Tag: Jax

Just a sigh between friends.

Something in common with our dogs, or not?

These days there is plenty to sigh about. Whether it’s presidential politics this side of the Atlantic or immigration and ‘Brexit’ in Europe. However, today’s post is not about our, as in human, sighs but is about the sighs that our dogs make.

Stay with this as I republish a recent item that appeared on Mother Nature Network.


Why do dogs sigh?

Mary Jo DiLonardo, March 24, 2016.
We sigh when we're frustrated and when we're happy. What about our four-legged friends? (Photo: sgilsdorf/flickr)
We sigh when we’re frustrated and when we’re happy. What about our four-legged friends? (Photo: sgilsdorf/flickr)

Every dog owner has experienced it at one time or another. Your dog lies down, often with his head on his front paws, and lets out a sigh. Is he sad? Content? Disappointed in his life?

It could be any of the above, it just depends on the context, says the American Kennel Club.

“When the sigh is combined with half-closed eyes, it communicates pleasure; with fully open eyes, it communicates disappointment: ‘I guess you are not going to play with me.'”

Geez. Guilt trip, anyone?

A dog’s sigh is “a simple emotional signal that terminates an action,” writes Stanley Coren, Ph.D. in his book, “Understanding Your Dog for Dummies.”

“If the action has been rewarding, it signals contentment. Otherwise, it signals an end of effort.”

So if you and your dog just finished a fun romp in the yard or a great walk in the park, that sigh means, “I’m content and am going to settle down here awhile.” If your dog has begged at your side all during dinner without a payoff, that sigh signifies, “I’ll give up now and simply be depressed.”

Dog trainer Pat Engel agrees.

“My own unscientific observation is that dogs usually sigh while resting, or when they are what I call ‘resigned,'” she writes in the San Francisco Chronicle. “These sighs seem to mark a physiological transition into a deeper state of relaxation.”

If you feel like your dog sighs (or yawns or makes other noises excessively), it’s worth mentioning to your vet, Engel suggests. There’s always a chance that a health issue might be at the root of the sounds.

If a medical reason isn’t to blame, then concentrate on reading the cues your canine is sharing.

Massachusetts dog trainer Jody Epstein says a dog’s body language is definitely the key to interpreting the noise he’s making.

“If his body is relaxed, ears soft, head down on the bed in what we might call a ‘sleeping’ position, and he’s in perfect health otherwise, then I’d expect it’s just a sign of uber relaxation,” she writes in her All Experts advice column. “If he’s laying there, but sitting up watching you and doing it, then it’s more likely an active communication that you may wish to address.”

Like, hey, buddy, isn’t it time for a treat? Or when was the last time we played ball?

One dog may sigh because he's frustrated; another may sigh because she's comfortable and is ready for a nap. (Photo: Brent Schumacher/flickr)
One dog may sigh because he’s frustrated; another may sigh because she’s comfortable and is ready for a nap. (Photo: Brent Schumacher/flickr)

Is a sigh always a sigh?

“Dogs make many vocalizations, and they mean different things depending on various factors such as context, experience, relationships, the individual dog, and much more,” says certified animal behaviorist and dog trainer Katenna Jones of Jones Animal Behavior, in Warwick, Rhode Island. “There is also human interpretation: One person’s sigh is another person’s huff, moan, groan or whine.”

And, Jones says, some breeds tend to make more or different sounds than others.

“The most important thing is to remember there is no one answer. It’s important to not apply human feelings to dogs because dogs are not humans!” she says. “Look at the context of situations in which your dog is sighing, take note, and see if you can identify why YOUR dog is sighing — because it may be different than why MY dog is sighing.”

Just because we don’t always know what our dogs are trying to say, doesn’t mean we should stop trying to figure things out.

The AKC points out: “Dogs make sounds both intentionally and unintentionally, and they all have certain meanings. Just because we do not understand the wonderful variety of sounds that dogs vocalize does not mean that dogs are not doing their best to communicate with us.”


So come on, you dear readers, send in some examples of sighing and other wonderful sounds that your dogs make!

Here’s my contribution from YouTube. The sound of a German Shepherd deep asleep and a very familiar sound in this house when Pharaoh is sound asleep.

Published on Sep 5, 2014

At first I had no idea it was him. I thought maybe it was my husband (who was downstairs in the living room taking a nap) and the dogs and I were upstairs….but soon figured out it was him! This was the first time I had heard Jax snore. I especially love his little face when he was woken up by his brother. Which I think he did on purpose. Haha. It is hilarious!

Saints required.

Recognising just what our dogs mean to us.

After yesterday’s tribute to Pharaoh, a timely reminder came in from Suzann in an email about the many, many dogs in much less fortunate circumstances.

Let me first include what Su said in her email.

Here is Jax, a pup I rescued at 3 1/2 weeks old with one partial leg missing and bleeding.
I sent him to my amiga J9 and she has had him for a while now and is having a benefit for him to raise money for a prosthetic for him to save his back.
Is this the kind of thing that I can put on your website?
Let me know.
He is a precious little guy and needs this desperately to help him find a great home as well.
Let me know.


I rang Su immediately and confirmed that this was perfect for Learning from Dogs.

What Su also included in her email was the following information.

So, please, share this post just as far and wide as you can. (And if you can spare a few pennies to help, then all the better!)




Jax’s Story:

Jax was living with his feral mom on the desert of Mexico and was only 3-1/2 weeks old when he got his leg stuck in some fencing. Mom tried and tried to free him… eventually chewing off his paw in order to save his life. Coyotes roamed the area and a small puppy would not have been able to protect himself from them. Thankfully, a wonderful man saw what had happened and rushed the bleeding puppy to the nearest rescue for care, which happened to be our sister organization in San Carlos, Mexico, Ambos Rescue.

Jax was taken to a local vet, who then determined that the pup’s lower leg needed to be amputated. This was done with the hopes that Jax would be able to receive a prosthetic leg in the future, which is why they did not do a full amputation, thus limiting his choices.

But now Jax runs the risk of throwing his back out with the little stub he flaps around… and he needs either a full amputation, or a prosthetic leg before he permanently does damage to his spine. Amputation is always an option but we would like to try a prosthetic first.

This Garage Sale is for Jax… PLEASE SUPPORT HIM!

Saturday, June 6th – 7:30 am
(Until 2:30… or maybe 3:00)
1010 Olympic Way, Nipomo, CA


Anyone who wishes to donate
directly to Jax’s Fund
can mail a check to:
P.O. Box 2952, Orcutt, CA 93457

or by PayPal (check or credit card) on our website:

P.O. Box 2952 – Orcutt, CA 93457

Email: CentralCoastSPCA@yahoo.com

Thank you!