Don’t you wish your dogs could talk? I sure do. When I was a little kid, I even had these conversations with my dog where I pretended he would answer back, especially when I was feeling sad. Even though the dog was not actually answering, he behaved in such a way that let me think he could. Many experts actually believe that it is so.
I watched a couple of documentaries of biologists working with dogs to try to see what kind of language dogs had. After all, they can communicate with other dogs, perhaps they would be able to do it with humans as well. The only thing that they had to do was to figure out what their language was. They did a few experiments with the dogs that involved the use of color flash cards.
They wanted to know if the dogs could recognize a particular color and use a certain “word” for it. For instance, if the dog recognized the color “red,” maybe the dog could make a gesture or do something that would be particular for that color only. Then, they would try to map other colors and then go on to other things, like actions for example.
In all, they tried about 20 actions and colors for the dogs to measure what their comprehension of those things was. The results were inconclusive. While there may be some people that would say that these types of experiments would vary depending on the breed they assessed, others would say that dogs communicate but they don’t use a gesture for a particular word.
This is the theory that actually sounds right to me. If you think about it, dogs don’t do a lot of stuff when they are attempting to communicate with other dogs. In my case, I have observed certain dog gestures that mean certain things regardless of the breed we’re talking about. It might be a large breed like the Rottweiler or a small breed like the French Poodle, it’s all the same.
For instance, when a dog has his ears back and the hairs on his back standing, it usually means that the dog is about to attack. Dogs follow a strict hierarchy and when a dog approaches them, and they don’t feel comfortable, the hairs on their back will usually stand and they may growl.
If the dog has his ears pointing up, it usually means that the dog is alert and about to explore something or someone. It might be another dog who is approaching, or they might be getting close to a wall or something that they find particularly fascinating. Their ears will point up and they will be ready to act on it if it’s necessary.
These are things I learned over the years. But one thing I never saw a dog do is actually say something. Well, the dog in the following video does. His owner says, “I love you” to him, and sure enough, he answers back. What? Don’t you believe me? Well, check it out!