienna found that dogs can differentiate between angry faces and happy faces, and showed a positive association with a smiling face. The researchers also believe that dogs can read human emotions and are impacted by them. Not only is your expression important for communicating with your pet, so is the way you speak and words you use.

Scientists from the University of York tested a combination of words and voices, and found that dogs wanted to interact with a person who spoke in a high-pitched voice and used dog related phrases, such as “good dog” and “let’s go for a walk.” The dogs did not show interest when people used dog related words in a plain voice, or used plain words in an excited voice.

One professor from the University of Southwestern Louisiana was studying subtle physical cues, such as someone tilting their head to a box that contained a treat. Chimpanzees were surprisingly poor at this task, and three-year-old children were not much better than the apes. But when dogs were tested, they were able to interpret the signals immediately, even if the person was a stranger.

Contributors to this news report include: Hayley Hudson, Producer; Katie Campbell, Assistant Producer; Jamison Koczan, Videographer and Editor.

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