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Tail wagging dogs

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Postby druid » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:23 am

ironrose2000 wrote:It's a signal - we as humans just aren't (normally) wired to understand the full range. Dogs (like cats, horses and quite a few other animals) use a full range of bodily movement to convey messages. They cannot verbalize, and they cannot smile/frown - all cues humans are used to. When we say "that dog is smiling" we're simply projecting human traits. And as someone who's had over 25 in his life, I feel like I've only scratched the surface. BTW, I have seen instances of a dog wagging it's tail one minute and then biting the hell out of someone the next.

But do they signal in the apparent absence of an observer ("talking" to themselves)?
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Postby ironrose2000 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:19 pm

Yes, actually. Dogs, while they do spend an awful lot of time paying attention to humans, they also send quite a few signals to each other. However, one cannot take one signal aside from others and make a generalized statement about the animal's behavior. Sure, a wagging tail might indicate pleasure, but you've also got to take into account stance, position of the ears, are there any bared teeth, vocalizations, etc. Like anything worth knowing, it takes tie to learn how to read a dog properly, and like humans, each dog is different.
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Postby afterglowz » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:08 am

Some dogs use mostly canine traits and others try to copy human traits. My dad had a little dog who shivered, showed his teeth and sneezed upon greeting members of the family. He had always seemed so excited that many people laughed at his exuberance and these three motions were his attempt to reciprocate.

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