January 21, 2008

Nuances of dog talk.

A dog listens to a recording of himself and a dog-friend barking. About midway through, you can see he's deeply absorbed in the nuances. With a follow-up cartoon:

22 comments:

Trooper York said...

Hey that guy stole Freder's hat!

rhhardin said...

Vicki vocalizes the same way when I'm getting ready for bed, meaning hurry up. Same mouth-inflected howl-vocalization.

She's also a siren-singer, here .

rhhardin said...

It's not barking nuances, by the way. It's not knowing where the barking is coming from, and a form of complaint about it.

rhhardin said...

Dogs talk with their entire bodies, not by barking.

Barking can be there, particularly with people to respond, but it doesn't carry much of the communicative load.

barking serves mostly like navigation lights. I'm here, where are you.

JackDRipper said...

Much better than this dog who sounds like an American Idol contestant:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2KjZFxkRKA

John Lynch said...

Huskies are different. They're closer to wolves, so they 'talk' more than other dogs rather than barking. My pug barks.

Barking may be an adaptation for when dogs were sentries for humans. A lot of dogs still fill that role, whether we want them to or not. Wolves don't bark, because they didn't have to. Stupid humans need a loud noise to wake them up when something bad is coming.

Like rhhardin said, dog speech is more body langauge than vocal. A dog doesn't just bark. It moves its body. That's how you can tell what they're thinking.

joe said...

Funny commercial during the football games yesterday (Go Giants!). Drinking beer makes the guy understand his dog, a gorgeous German Short Haired Pointer, but the only thing the dog says - continually - is "sausages."

Susan said...

I used to have a dog that barked back at the dog that gave one bark at the end of the credits of the "Mclaughlin Report". In fact it got so that he would start pacing in anticipation as soon as the ending music started.

George said...

Beware of Doug

Kev said...

I'm not sure which is worse--the dog that JackDRipper linked to, or this cat.

chuck b. said...

This could get meta if I blogged the reaction my cats are having to me watching this dog listening to dogs.

Revenant said...

That dog does a pretty good Chewbacca imitation.

Ann Althouse said...

chuck: Get it on video.

Kirk Parker said...

Hey--Gary Larson!!!

Middle Class Guy said...

John Lynch said...
Stupid humans need a loud noise to wake them up when something bad is coming.


Of course, that something is usually wet and/or solid.

Mr. Forward said...

Woof!

AllenS said...

When we hear a dog bark, we think that it's dog talk, but, in reality, they are really swearing. Next time you see a dog bark, think about it.

Mr. Forward said...

Well in that case I apologize.

AllenS said...

Woof is a mild form of cursing. Kinda like saying damnit.

MarkW said...

When I played the video, my dog came in from the other room, looking very concerned and hunting for other dogs. It was a meta dog practical joke.

Caroline said...

Dogs definitely use a lot of body language. My dog, a 5 yr old jack russell terrier we got from the pound about a year ago, points with her nose a lot. If she wants a walk, she will turn her head and nod at the front door. If she wants a treat, she will tap us to follow her into the kitchen, then sit down and point up to the jar of treats on the counter. She also has gestures for back rub and "I want a bath". (In the summer she always wants a bath after her walk. If we give her a water dish instead of a bath, she will sit in the water dish).

The only time she vocalizes is when she wants to play. She will grab a toy, stare at us challengingly, and start growling. If we ignore her gestures, she will whine. And if we continue to ignore her she will start barking LOUDLY! Cursing at us I guess. ;)

She understands a few words, like "dinner". If she is pointing at the kitchen at around 6 pm and we ask "you want dinner?" she will open her eyes wide with excitement, jump up and tap us on the nose with her nose, as if to say "you got it!". We never taught her to do any of these gestures, she just started doing them on her own.

Hmmm... After re-reading this, I'm starting to see that SHE is training US! One smart dog.

Chip Ahoy said...

My German Shepherd could count. I taught him to bark when I held up my counting fingers and to stop when I closed them. It was a stupid trick that none of my friends ever caught on to. They remained amazed at my counting dog. We performed the counting dog trick so much eventually he learned some numbers. He could count to 4 with no problem, after that, a little iffy. If I held up 1 to 4 fingers for too long, the next bark that would be a wrong bark is barked questionably. The dog tilted his head with a question bark. Pure gold. That alone was worth the price of admission.