If dog wishes were fishes...No bones about it: dogs are really smart animals. They’ve managed to live and work with us for centuries, in part because of their brains. By constantly reading body language and tones of voice, dogs understand us pretty well. Wouldn’t it be great if we could return the favor? Consider these 5 things your dog wishes you knew.

1. I Want What You Want

As a pack animal, your dog finds value in group dynamics – even if it’s just the two of you. They want to do whatever you’re doing, go wherever you’re going, and, if left alone, stress or anxiety might creep in. Destructive behavior can be a result of temporary separation, as your dog wishes they were otherwise occupied.

Keep your pup’s mind active with basic training techniques (it really does boost health and happiness!) and increase opportunities for exercise and enrichment.

2. I Don’t Understand Guilt

Scolding or punishing your dog doesn’t really hit home, especially if their misdeed took place hours ago. What they do understand is your tone of voice, and the ways you move around. Your dog will perceive that you aren’t happy or calm, but they’ll be lost as to exactly why.

Encourage your dog to behave in a way you want/expect. Reward them for good behavior instead of punishing them for things you don’t like. Dogs need a loving guide who can teach them the rules of sharing space with other animals and people.

3. Your Dog Wishes You Would…

Since animals hide any signs of weakness, your dog won’t willingly show you when they aren’t feeling well. That’s one of the reasons routine wellness exams are so important. They provide insight into any developing issues and can alert us to any pain or discomfort your pet might be experiencing.

4. Keeping it Consistent

One of the best ways to get your dog on track is with consistency. Not only do animals thrive on routine, but a consistent framework results in fewer opportunities to try out different behaviors. For instance, if you don’t allow your dog on the furniture, but one day have them jump up and snuggle with you, it sends conflicting messages.

5. Fetch or Gift?

Your dog wishes you’d play with them all the time, right? Possibly, but sometimes what they’re bringing you is a gift. If it’s a ball, they probably want to play fetch with you, but otherwise, be open to the fact that your dog is actually showing you affection. Do they really want you throw their gift across the room? Maybe not.

Your Dog Wishes…

Above all, your dog wishes you would stay with them all the time. Barring that, when you’re together, try to make the time meaningful. Exercise and hang out together as much as possible.

There are lots of dog myths out there, as well as miscommunication between owners and their pups. No matter what, Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is always here for you!