There could be a little more to that iconic canine head tilt than you previously thought; your dog really does know you better than you think they do. However, the thing is, they want it to be reciprocated.
Dogs of all different kinds have a few fundamental things in common. It could be preferences, or in some cases, needs, even. Once you have a better understanding of what’s going on in their heads, you might become a better owner.
Here are 10 important pointers that your dog really wants you to know.
1. Dogs get lonely
Dogs are not very good at predicting when you’re coming back. So if you leave your puppy at home alone, then be prepared to meet with some level of anxiety upon your return home.
If you really have to leave your puppy at home unattended, then consider this: “Dogs have much stronger noses than ours,” dog expert Meg Marrs told Reader’s Digest. “For them,” she said, “a shirt covered in your scent is one of the most comforting objects in the world.” If you think your dog has serious separation anxiety, however, then ask your vet for some advice.
2. They also get bored
If your dog makes a mess of its room or your house when you’re not there, then it could just be a sign that it’s understimulated. Just like people, your dog needs something to do. Consider longer or more varied walks. Also, try investing in some interesting new toys or a doggie playmate.
3. You are not the “owner”
This one might sound back to front, but here are some insights on your dog. Yes, you might buy the food and also take your puppy to all the cool spots; and yes, you hold the leash. But precisely because of all this, your dog thinks that it owns you. Or, perhaps, it sees you both as members of the same family. As such, it will always have your back.
4. Dogs do not have amazing memories
If your dog is disobedient, then it is your responsibility to let it know right away. If you come home to a broken vase and you shout at your happy, tail-wagging dog at the door, it will think it is being chastized for greeting you. The time for the vase lesson is long gone.
5. They understand your tone
Dogs have a pretty good idea of what we mean by the tones of voice we use to speak to them. They can easily differentiate between, calm, excited, and angry because they use tone in much the same way themselves.
6. They don’t always understand your language
What they don’t always get, however, are the words that you use. Dogs can become excellently accustomed to the handful of instructions that you use regularly (for example: “come,” “walk,” “no,” and “kibble,”) but anything beyond that might be entering the realms of unintelligibility.
Body language, on the other hand, is a much safer way to communicate with your dog if you want to be understood.
7. Dogs are not babies
While you may be tempted to dress up your dog, carry it about, or cuddle it constantly, remember its needs. Your dog is not a human baby and needs to assert its independence. If it’s strapped into a baby carrier, then when will your pup fulfill its very important to-do list of sniffing, exploring, and generally running around?
There’s one exception, says Melissa McCue-McGrath, author of Considerations for the City Dog: “A dog coat or special blanket when you take short-haired or small dogs for a walk outside, when the temperature drops below freezing.”
8. Dogs like adventures
On that note, your dogs love it when you mess with the schedule. Yes, dogs do thrive within a predictable feeding, walking, and sleeping routine, but feel free to be spontaneous once in a while. If you feel like checking out a new dog-friendly café, hiking trail, or hidden beach spot, take your puppy along with you.
9. They know how you feel
Remember: your dog can interpret your tone and body language. Due to this, they may know how you’re feeling better than you think they do.
Dogs are empathic. Your dog will probably mirror your emotions, and if you’ve ever had a pensive puppy sit beside you and extend a sympathetic paw as you sob your way through a breakup or a romantic movie, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
10. They also want to be with you all the time
Dogs are for life. But their lives are sadly shorter than ours, so make every minute count. Your puppy wants as much “you time” as they can get, so find a way to incorporate your dog into your daily life and love them as much as possible.
How many of these pointers did you already know?