How Do Dogs Communicate With Each Other?

How Do Dogs Communicate With Each Other?

Dogs are very expressive animals who have many methods of communicating with each other. Dogs communicate visually through facial expressions, body postures, movements, and gestures. They use vocalizations to communicate as well as to position themselves for social interactions. Other types of behavior observed in dogs are scent marking, urination or defecation, whining, growling or barking.

Categories of Canine Communication

A dog’s ability to communicate with other dogs is largely shown through their body language. Non-verbal communication in the form of animal behavior is one way that dogs meaningfully interact with each other. Dogs can also communicate using sounds, or by using physical contact. Dogs use vocalizations to show dominance, to avoid confrontation, and to solicit attention from their human owners. Dogs can use touch in various ways including licking, pawing, nudging, and giving humans kisses on the face.

Body Language

Dogs are able to communicate with one another through body language. This is because they rely on their sense of smell, but also for some reason, by pointing and often crouching and/or wagging their tail when meeting someone new. When a dog points its nose in the air and then at something else, it can be interpreted as a threat, but when they point their nose down at something it means that they’re about to scent mark.

They may even lick themselves or other objects if they want to make sure that they have been smelling them correctly. A dog’s tail will usually wag back and forth between two different positions: either straight up and down, or curled over.


Many dogs will bark to greet each other, but there are many other vocalizations as well. In a study by Allen and colleagues in 1997, dogs were recorded communicating with their owners. They found that the dogs made 11 different kinds of noises, from whining to growling. All those sounds could be used to show fear, anger or pain. It’s not just humans who can verbalize things like joy through song! Dogs also sing songs when playing together. The most common type is called “play-barking”, which consists of short barks followed by longer ones. Play-barks often occur during play fighting.


Olfactory communication is a term used to describe how animals transmit messages by exchanging chemicals, some of which are volatile. These are usually transmitted through the air, but sometimes also through touch. Dogs can communicate with each other through smell by exchanging scent molecules that are picked up by the nose. Each animal has its own unique scent pattern which it deposits on any physical feature it touches, for instance, grass or furniture. The dog’s owner will be able to identify this scent and know what his/her pet wants. This form of olfaction is known as contact chemosignaling.


We all know that dogs communicate with each other and with humans through body language and sound. With the use of these senses, it is no wonder that we can determine what a dog is feeling. When we see a dog panting, we know they are hot and would like to cool off. In contrast, when a dog starts drooling, this usually means they are feeling anxious or excited. The wagging of a tail could mean either friendly interest or an invitation to play. A growling bark may indicate aggression or fear. And if you have ever seen your dog lick their lips in anticipation for food, then you understand how important smell plays into our relationship with them. It’s not just about communication; it’s also about bonding.