Survey Shows Bond Between Dogs and Owners

Many owners say they can communicate with their dogs, survey finds.

Despite the obvious language barrier, many dog owners believe they can communicate with their dogs, according to a survey recently released by Del Monte Foods’ Pup-Peroni brand dog treats.

The Wags, Not Words Survey, conducted by Kelton Research, shows the bond many dog owners share with their pets. It found that nearly three in four (74 percent) of the 1,001 dog owners polled believe their dog’s body language or facial expressions let them know how their pet is feeling.

Seventy percent said they have “shared a look” with their dog on at least one occasion. Nearly half (49 percent) reported that they know exactly what their pet is thinking, and more than a third (34 percent) said they’ve had an entire “conversation” with their dogs without saying a word.

“Dogs are more than just a pet; they are confidants, therapists and best friends,” said Christi Fleming, Del Monte Foods’ vice president of marketing for pet snacks. “Our survey shows that even though pet parents and their dogs don’t speak the same language, they share a very special and unique relationship, which allows them to communicate through wags, not words.”

The “conversation” appears to go both ways as many of the dog owners polled said they believe their dog could read them. Sixty-nine percent said their dogs know when they are feeling happy. Eight-nine percent said they believe there have been moments when their dog tried to comfort them in times of need. Almost half of the pet owners polled said their dog is more likely to “notice” they’ve had a bad day than their best human friend.

Some of findings suggest the dog owners polled might have a stronger bond with their pet than with their human companions. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of those polled said their dogs are more dependable than their human best friends. Sixty-seven percent said, when they go out of town, they’re more likely to feel guilty about leaving their dog behind than their own family or friends.

Seventy-two percent said they prefer to blow off steam by taking a walk with their dogs rather than with a close human companion. The majority (89 percent) said their dogs are typically more excited to greet them when they come home than their significant others.

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Dogs · Lifestyle