Over the years, I have noticed with all of my dogs that after I have given some sweet talk and ear scratches, they will give out a long sigh.

I am hoping this is out of contentment. Is there any basis in fact to support that?

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    If you have some ideas about new tags, please feel welcome to start a new Pets Meta Q&A about this or create the tag yourself (I am sorry but I do not know how does creating new tags work, so I cannot help in this). A lot of existing tags seem obsolete or sub-optimal and I support the idea of creating new ones.
    – lila
    May 9 '21 at 19:49
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    In my experience, when a user has attained a certain rep, they may suggest a tag. After that , it goes through a review process on the review queue. I do a lot of this on EL&U.
    – Cascabel
    May 9 '21 at 19:51
  • A former cat used to sigh nightly after getting tucked in bed with me.
    – Yogesch
    Dec 11 '21 at 14:09

There’s research on dogs vocalizing and humans understanding. Many studies focus on barking; but it seems reasonable that interspecies communication would also be possible with other vocalizations (e.g. sighs).

Dogs use a wide range of different context-specific subunits of barks and mixed sounds as a means for communication of emotional arousal and both positive and negative emotional states.

In addition, humans seem to be able to correctly identify the emotional state of the dog based on context-specific barks.

Citation: Csoltova E and Mehinagic E (2020) Where Do We Stand in the Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris) Positive-Emotion Assessment: A State-of-the-Art Review and Future Directions. Front. Psychol. 11:2131. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02131

  • Yes, the fact that many humans can interpret these vocalizations would seem to suggest inter-species understanding.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 13 '21 at 18:45

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