©Scott Sheaffer, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, USA Dog Behavior, LLC
Your dog is constantly talking to you through his body language. His canine body language communication is quite sophisticated and we, as humans, are getting better at understanding it. But, if he could talk to you in the same way that you talk to humans, what would he tell you?
In my experience working with many dogs, I think your dog would communicate the following five things to you:
1) “You confuse me sometimes - I’m not trying to be difficult; I promise. In fact, my desire to please everyone and fit into our family is what makes this so frustrating for me. Please slow down your commands with me, be more consistent in your commands and give me a few seconds to figure out what you want from me. Thanks for listening.”
2) “I want to love everyone that we encounter, but I don’t. There are just some people that scare me a little and make me feel uncomfortable. For example, like most dogs, I don’t normally like hugs and pets from people I don’t know that well. I also don’t like a lot of attention when some people I don’t know come in our home for the first time. I appreciate you letting me say this.”
3) “I don’t see human children in the same way you do. They look like another species to me to be honest. They seem to move really fast, are too loud and I never know what they’re going to do next. They scare me sometimes and I’d prefer to keep some distance from them. Please don’t force me to be close to them all of the time. Also, can you teach them to be a little more respectful of my space? I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time.”
4) “It really bugs me when you stick your hand in my food when I’m trying to eat. You’ve done this hundreds of times to me without me complaining. Whenever you are in the room when I’m eating, it seems you stick your hand in my food and it’s starting to make me a little grumpy to be honest. How would you feel if another human stuck his hand in your food every time you ate? It feels good to get this off of my chest. Thanks.”
5) “You probably don’t know you’re doing this, but when you walk me you constantly jerk me around with the leash - non-stop! All of these ‘leash inputs’ or ‘corrections’ really confuse me. It’s too much for me to process while I’m trying to walk with you. Could I ask you to just relax with the leash and be aware of how you are using it? It would make my walks with you so much more relaxing and enjoyable. You’re the best.”
If you’d like to know more about what your dog is trying to tell you with his body language, please see my free video on canine body language, Understanding Dog Body Language. Your dog will thank you for viewing it.