How to communicate with your Cocker Spaniel
This is a fun learning experience for all dog owners. By knowing how your puppy communicates and doing a little observation, you’ll be well on your way to communicating effectively with your Cocker Spaniel. Dogs have natural instincts and behaviors to be aware of. By understanding how dogs communicate, the bonding process, understanding, and training your dog becomes easier.
Cocker Spaniels are an intelligent breed, but by no means should the owner believe that the pup is smarter than they are. Assuming that your dog can understand your language is a big mistake. To communicate with your Cocker Spaniel, or any other pup, you need to understand how they communicate and interact with people, other dogs, and animals. All dogs have the ability to communicate through body signals and different voices. It is up to us to recognize the signs and signals.
how dogs think
Dogs think in terms of instincts, images, and actions. They don’t think in sentences or ideas like we do. They associate actions through body language. For example, if you were to say in a friendly tone “Who wants to go out” you could omit the words “Who wants to go” and the dog would react in the same way. The dog has been trained to react to the word “out” and selects the word “out” from the sentence. The dog is unable to understand sentences. Your voice and the way you express yourself (your actions) will always have a bigger impact. Try whispering the sentence to your dog and see the reaction, then say the same sentence with emotion and you will notice a big difference in the reaction.
Body Signs and voices used to communicate
Movement of the eyes, ears, eyebrows, head, mouth, and tail are the basic signs of body movement. Vocal signs include barking, growling, whimpering, and moaning. The puppy’s gestures can have changing meanings, like a dog’s panting. This could indicate that the dog might be overheated, anxious, or just happy.
A held tail is the sign of a confident, higher-ranking dog. In wild dogs they have and show feelings of submission and dominance in them. This is normal package behavior because there is a hierarchy within the package. The weaker dogs in the pack submit to the more dominant dogs in the pack. You would notice an insecure dog with a low tail. With an aggressive dog, you will notice the tail held high and the hairs on the tail and the back of the neck standing up. You will also notice this if the dog believes that he must participate to protect himself or property. Most animals will show this behavior when trying to increase their size in front of their enemy. If you see a dog with its tail held high, it is very trusting.
A dog will wag its tail slowly when it enters into a confusing situation. He will continue like this as he sniffs and goes through the process carefully making his assessment. They will come to accept the situation or not. Dogs that wag their tails very quickly are excited. If the dog’s hips move from side to side along with the movement of the dog’s tail, this is a sign that the dog is ready to submit to a higher-ranking dog. He will see this behavior more often within a litter and in happy pups when they greet their owners.
Aggressive dogs will show their fangs. If the fangs and teeth are visible, the dog indicates that it is ready to bite or attack. Besides that a barking dog will show all its teeth and gums. The difference between a smiling dog and a snarling dog is that a smiling dog will only show its front teeth.
Dog ears can tell you a lot about what a dog is accessing. They provide indications of levels of care. A dog’s ears facing forward and erect indicate that the dog is concentrating. Ears that appear to be flattened indicate that the dog may be afraid of something. Occasionally you will see dog ears that are forward and horizontal, this indicates that the pup is happy.
Barking is used to communicate in different ways. Dogs tend to bark to convey emotions including suspicion, stress, fear, and pleasure. A shape and a short bark indicate that the dog is excited or just playing. A repeated high-pitched bark indicates that the dog is stressed or anxious. Interestingly enough, dogs bark to communicate with other animals and dogs, but the sound of barking is different.
To threaten or show a sign of superiority, a dog may growl. The howl is used for long-range communication. A dog may yawn when bored, sleepy, stressed, or confused. A panting dog with one month open is a happy dog. A dog will signal that it is time to play with his mouth slightly open as he panting. The pup will also stomp his front legs or raise his hindquarters as he lowers his head and front legs to indicate that he wants to play. They will also scratch the things they want. When a dog tilts his head, he is trying to recognize unfamiliar sounds or may be concentrating.
While many books have been written on canine communication and communication, the above is a common sense approach that will help all dog owners. Take the time to recognize the above signs with your own pup. A little observation will go a long way and it’s fun. In no time, the signs will become clearer and easier to read. This will also help you bond with learning dog language and communicating with your Cocker Spaniel.