Why Can’t Dogs Talk? Can Your Dog Learn to Speak?

There are moments in a pet owner’s life that they feel alone and vulnerable. The only companion they have is their loving dog cuddled beside them. For sure, everyone would agree that it’s nice to express emotions with your dog because they will make sad faces and sweet gestures that will make you feel valued. Dog’s are givers of unconditional love and while you tell them stories, you would wish they could talk back so that you can forget your fake friends and have a talking dog for life.

Unfortunately, dogs can’t talk because their entire being is not made for speaking. They lack the mental ability to properly connect the words and sound so that they can form an understandable statement. Of course, they can create sounds, they bark, howl and cry but can’t put a word to those sounds. Aside from that, dog’s mouths are not like human’s mouths. They have different tongues and it would be difficult for them to pronounce words. You have to move your tongue so that you can convey the words. Think of how many efforts it would be if your dog is going to do it.

Can Your Dog Learn to Speak?

Your dog can learn to imitate human speech. However, imitation is not the same. You can say “Hello” and they might imitate it with “waa ruuu” or “awooo” according to an animal behaviorist. In addition, their way of thinking is not the same. You could say that you love them and what they’ve been thinking you said is that “do you want food?” “Do you want some treats?”. But over repetitive training, your dog can understand what you’re trying to say like “sit”, “roll”, “jump” and “eat”.

What Are Signs Your Dog Is Trying to Communicate?

Your dog is always trying to communicate with you. They may not do it through directly speaking words and sentences but they do it through actions and their vocalizations such as barking, whining, growling, and whimpering. Their ultimate form of communication is body language and vocalizations.

Dog’s Body Language and Their Meaning

1. Wagging Tail 

Oftentimes, we think that when a dog is wagging their tail they are happy. But, according to American Kennel Club’s website, the meaning of this action is that they are aroused. It’s either because of excitement, anger, and even worse feelings of emotions. You have to be observant of the way the tail is positioned and the direction where it is wagging.

  • Faster Wagging of Tail

It means that when a dog wags its tail in a faster way they are more aroused.

  • Wagging Tail Side by Side

Your dog does this type of wagging whenever they’ve seen you and greet you. The wagging includes the dog’s whole body and that indicates that they are excited about your presence.

  • Wagging Constantly

The meaning of this is that they are on alert and aroused negatively. They might have seen a harmful object that leads them to feel that emotion. Guard dogs will wag their tails faster whenever they’ve seen something that fears them or when they are ready for action.

  • Wagging Tail Towards Right

When your dog wags its tail towards the right, it means a positive reaction.

  • Wagging Tail Towards Left

When your dog wags its tail towards the left, it means a negative reaction.

  • Wagging Tail And Circling Around

Wagging Tail And Circling means that your dog is happy.

  • Tails Pointing Down

Dog tails that are pointing down are dogs that are stressed and having anxiety.

2. Raised Hackles

When the hairs on your dog’s back from the shoulders to the tails are raised. It means that your dog is upset or excited about something. It is similar to goosebumps in humans which is an involuntary reaction.

3. Posture

A dog’s posture may tell you what it means too. When your dog is in the position wherein they are laid back and exposing their belly, they are stressed out but when your dog is normal and relaxed, it could mean that they want some belly rubs and attention.

Furthermore, when a dog is playing bow it means that they want to initiate playtime with you especially if they are biting their favorite toys. 

On occasions that they are moving forward and sniffing it’s either they are looking for something and trying to figure out what is about to come that peak their interest.

4. Facial Expression

Yawning for dogs will indicate anxiousness but oftentimes they just do it because yawning is contagious. Dogs will be affected by your yawn too. That’s why there are tendencies that you’ll see them doing it.

In addition, dogs will lick their lips as a sign that the food is really tasty or when they are in a discomfort situation. Moreover, the famous dog smiles, the one that shows their front teeth and makes their mouth form into C is a sign that dogs come in peace and that they are comfortable with you. The gesture is a submissive grin to their owners and favorite person.

5. Eyes

Eye’s can be an indicator of their wants and needs. If you are observant of your dog, you can tell that they have this soft adorable stare and a hard stare that imposes a warning. Oftentimes, when your dog is aggressive. They will give you the hard stare and expression that you need to back off. Dog’s are most likely possessive of their toys and food.

The soft-start is the one that indicates that your dog is calm and happy. However, there are times that they will not initiate eye contact and that could only mean that they are stressed.

Dog’s body language will not act one by one but as a package. In addition, there are behaviors that they also learn to do because they respond to these actions positively. For instance, they will bark at you and then look at a door. That means they want to go outside and if you respond to it the way they want it, then they will do it again and again. They could also bring their bowl to you when they want food or toys when they want to play. All dogs are creative in expressing themselves through their actions and vocalizations.

How Can I Understand Dog Language?

Understanding your dog’s body movement is through how deep both of your relationships are. You can understand them through trial and error. In which you have to respond to certain actions and through instinct, you can know that is what they meant. 

You will not learn instantly but your trainer and research can help. In addition, you can also consult your veterinarian and animal behaviorist for certain animal behavior you did not understand.

At your dog’s early age you can train them to respond to certain actions and words so that communication is both ways. Let them understand human sounds or tone as well whenever you speak. It will be an indication for them that you are mad when you raise your voice accompanied by punishment or when your baby talks to them and cuddles or kiss afterward.

Is There a Possibility of Dogs Talking in the Future?

A professor emeritus of biology from Northern Arizona University, Dr. Con Slobodchikoff has been studying animal communication. And according to him, there is a possibility that a dog’s vocalization can turn into the English language. He had been studying prairie dogs for more than 30 years and he has discovered that they have vocal communication.

Through the help of his colleague who is a computer scientist, they have developed an AI translating the vocalizations into the English language. He founded Zoolingua and the goal of it was to develop and translate animal’s expressions, movements, and sounds into a language. They wanted to help animal lovers understand their pets and the animals around them more.

Do Dogs Talk to Each Other?

Yes, dogs talk to each other because they are the same species and have the same dog language. They will bark, howl, growl, or whine intending specific purpose and meaning. Not only that, but dogs also communicate through scent, that’s why oftentimes you’ll see them sniffing other dogs’ genitalia. It’s their way of interaction alongside the body movements and signals. It’s cute that you see your dog interacting with other dogs running and playing around. It’s healthy that as a pet owner you’ll allow your dog to interact with other dogs too.

It’s nice to imagine that your dogs can talk and maybe in the future it will happen. However, there are things in this world that were created the way it is. Do you think pet owners will still value dogs the way they value them now because they can talk? I guess no, people will be annoyed. Nevertheless, if the technology allows dogs to speak to people. It would be helpful to a senior citizen that has a dog and needs to be reminded about their meds, appointments and even comforting them with sweet words. Furthermore, the dog can easily tell who the thief and murderers are when they can speak. They can tell the police that it went “that way” and “something was buried here”. 

Even without talking, dogs are still very helpful to people in guarding their homes, helping on the farm, assisting in law enforcement, and making people happy. Indeed they are human’s best friends and it’s fine that they can’t talk. As long as they remain adorable, loving, and loyal to their owners.