Communication With Dogs

From a very young age, communication with dogs has been a regular thing for me. But I often see people around me who are afraid of dogs. In fact, the vast majority of problems between humans and dogs stem from miscommunication. We do not understand them and make little effort to do so, whereas they have been observing and analyzing us for thousands of years.

The Magic of Body Language

For centuries, dogs have been man’s closest pet companion, and they are highly skilled at understanding our emotions and intentions. In fact, they are so good at it that we humans are almost dumb compared to them.

This includes people like me who say “I’ve had dogs all my life” or “I’ve volunteered at shelters for years”. In fact, dogs are very good at expressing themselves, but we humans make many mistakes when it comes to how to communicate with dogs. We only start to listen to them when they bark or growl, or even when they scare us by biting us. However, dogs have body language just like humans.

What Do You Say?

We, humans use our voices to express ourselves and communicate with each other in a very normal way. But for some reason, when we communicate with dogs, we sound or behave in a strange way. It’s like talking to an alien or a child. Fortunately, our wise friends do not pay too much attention to this sudden change and understand our words. For example, when we call them or ask them to sit down, they grasp it immediately. Especially for trained dogs, communicating with their owner is almost child’s play. But another way dogs communicate is by smell. With their sensitive noses, they scan deeply about race, gender and even health and determine behavior.

Emotions in Sound

Let’s do an experiment and call our dog by saying the phrase “come here” out loud in three different emotional tones. Neutral, commanding, assertive and in a tone we would use with a newborn baby. Even if we use the same words, our dog will react differently to us. With a neutral tone, our dog will most likely ignore us and mind its own business. On the other hand, if we use a stern tone instead, our dog will think that we are angry and will be very reluctant to get involved to avoid potential problems. Whereas if we call him in a loving, joyful voice, he will come to us immediately. Because we tickle its innate curiosity and desire to be near its owner. Even if our dog doesn’t know the words “come” and “here” or what they mean together. The more you know about the emotions your tone of voice creates, the easier it is to communicate with dogs.

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Let Your Body Speak!

I would like to give some technical information here. There is a concept called proxemia. The concept that analyzes us humans in terms of the messages transmitted by our bodies, or rather the position we take in relation to the environment and other individuals, how we move and the distance we move from someone or something is called proxemics, or personal space. That’s where proxemics comes in when communicating with dogs, because the dog actually speaks with its body.

We humans also talk to our bodies, but we pay less attention to that and more attention to what we feel and see. But when communicating with dogs, we can express ourselves better by using proxemics. Because dogs are actually excellent observers of personal space.

For example, let’s say you go for a walk with your dog and your dog walks away from you. If you call him first and then go towards him, then that dog will never come back to you. Because your approach means to the dog that ‘my owner is coming to me anyway, there is no need to go back’, the dog will not heed your call. However, when you call him, instead of going to him, by pretending to go in the opposite direction when he looks at you, you are actually telling your dog: ‘I’m leaving. Do you want to be on your own or are you coming with me?’ The dog will normally choose to come to you.

The proxemic communication between dogs is also very interesting. When they communicate among themselves, they take positions according to their intentions. It’s actually very similar to humans. For example, standing head to head expresses assertion and threat. Just like with people. Dogs standing at a small distance from each other but happily express peaceful and friendly intentions, while dogs standing side by side symbolize unity. Just like with people, right?

communication with dogs and communication between dogs

However, if a dog is standing behind its human or another dog, this position means that all responsibility is transferred. If it wants to protect something or someone, it stands as a barrier; if it wants to cut off communication, it turns its back and leaves.

Social Distance

When we think of communication with dogs, we think of social distancing that follows an unwritten law. As mutual trust increases, social distance decreases. The caution here is to actually expect the dog to try to communicate with people. It is a fact that dogs have a lot of trouble, especially in tight spaces. Also, trying to pet the dog immediately without asking the owner can cause an adverse reaction in the dog. Put yourself in the dog’s shoes: the crazy hands of a stranger coming at you!!!


Some dogs change their mood depending on their environment. As I mentioned above, when strangers want to communicate with dogs in unfamiliar environments, our pets feel insecure. Likewise, sudden changes in volume will have a negative effect on dogs, who will feel restless because of the distress they are experiencing. Especially when traveling, dogs can feel lonely and vulnerable. If you like traveling with your dog, in order to avoid all these negativities don’t forget to take a look at my article 15 Tips for Air Travel with Dogs.

Usually restaurants and airports are noisy places with lots of people, which is more than the dog is used to. Therefore, they do not feel comfortable. The key is to create an environment where your dog feels comfortable, happy and safe. You can provide this environment with Emre NewYork pet bags, which I have produced from environmentally friendly materials and preferred by many world-famous dog lovers, including Hollywood celebrities for years. These bags, which comply with the in-cabin transportation rules accepted by international airlines and which I have designed to prevent possible injuries to your pet during movement, actually serve as a kind of home. Whether in a restaurant, on the beach, especially in airports, in short, in crowded areas where your little friend may feel insecure, these bags provide great comfort for both you and your furry friend. CLICK HERE to buy

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How to Communicate with Dogs When Guests Arrive?

For dogs, the place where they live is their OWN HOME. Your dog feels it is his duty to protect his family and home. This is why it is a nuisance to call out “who is it?” at the door when you have company, or to open the door when your dog is in front of you. Because the dog suddenly feels like the protector of the house. The instinct to protect you and the house against outside guests is therefore activated. On the contrary, when a stranger enters the house, if we ask the dog to stay behind us and only allow the dog to control the visitor when it is calm, the dog will sense that there is no danger and will not react to the visitor.

Using this golden key called proxemics when communicating with dogs also provides an incredible observational ability. Over time, you will be able to understand the messages emanating from your beloved pet’s body and you will be able to explain yourself more easily. Communication with dogs is in fact a long and enjoyable journey in the proxemic set of values, where dogs are the teachers and humans are the students. It is up to you to build and improve your body communication by trusting and relaxing them. This way, you will be able to really ‘talk’ to your dear friend.

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