Knowing dog language can help us make their lives better. And ours too!
1. Learn dog language.
Dogs can’t speak words. You see videos of them saying “I love you” or “Mom”, but they aren’t built to speak like humans. They have their own form of dog communication.
Have you ever watched your dog with another dog. Body language is at work. Teeth might be bared or eyes might stare if they are warning another dog. They might bow down if they want to play.
It is actually pretty complex, but subtle to us humans. If you pay attention, you can understand much of what they “tell” you. You can learn dog language if you pay attention.
2. Feed me well.
Sure, dogs will eat out of the trash. Or eat poop. All kinds of it. Some dogs will eat pretty much anything they can get ahold of.
But how do they look? Do they have shiny coats? How about nice, white teeth? How is their weight? Do they have energy?
Your dog does a whole lot better with the right amount of protein, fat, vitamins and other nutrients. Some dogs don’t tolerate much fat or dairy, for example. There are different theories about raw food, kibble, cooked food, canned food…………but the bottom line is your dog.
See What’s wrong with our dog to read about an experience we had with our dogs.
If you take a look, you’ll probably get a pretty good idea of how your dog is doing. When your dog acts and looks healthy, their stools are normal and their appetite is good, you might be on the right track. You can find a diet that works for your pup. Dog communication is observation and reading the signs.
3. I’m bored!
Does your dog chew stuff up or pester you? Do they dig or otherwise get into trouble? Might be boredom.
Many dogs need a job. If you don’t give them one, they’re likely to find a “job” like tearing up your couch or getting in to the trash. Puppies are also notorious for getting into trouble.
Spending time with your canine best friend can cure this problem. Playing ball, going for walks, or learning a sport can direct that energy and give them a purpose while stimulating their minds. You can relieve that boredom by paying attention to their body language.
4. I’m hot!
If your dog is panting or restless, they might be overheating. They might just lay down and look at you when they would usually want to play. Or they might fidget. When the weather is warm, they want a cool place to hang out. Maybe a cooling coat or a fan.
Dogs can’t sweat like we do. If they have a high drive, they might get so interested in what they’re doing that they forget to take care of themselves. It’s up to us to watch out for them. We can help them keep themselves cool and safe from heat stroke.
Read Get a Cool Coat! Have Fun to find out more
5. It’s COLD out there!
Sure. Dogs have fur coats. Most likely, if those dogs live where their breed originated, they might be fine with the cold.
However, a smooth coated dog like a chihuahua living in Canada, for example, probably needs some help to keep themselves warm enough. Staying inside in the cold weather might be an option. And then there are all kinds of dog coats out there.
You can see whether your dog is tolerating the temperature outside. They’ll shiver and curl up if they’re too cold. You can help keep your dog comfortable.
These are just a few of the many, many things that dogs would say if they could. Pet parents who value their canine friends can learn to speak and understand dog communication so they can keep them happy, healthy and successful.