Several dog species have learned to communicate with humans via an increasing spectrum of barking sounds, according to a leading German animal researcher.
"Some of the more modern dog species like the terrier and sheep dog have a wide barking spectrum which is intended as a means of communication with man," says Dr Dorit Feddersen-Petersen from the Zoological Institute at the University of Kiel.
Quoted in the latest issue of the German magazine Dogs, the researcher said that canines have learned many nuances of communication during the 14,000 years they have lived with humans.
The wolf, a close relative of the dog, hardly ever barks and older dog species like the Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed Dog share this behavior, according to Feddersen-Petersen.
"Vocal sounds are more impressive than the body signals used by the wolf," the researcher says. "'Give me food!,' expressed in barking language is clearer than just pointing the nose. But both signals really work."
A high-pitched barking coupled with tail wagging and the paws pressed to the ground mean, "Play with me!" On the other hand a deep bark with an upright tail and hair on end says, "Stay away from me or else!"
It can therefore be very useful for dog owners and people in general to understand some of the nuances of dog language, the researcher says.
1. spectrum n.
光譜 (guang1 pu3)
例: If you refract light you can see the seven colors of the spectrum.
2. canine n.
犬科動物 (quan3 ke1 dong4 wu4)
例: A dog is a canine and a cat is a feline.
3. nuance n.
細膩之處 (xi4 ni4 zhi1 chu4)
例: Non-native speakers may miss some of the nuances of the movie.
4. upright adj.
筆直的 (bi3 zhi2 de5)
例: Sally helped Jake pull the chair into an upright position.
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