Dogs communicate in four different ways. They are wagging, of course, most dogs bark too and in some situations you can hear a dog howling or crying. Every way of communicating dogs expresses its own feelings. This is communicating through wagging which is often misinterpreted by people.
Many people assume that a dog that wags is a friendly and nice dog. You can approach that dog very well, they think. But that is not always the case. Wagging also causes dogs to be in a threatening situation. But you can see a clear difference in the wagering forms. A relaxed broad-fluttering wagering movement is definitely one of enthusiasm. You see this kind of wagging behavior, for example, as a dog and a boss greet each other. Provided the relationship between the two is based on trust and positivity is natural.
The wagging movement that makes the dog’s tail in a threatening or conflict situation is much shorter, faster and more tense. Here the dog is on the one hand curious but on the other hand also afraid of for example another strange dog. But also for certain people. For example, I know someone who is still “old-fashioned” in terms of looking at how to raise a dog. If my dogs meet him they certainly wag their tail, but in a very different way than they do when they see me after shopping for example.
In some dogs, the difference in wagging is not very noticeable, as with the Terrier, for example. And in dogs with docked tails, there is of course nothing to wag.
Barking dogs do a lot of variations, from short and low to elongated and high. Some dogs bark a lot, some hardly. The barking is something their ancestors did to the wolves, only in far fewer variations than our house dogs. The wolves used their barking to call the pack or to warn of danger. Our house dog has learned to use barking in many more situations; I want attention, this is my field, I want to play, walk, eat, do not come near me etc.
My blond Labrador male Spot, almost never barks. Only if he is unsure of another dominant male in his neighborhood. That is a somewhat uncontrolled bark of a few low short sounds. Our little Bear, Labrador bitch, barks a bit more often. We are happy that she is awake. Because every passer-by we hear the barking sound of Beer. She does not get completely off the map, but lets hear a few quick short higher barking.
Growling does a dog because he wants to create distance. He wants this one time because he wants to defend something, the other time because he is in pain or maybe because he is anxious. It is also possible that the dog is under heavy pressure at that moment, for example because he is surrounded by several dogs at the same time. Growling belongs to dog behavior and it is therefore not wise to want to unlearn it. It is a warning to his environment.
Unfortunately, there are still people who take it as a battle for who is in charge. They are often the ones who address grumbling behavior by literally pressing their dog to the ground. What kind of signal do you give your dog with that? Not the signal that you are the boss and he is not. You give the signal that his growling behavior is not tolerated. As a result, a dog will not growl next time to warn, but could immediately bite! It can go that differently, while this was of course not the intention of the owner. With this the dog is labeled as aggressive or false, while the boss has made mistakes by not delving into the language of his dog.
Crying is the sound that wolves make to get their pack together. If they do not see each other, they can answer with crying. Actually they say “Here I am”. Crying is a behavior that is also infectious for that reason. For example, if a dog starts to cry in the street, you often hear that other dogs in the neighborhood are also going to participate. Crying is a very recognizable wolf behavior.
You also see a dog crying regularly when, for example, an ambulance or police car with a roaring siren passes by. There are tones in them that seem to be similar to the crygroup of a congener for a dog. Also the warning siren on the first Monday of the month is such a reason. Is your dog crying too? And at what time? I’m curious!
Beer also always likes to play when there are screaming sirens. She then shows a very high whining tone, preceding some short barking. For us often very funny, but for her deadly serious