Conversing with Canines
THINK CAT IN THE HAT FOR TALKING TO DOGS.
If you want to start an argument among psychologists, behavioral biologists, and next-door-neighbor dog owners, just ask the question: Do dogs understand and use language? The argument tends to focus on whether dogs understand the words and expressions that humans use. A related concern is whether dogs use their various barks, growls, whines, and whimpers, combined with tail wags, body postures, and ear positions, to communicate with people as well as with one another.
Some scientists argue that dogs are more attuned to the emotional aspects of our word sounds than their actual meaning, and that their own signals are just visible expressions of their emotional state. Accordingly, any information such signals communicate about a dog and its intentions is just a byproduct, and those signals provide ....
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Photo by Pierre Fontaine
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