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Decoding Dog Talk

A Canine Science Community Outreach Project

This project is intended to empower people in Washington, DC to be more educated neighbors and guardians, and to play a more active role in increasing the quality of life for the dogs who bring joy to so many in our community.

Dog wearing Costume

What's in a Wag?

Public understanding of science... for DC's dogs, people, and dog people!

There are lots of ways to “hear” what dogs are trying to tell us (and each other), even though they don’t use spoken language. Dogs “talk” using a variety of expressions, postures and non-verbal vocalizations -- some of which aren’t all that different from the body language, ticks and facial cues that are part of humans’ repertoire of unspoken communication.

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“A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.” 

― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

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For healthy and happy DC residents - human and canine!

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Meet Your Host!

Courtney Sexton, MFA, MS

I am a long-time DC resident and a current doctoral candidate at The George Washington University Department of Anthropology’s Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology (CASHP), where I study the coevolution of humans and dogs. I am particularly interested in nonverbal communication and behavior, and links between domestication and behavior.

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