Archives for the day Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Cats and Dogs interspecies communication: can dogs and cats understand each other?

 When you start having animal around the house,you may wonder if they understand each other like human do. We human show emotions with body language and written/spoken language to other human to communicate,but we can understand each other without looking the body language.Books does not come with all different body language but you understand what is going on by reading the languages.

Animals show their emotions vocally or body language. To understand what dogs are feeling,we need to read their body language looking all the signs they gives us:ear,tail,body posture,and .. sometimes dogs growl during the play but it is not threatening growl so,you may have to consider the situation you are in with the dog to read their emotions as well. I think same goes for cats,but have you ever thought that dogs and cats have same body language but each be interpreted differently by their same species?

 For example, dog stand high and tail up is considered to be dominant,while such body language is natural occurrence for cats. I once have read book why so many dogs lunch at cats when they see cats on walk and it said that cats normally tail up and for dogs,tail up means little challenging attitude and that is why dogs lunch at cats;miss-interpreting the message from cats. Other difference will be like when greeting each other,dogs sniff butt each other while cats greet each other nose to nose.

 So,can they understand each other?

 According to zoology professor “Joseph Terkel” from Tel Aviv University, the earlier the two species meet each other,the better understand each other. His research shows,if cats were adopted first,and then dog comes in to the house (cats will be best  if age under 6 months old,for dogs under 1year old),the possibility to get along each other,understanding each other is very high. (from Journal “Applied Animal Behavior Science)

 The professor interviewed 200 pet owners with questionnaire and did video taping,and analyzing the behaviors of cats and dogs. Among them,10% of the household with cat and dog had aggression,fighting.

 He thinks that it is due to misinterpretation of body language. For example,he lists if cats were happy,they purr while dogs do tail wagging.Also eye contact is in part of the play he says.For cats, averted head signals aggression,while the same head in dogs signal submission. Through the research, he concluded that dogs learn cats language and cats learn dogs language:they are learning each other with the home where dogs and cats get along well.

 So, answer to the question “Can dogs and cats understand each other?” will be… once they understand each other’s body language (learning each other’s language),they will be able to live happily together without fight. 

To read full story,click here.

 Just like when British people ask Americans to “be at first floor”    and you find yourself waiting at different level of the building. (In UK,first floor is 2nd level of the building  in US people’s mind)

To read in wikipedia on English difference,click here.

 Even if we understand each other language,sometimes,there is more to know in depth to avoid misinterpreting.

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Feb 01, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)