We all wish we could talk to our dogs and understand what they’re trying to tell us. Although they’re good at giving us clues with their barks, howls and behaviour, sometimes we’re not so good at understanding what they want or need.
One thing we’re all perhaps a little guilty of is imposing our own human psychology and behaviour on that of our dogs, believing that they think, feel and have the same emotions as we do but research has actually shown that our dogs have the same intelligence and understanding as a two-year old child.
Just as a small toddler can struggle to express how they feel, your dog can too so with that in mind, here’s X things your dog wants you to know.
1 - If I act differently, I haven’t fallen out with you
When your dog shies away from your attention you might think it’s because they’re in a sulk from something you’ve done, but in truth it’s probably because they aren’t feeling well. Dogs are pack animals so when they feel unwell will leave the pack so as not to endanger them.
If your dog is hiding away, sleeping more than usual or just doesn’t seem like their usual self they might be under the weather. Do get them checked out with your vet if it continues for more than a day or so.
2 - Please don’t punish me, I don’t understand guilt
Just as a two year can’t experience guilt, nor can your dog so punishing them for bad behaviour isn’t going to be effective at stopping them from doing it again, in fact you’re more likely to damage your rapport and encourage negative behaviour.
Your dog wants love and attention, so rewards will work far better at encouraging and promoting the behaviour you do want to see.
3 - I’m not destroying things to be naughty, it’s because I’m bored or anxious
Your dog prefers to be in your company and needs a lot of entertaining and distraction if you’re going to be out all day. Separation anxiety can make it extremely difficult for your dog to spend long periods alone and their only outlet for this pent up negative energy is to express it in destructive behaviour like chewing your shoes, ripping up your carpet and defecating in your kitchen.
If you need to leave your dog alone regularly, consider hiring a pet sitter from your region of Dubai to drop in and keep them entertained and cared for while you’re away.
4 - Please don’t change the rules so much, it confuses me
If your dog is used to hanging out on the sofa but you decide to get a new one they’re no longer allowed on, your furry friend will be extremely confused. Every pack works on a dynamic of rules and superiority, so your dog is relying on you to set consistent rules and stick to them so they can be sure of their place in your pack and how to keep it.
If you do need to change your dog’s routine, do it in small and simple steps and use positive reinforcement to reassure them that everything’s ok.
5 - Feed me a balanced diet please, I find it impossible to say no to food!
We know to eat a varied and balanced diet to ensure we get the right nutrients for our bodies to function well, but your dog can only eat what you give them. It’s important that you check the ingredients of their regular dog food to ensure that it contains what they need and isn’t filled with byproducts and additives.
Treating your dog occasionally and for good behaviour is a great way to ensure they keep good habits, but too many snacks can add a few pounds to their waistline. Stick to healthy snacks like their favourite fruit or vegetables instead.
Of all the things your dog really wants to tell you is that they love you and appreciate you being around for them and trying to understand how to make them happier and healthier, so keep up the good work, your furry baby loves you for it!