Do you understand what your dog is saying? Veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman believes the trick to canine communication is customizing your behavior to each individual dog. Weitzman is the president of the San Diego Humane Society and has worked with thousands of stray dogs over the past 25 years, according to the Associated Press.
"Dogs read lips and body language." Weitzman told the source. "They can see your facial expression. Some animals respond to how we look, not what we say. Their inherent ability to read facial expressions is a whole lot better than ours."
For example, pet owner Jerry Ericksen has two dogs with different needs. According to the Associated Press, Buster – Ericksen's 90-pound blind boxer – needs help navigating, which is accomplished by speaking in a clear voice and clapping until Buster can find the source of the noise. On the other hand, Forest is Ericken's pit bull who was abused by a previous owner. He responds better to a gentle voice.
According to the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dogs reveal how they are feeling though subtle body language cues like the intensity of their gaze and whether the mouth is open or closed. So pay close attention to your canine to understand what it is trying to say.
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