Pet relationships; Do your pets understand you?

pet communication

Pet relationships; Pets understand even though they don’t speak English (or any other human language)

Pet relationships can be so rewarding. Do you have a good relationship with your pets? Pets understand much more than they let on. Dogs, cats and horses generally can’t speak words.  Sure, there are some YouTube videos that show an occasional word or two, but I stand by my statement.  Our pets do not speak to us in words and sentences as a general rule. 

I’m pretty sure my pets would speak to me if they could.  However, since they can’t make their mouths form words because of their anatomy, they figure out other ways to let me know what they need.  

I have to admit, I never used to think about it.  Years and years ago, I treated them as beings that didn’t have any real thoughts. I sort of knew they had emotions and, of course, I knew they needed to eat, sleep, drink, go to the bathroom, etc. But I didn’t think any further than that. I now understand that pet relationships are so much more.

Pets communicate in other ways

I’ve come to realize that my pets are much smarter than I thought.  Since they can’t talk, they’ve come up with other ways to tell me what they want. If they think it’s dinner time, they stare at me.  When they need to go outside, they go to the door. And they paw my let when they want attention.

My Aussie, Quinn, takes it to a whole new level as she tries to lure me outside to play ball.  Or when my dogs hear me talk about someone coming over, they go watch for them.  I have to watch what I say because they are listening.  

Can they understand us?

As I became aware of their basic communication, I started wondering; “Do pets understand me even if they can’t speak to me?”  So I started testing it out.

I told my horses, for example, “If you want your blanket, stand still.  If not, walk away”. To my surprise, they’d do it!  I’d say to my dogs “let me finish _______ and then I’ll go out and play ball with you”. I started noticing that they would wait.  And if I went on and did something else instead of keeping my word, they’d start nagging at me. But if I kept my word, they’d be patient.

I found that if I told them that they needed this shot or that pill, they would do much better than if I just did it.  If I explained why we were doing something less than pleasant to them, they’d allow me to do it even though they knew it wasn’t going to be fun. 

I have come to the conclusion that I have greatly underestimated the abilities of my pets to understand me.  And more importantly, I’ve come to understand that they are willing to work with me if I work with them. My pet relationships have become so much stronger. To read more about unspoken communication , read What a dog would say.

I talk to my animals

My relationship with my pets has changed. I talk to my animals all the time now. They probably don’t understand everything I say. But I figure they understand what a 4 or 5 year old child understands.  If I talk to them as if they are small children, they generally seem to understand.  Not baby talk, but nothing too complicated And I figure that, even if they don’t understand everything, they get a majority of it. Besides, it can’t hurt anything.

If you’re curious, I encourage you to try it out.  Simple yes/no questions work best. Something clear, like nod or shake your head.  My animals do that much of the time.  When we get a new animal, they don’t always do it, but once they’ve been here for a while, they start responding.  I think they just need an encouraging environment to really open up.  

Give it a try! It’ll help your pet relationships!

Since they’ve often been around people who don’t try to talk to them, they shut down and operate on that level.  But if you work to build your relationship by communicating on a level that your pets can participate in, you might find that your pets are pretty darn smart too!

Read my post about Saying Goodbye for some thoughts about understanding your pet. Read What my pets have taught me  for more on how they influence us. Or PetAdvisor has a great post about communicating with your pet. Let me know your experiences with your pets below!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *