A wag is worth a thousand words
May 2, 2014
Ever get the feeling that your dog knows what you’re thinking, without saying a word? Many canine parents report that they’ve had an entire conversation with their dogs despite the obvious language barrier. From “can I have a treat” to “let’s go for a walk,” dogs have a special way of sharing their feelings. According to a new survey, it’s the wags, not words that tell the story when it comes to canine communication.
The survey, conducted by Kelton Research forPup-Peroni dog snacks, revealed that most canine pet parents believe that they can communicate with their dogs even though they don’t speak the same language – giving a new twist to the old adage, “silence is golden.”
Pet owners feel confident that they know what’s on their pups’ minds, even without the benefit of words. Almost three in four (74 percent) respondents believe their dog’s body language or facial expressions better indicate how their pet is truly feeling than barks or other sounds. They also estimate that they know what their dog is thinking nearly half (49 percent) of the time.
Seven in 10 (70 percent) respondents say there have been times when they shared a meaningful look with their canine companions.
“Dogs have an uncanny ability to pick up on even the subtlest cues from their owners, enabling them to ‘read’ humans like few other animals can,” said body language expert Patti Wood. “Even something as minute as a glance from their owner has meaning for a dog.”
Wood also points out that our modern dogs’ ability to communicate with us seems to be a product of millennia of interaction. “Research shows that, over time, there has been a deliberate selection of dogs with the ability to pick up on cues from humans,” she said. “It shows just how important nonverbal communication between dogs and people has always been.”
For many pet parents, the special bond they share with their pooch is one of the most important relationships in their lives. Without ever having to say a word, their pups are there for them through the good times and the bad, acting as confidants, therapists and most importantly, their best friends. Maybe it’s because of that unspoken connection between canines and humans that people feel their dogs are just as good a source of comfort and companionship as their human friends – or maybe even more so. With a smile and a wag, dogs just know – how many people can say that about their best friend or significant other?