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Have you ever wondered what your dog would tell you if he could talk? I was going through some old magazines a few days ago, and came upon an issue of Woman’s Day that had a lot to say about dogs.It really got me thinking.
You know, we like to think that our dogs are just like us, but the reality is, they’re not. They’re such simple creatures – simple in the best possible sense of the word, meaning that they are uncomplicated – and motivated by not much more than food and companionship. Basically, what they want is for you to feed them, water them and be nice to them. They do have some things in common with us, though, in terms of their need to communicate. There are things they would like to tell us, and adorable and expressive as those soft brown eyes may be, they can’t always get the entire message across. So here is what your dog would like you to know, if he could talk.
We think that we own our dogs, but the reality is, they think they own us. Your dog wants you to know that he adores you, and that he will always protect you. You are HIS. You know when he sits on your foot, or wiggles up against you, or rubs his head on you, what he’s saying is “You are mine.” He’s transferring his scent to you so that other dogs will recognize you as his special person.
When you are happy, your dog is happy. When you’re stressed, he’s stressed. Our dogs’ moods match our own – whether your realize it or not, when you aren’t feeling top-drawer, your dog knows, and that affects the way he feels.
You can learn this very easily – if your dog is chewing things he shouldn’t, or otherwise misbehaving, it means that he’s not getting enough stimulation. You need to go walkies.
If you’re at a loss as to how to get your dog more exercise, there’s a great book available at Amazon. It’s called 101 Ways to Do More with Your Dog: Make Your Dog a Superdog with Sports, Games, Exercises, Tricks, Mental Challenges, Crafts, and Bonding, and it has wonderful reviews! You’ll learn how to do all sorts of wonderful things with your dog, and neither of you will ever be bored again.
If your dog barks or cries a bit when you leave the house without him, that’s normal, but if it gets to the point where it’s over the top and he’s still carrying on when you get back, then that’s separation anxiety. Your dog is terrified that you are going to leave and never come back.
You can correct this, though. It takes patience, but you can get the message across that you are not going away forever. Leave for a few minutes, and then come back. Then leave for a few more, and come back. He’ll get the idea. To learn more about this type of problem, read Mommy, Don’t Leave Me! Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Dogs.
This is something that is very hard to explain, but it’s known that dogs can tell when their owners are sick. With some diseases and disorders, the reason may be fairly obvious – for instance, when a person who has diabetes is reaching crisis, the dog probably smells the ketones on the person’s breath. But how does a dog know when an epileptic is about to have a seizure, or when a person has cancer? Their senses are so finely tuned to us that they can pick up on things that other people would never notice.
Many people believe that dogs operate on about the same level as a toddler, and that like toddlers, they need routine. Who among us has not said “When the dog doesn’t sleep, no one sleeps”? It’s because they’re on a schedule. He wants to be up at a certain time, and he doesn’t understand why you’re not the same way. He wants to be fed at a certain time, go for a walk at a certain time, and so on. If you want to live comfortably with a dog, you are definitely going to have to establish a routine that works for both of you.
Your dog does not know when he has displeased you, and you have to tell him. What this means is that as soon as he does something wrong, you let him know. If he pees on the floor, for example, just say “No” and take him out. Don’t make a big issue out of it. A dog has an amazing capacity to learn what it is you require of him, and will work very hard to please you.
Your dog is not a person, so don’t expect him to behave like one. Some of the things he loves to do (roll in poo, for instance) are not things that you would expect of any reasonable person. Grabbing a roll of toilet paper and shredding it all over the house is also not human-like behavior. When you have to clean up after your dog, just remember – he’s not trying to be spiteful. He is doing things that are fun for dogs, because he is not a person.
No one who has ever had a dog doubts that the first thing their dog would say, if he could talk, would be “I love you.” That’s one thing that really does come across in the way they look at us, in a gentle lick, in a head resting gently on our knee. Every day, probably several times a day, our dogs tell us how much they love us. And they don’t need to be able to speak to do it – sometimes, we and our dogs speak volumes without ever uttering a word. That’s what makes our relationship so incredibly close and special.
So, these are some of the things our dogs would tell us if they could talk. Perhaps there are other things as well. What do you suppose your dog would have to say to you?