Listen to your dog

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Have you ever asked your dog to go get a stick, or go to bed, or find his toy, only for them to turn and walk away? A lot of cases this is just your dog not understanding and showing disinterest. But sometimes it maybe your dog saying no to you.

My dogs know a lot! I have lost count on the things that they know. Bailey in particular can almost understand anything I tell him, even if he hasn’t been taught. For example on a hot day one day I told him to go have some water. So he ran off and “lap lap lap” had a big gulp of water. Coincidence? It was a hot day. But I tried it again and again and he kept going and getting a drink of water. How did he know that? I never identified that the word “water” meant water?

What it shows me is that your dog listens to a hell of a lot more of what you say than you may realise. Even me, I am surprised constantly at the things that I can say that get the reaction I was asking. Without training.

Of course, Bailey and I have a very special bond, and we have strengthened it over the years. Perhaps this is why he is able to understand what I am saying, our channels of communication are wide open. But it doesn’t have to be one sided.

Bailey talks to me all the time. Maybe he may quickly glance at his dinner bowel reminding me that it’s his dinner time, or waiting at the door with his nose pressed firmly against the back screen door when I go to put my shoes on for a walk. He is talking to me all the time, and I take the time to listen. If I understand what Bailey is trying to tell me, I do it, I want him to know that I have understood what he is saying to me. I want him to feel confident that I understand him and he understands me.

Be open to the subtle cues that your dog offers you, they are communicative animals, and part of good pet ownership is understanding the signals that your dog offers you and offers others. It can help prevent dog fights, bites or worse and it will help you and your dog move closer in understanding how each other communicates.

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