Dog Language…Some Quick Thoughts

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Dog Language…Some Quick Thoughts

Of course, my boss Angus had several things to say about my most recent post!

This is fodder for several more posts, and I really encourage readers to let us know their experiences.

Dog Speak

Researchers have cataloged the fairly large number of different kinds of Dog Barks. We’ll take another post to talk about how human world languages represent these barks. Right now, I am interested in the dog side.

Dog Barks

The major types of Barks are

Warning Bark

Alarm Bark

Barking on Command

Playful Bark

Need Bark

I can testify that Angus has several variants on this repertoire. My boyhood Ridgeback Rex Dino Armstrong had a very specific, staccato, “Scorpion in the House” Bark. He was fearless! He was a great dog for a kid to walk around the neighborhood with. He was gentle (praus in Greek…we’ll have a whole post on that adjective one of these days), but who’s going to mess with a boy or girl walking with her/his Rhodesian Ridgeback West African Lion Hound‽ (Do you recognize that punctuation mark? A Free first Latin lesson for the first five who identify it!)

Please, let us all know what kinds of Barks your dog has! If you have another animal companion, let us know what she/he sounds like!

We can then compile this into a Post. I’m not sure that dogs have gerunds, phrasal verbs, predicate compliments, etc. Someday we’ll know.

What We Say: What Dogs Hear!

Gary Larson highlighted this phenomenon in his famous Far Side Comic:


© Gary Larson. Used for commentary purposes only.

You know, we find that Angus has a wider vocabulary. He certainly knows his name, but he also knows “Park” (we live next to Golden Gate Park, which he considers “Angus-Land”), “Let’s Go!” “Treat,” “Biscuit,” and even “Bath” (which he doesn’t like), and a few more. His ears go up, and he responds appropriately to these stimuli. I don’t know if he is reading our minds, or listening to our intonation, or what, but it is pretty consistent.

I would love to have our readers compile the human terms that your animal companions respond to. I mean, if plants can respond to harsh or pleasant talk, shouldn’t animals? My correspondents such as Rev. Martha Del Rio in Sacramento always remind me: animals are perfect in themselves, and have everything they need to be fulfilled. Please comment.


Angus on his Throne Pillows!

That’s all for tonight, but please contribute, here and on our sites. As I was writing this, Angus came up for a chin rub. He knew I was writing about him!

Peace to all!

Steven Armstrong
Tutor, Editor, Consultant