Experts reckon dogs can master up to 165 words. Chaser, a border collie demonstrated recognition of 1,000 words. Who’s a clever boy?! But, do their human pets really understand what they are trying to tell them? Wish you could know exactly what your pup is thinking?
Learn to read your dog’s actions and body language and you can figure out what is going on in their head.
‘Me Love You’ It is pretty easy to tell if your dog is happy (spoiler; look for relaxed ears, a soft pant and soft eyes). Are they staring right in to your eyes?! This is your pup telling you not only are they happy but this is a powerful way for them to show affection to you and creates oxytocin (the love hormone). Ahhhh...
‘This is my SUPER excited face!’ Tail up, excited running, extreme tail wagging, excited barking, grinning, spinning in circles and jumping. All easy to spot signs your pup is interested and excited. Getting tackled as soon as you walk through the door might not be ideal when you have your arms full of shopping, but this is your pooch showing they are interested and you are the centre of their world.
‘Where going?’ The opposite of when you come home, if your doggo is just sitting quietly staring at you as you leave the house – don’t worry - this is a good thing! It shows they trust you and know you are coming home.
‘Hmm....this smells new’ If your pup has their ears close to their head and is panting or sniffing faster than normal they could be nervous and checking their surroundings out. Also look for the wider eyes – they really are taking everything in. Use a high pitched voice to reassure them it is ok (or a stern voice if it isn’t of course!).
‘Me scared ’ If your dog is hunched over, or making themselves look small, they could well be scared. Look for their tail; is it under their body/low? Also, look out for yawning. Doggos don’t just yawn when they are tired, it can also be a sign of stress and fear.
‘Me give you slobbery toy’ Does your furry friend bring you their favourite rope, chewed up toy or your own sock?! They don’t always want to play; this is a gift from them to you (experts say this is the leftover of their hunting instinct, bringing you things they think you will like rather than dead prey!). One to remember before you throw the gift across the room!
‘Look what I did to the [insert chewed object/furniture/clothing]!’ We have all been there. When our favourite furry animals destroy something. Why, why, why?! Chewing after the puppy stage could be a sign of separation anxiety or boredom. More exercise, and changing your routine before you leave the house can help with this (and plenty of no chew spray!) .
‘I get in?’ Is your dog eyeing up your bed instead of their own? This isn’t actually to do with the feather
and down duvet on the bed, but more to do with being close to you.