Author Topic: How you communicate with your animal friends?  (Read 469 times)

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Offline Old Rabbit

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How you communicate with your animal friends?
« on: August 01, 2016, 10:17:25 am »
We humans depend mostly on speech to communicate with each other, but animals
have little ability to use speech. Though most do use vocalizations to let others know
of their wishes or thoughts.

Mainly though animals use body language. They are very expert in reading the
emotions, and wishes of each other that way.

Animal trainers take advantage of body lnaguage, and touch to let the animal know
what to do.

I think just about anyone who has had a loved pet has noticed how their animal friends
respond to the slightest movement. I can remember my dog keeping a eye on me if I moved
or got up. He had a good idea what I was going to do almost befor I did.  :D

Any comments about how you communicate with your pets or other animals?
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Offline Loc

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 10:21:05 am »
I have my reptiles trained to simple vocal cues. They all understand that a soft, constant tongueclicking sound means I am there, I am going to approach them, and that I mean them no harm. I started doing that to warn my newly adopted gecko of my presence, and the other two picked up on it by accident.

The gecko has been startled before, started to flee, but will calm down straight away on hearing the clicking.

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Offline Kobuk

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 06:04:49 pm »
Usually a whack on the snout with a rolled up newspaper and some harsh language does the trick.  ;)  :D









Just kidding.  :D
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 08:28:32 am »
Usually a whack on the snout with a rolled up newspaper and some harsh language does the trick.  ;)  :D









Just kidding.  :D


I would hope so. I don't think animals really understand physical punishment very
 well. Even though many people use whips and riders sometimes use spurs. It more
likely frightens the animal more than anything else.

I used to keep a pop can with a few pennies inside to shake when I wanted my
dogs attention or to say  No.. It worked quite well. I think when someone uses
a newspaper it's the noise more than the wack that the animal responds favorably
to.

I should have mentioned that many animals respond very well to vocal commands
as well as visual cues. Though I am sure many people who have trained their pets
don't realize how much their pet watches for visual cues even though we may
not intend to give them.

When training the quickest way to get a animals favorable attention is with a
reward. Vocal praise is good, but a treat is usually works best. Food is a powerful
encouragement for any creature. Even us.  :D

Several years ago I saw a story about a horse that a trainer swore could read numbers
on flash cards.  Turned out the trainer inadvertenly gave visual cues to the horse
to let it know when to stop pawing the ground. The trainer really believed his horse
could read till he was asked to show a card to the horse not knowing the number his
self. The horse failed because the trainer didn't know the number and consequently
didn't give the visual cue for the horse to stop.

Like the trainer we often believe things because we want to.

Animals are often very intelligent, but usually in their own ways, not so much ours.



« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 08:42:05 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline some_random_wusky

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 06:42:26 am »
telepathy.
honestly thinks we need another mass extinction

Offline GrayWolf448

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 07:48:47 pm »
i mostly communicate with my dog by talking to him (so far he knows sit, lay down, roll over, speak, stay, come here, quiet, stop, no), and hand gestures (pointing to go somewhere close to me, patting somewhere to call over, move hand in a circle to roll over, palm facing him to sit)

as for how i know what he wants he usually whines, and lies down near the door (or walks around near the door) if he wants to go outside. if he wants food or water he usually keeps howling, and starts trying to lick my face (if his tongue is warmer than usual he likely wants water).

he listens very well (especially to stay, and leave it) if you tell him to leave it before you go he would leave food completely alone (even if its on the floor). actually generally he listens to all commands very well (besides if you tell him to pick something up, he doesnt seem to know that command)

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 08:08:59 am »
Here is a interesting experiment. If you have a pet who responds well to
vocal commands. Try it with your hands iln your pockets or behind you. Or
turn around and watch your pet in a mirror when you make the command.

It would be interesting to know if it makes any significant difference. Commans
calling them from another room should work the same of course.

I am not trying to say they can't understand words. Its just many animals watch
for visual cues, and without them they may not understand as well.

I have read animals do best with monosyllable words for commands.
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Offline Loc

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 08:22:32 am »
My gecko responds to the sound, not a person or visual cues. But then she isn't trained to do anything other than relax on hearing the noise. Less training and more announcing my presence and intentions I suppose.
Trid clicking to her when I'm out of sight with a camera set up to test.

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Offline Rocket T. Coyote

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2016, 08:29:00 pm »
I have "talked" to whitetail deer using snorts, grunts, wheezes, bluff-charging and "the all-clear signal"--or at least could reasonably determine their attitudes.
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Offline Chipper Blu-wolf

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 11:50:14 am »
With our dogs, its a lot of vocal commands and hand movements that we've associated with verbal commands.  Dogs don't always respond to a verbal command, but respond well to physical gestures, sort of how a wolf would respond to physical actions within the pack to express emotion.  Because we've worked with them from young ages, they have grown up with consistent commands and actions.  We have howled though, and they have joined in! :D
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Offline Varg the wanderer

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 03:21:33 pm »
 My dog responds well to either, though she learns gestures faster. It's funny when you just look at her and start doing stuff and she sits, stands, lays down, touches, heels, etc. when your friends don't realize you're talking to her the whole time.  XD

It's also interesting when you use her own body language to talk to her by doing things like play bowing, or showing her your side when you accidentally scare her, or put up with her licking your leg because that is how she says she loves you.

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2016, 09:06:12 pm »
My cats generally do what they're told within a limited range of words. But if there's defiance, I make a grab gesture--as if to pick them up by the scruff of the neck--and they move on.
"The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him. And even the fleas would dessert him for a velocipide."~Mark Twain
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Offline CatDetective

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Re: How you communicate with your animal friends?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2016, 12:11:50 am »
With our two cats, they definitely respond to different things... One has a bigger vocabulary of words he understands, but he only complies with what we want if he feels like it, or if it will get him a treat. If I really need him to be out of trouble/danger, I just scoop him up and move him, and he might complain, but there's no sense punishing him when he doesn't understand that he's doing something *bad*. He's a bit spoiled now because he's sixteen years old, and so we pamper him a bit more and are more lenient about his misbehaviors...

Our younger cat, if I see him having an idea that I don't want him to go through with-- usually stealing his brother's food-- I just go and stand between him and the thing I don't want him to have/mess with, and he understands that he's being herded (before we took him home, he was fostered by a shepherd dog for a brief time, between being old enough for his cat!mom to wean him and our being able to pick him up and take him home from the rescue farm).

I use the words they know a lot, when talking to them-- Our older cat knows WAY too many food-related words, as well as a few outside-related words, and 'spaceship' (his favorite toy). Momo, my baby, just likes to be talked to whether or not he understands any of it, so I talk to him a lot about nothing in particular when I'm home alone with the cats, or if my talking to him isn't an interruption for anyone else in the room. He enjoys the attention and seems to feel like things must be all right if I'm talking to him in a calm, happy tone, and he's a bit of a worrier so I like to make him feel safe and relaxed.

As far as non-verbal communication, I'll give Lego (our old man) a stare-down if he's doing something he knows we don't like but that isn't immediately dangerous, like jumping up on the kitchen counters but not going near the stove. He might just stare right back, but sometimes he gets the message and defers to me as the higher authority between us. I pet them both and know which their favorite spots for scritches are, and whether a belly rub or play is desired (which is mostly just my reading their communication to me), and I return face-rubs (though I have to take my glasses off in order to rub my face against either Mo's face or Lego's shoulder-- he's not so much a face-to-face guy). Gentle headbutts, because that's affection they understand perfectly (Momo is a big fan of just smushing his face into me, in particular).

They both sometimes like to have their faces held-- as in, I cup my hand and an entire cat face just fits into said hand.

With Lego, I sometimes let him 'steer' me-- I'll pick him up in my arms and he'll just lean slightly and tighten his paw around my arm to communicate to me where he would like me to carry him.

And of course I'll pat my lap or the arm of a chair to let them know they're free to come up and sit with me-- sometimes Momo likes to ask permission before jumping up, either by pawing at the side of the chair, or by a particular meow. They have some different sounds that they make, though Momo is more of a warbler, and Lego has distinct words he uses specifically for 'feed me' or 'outside!', or 'FIX WHAT I'M UPSET ABOUT', as well as a 'hello' and a 'goodnight'.