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Homosapians or Canines – Which species are more effective communicators?

July 10, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Karen has something to tell us about the importance of communication and how it sometimes seems that our dogs are better at the task. Enjoy this combination of humor and seriousness.

This may seem like an unusual subject to be writing about, even something humorous! However, this is on one level a serious matter and is worth thinking about! Who is better at communicating, humans or dogs? Are humans capable of communicating with others or is it Man’s best friend, the dog? At the moment, I think it’s the dogs whom are better at this task!

I was inspired to write this article after arriving to work to find that my co-workers did not receive important notes that I had left with them on Friday covering things that needed to happen yesterday, since I was off. Somehow, the important information was not given to all of my co-workers. These notes were requests that were given to me by our Guests. I do my very best to serve the guest and provide exceptional service, we all try to achieve quality guest satisfaction each day. I know I Do! Yet, some people, are not as good at communicating requests and other important information that is vital to guarantee that the hotel is running smoothly as well as provide excellent service to our guests during their stay. If they receive outstanding service, guests will want to return, recommending our hotel to their family and friends; However, if they receive average or poor service, they will be dissatisfied and not return.

No matter who you are or what you do, you should do your very best to communicate in any given situation, not just on your job. If one does not communicate effectively it can cause misunderstandings and destroy relationships. If people do not take responsibility, communicate
with co-workers and customers, they too, can be terminated from their employment! Communication is key in every relationship and in every situation.

We can communicate in many ways; verbal, written and non-verbally. Depending on what your strengths are, where ones talents lie , some people are better at communicating verbally while others, like Darrell and I, find written communication a more effective way to express ourselves! Nonverbal communication also provides others with information on what is happening around them. Sometimes, people are unable, for whatever reason,
to verbalize or express their thoughts in written form. Nonverbal communication, or body language, can also give others feedback on what another person is trying to say! For instance, one can get an indication on what type of mood someone is in or what their needs are if he/she can not speak the language.

Dougie, my 5-year-old Golden Retriever guide dog, is an excellent communicator. He communicates through Dog speak. He verbalizes and also expresses himself through his body language. I know when he has to go out, when he is happy, sad, tired or bored! He is a better communicator than most people. Every morning he sneezes as he is waking, rubs his eyes and stretches! He wiggles and does somersaults and runs around spastically when he is happy! When he needs water, he licks the dish or pushes it around. If he has to go out, he will come to me, stand with his back to me, turn towards me, bend, stretch, firmly stand in my way, and gark! Yes, gark! He growls and barks once or twice to make me understand, sometimes being demanding, telling me that he has to go out right now or else! When in harness, he communicates by walking me around the obstacles, stopping at curbs or stairs. These are just some ways in which Douglas communicates and he does it well. I give him thumbs up, or I should say paws up!

After looking at this, you will soon see that it is not us whom are more efficient communicators, but, rather, our four-legged friends! Perhaps,
We cannot only learn from our fellow man but Man’s best friend!

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