Owning a dog is great fun and immensely rewarding. But, dogs have complex needs and each dog is unique. There is no one 'perfect' way to care for all dogs, but our expert advice will help you ensure your dog is healthy and happy.
Dogs use a range of methods to communicate
- Communication is very important in helping dogs form and maintain social groups.
- To transmit scent information, dogs use urine, faeces and secretions from special scent glands.
- Dogs produce a range of sounds, often in complex combinations, including whines, whimpers, growls, barks and howls.
- Many dogs can use their body, face, tail, ears and limbs to communicate with other dogs.
Dogs are highly social
- Many dogs enjoy the company of other dogs, but they will also form strong social bonds to humans, becoming very attached to particular individuals.
Dogs are intelligent
- Dogs can learn the names of their toys. For example Rico, a border collie, learnt the names of 200 toys and can reliably fetch the correct toy when asked to.
Dogs are playful
- Dogs use special signals to show they want to play. When inviting others to play, a dog crouches on its forelimbs, remains standing on its hind limbs and may wag its tail or bark. This behaviour is called the 'play bow'.
Dogs really are man's best friend
- In addition to companionship, some dogs help their owners in really special ways. Assistance dogs can help blind, deaf and disabled people, whilst some dogs can even help alert owners before an epileptic fit starts