Learning Your Dog’s Language

Developing an ability to successfully communicate with you is the highest need your dog has. If you are tuned in, your dog’s desire to communicate with you should be palpable. Your dog depends on you and has no alternative to trying to get through to you. It is up to you to help your dog communicate with you. Building your dog’s vocabulary with new commands is one way. The other way is for you to build your vocabulary by understanding the messages that your dog is sending.

Your dog has limited ways to express its needs. In most cases it will try to get your attention and hope you can figure out what it wants. You can usually guess that it is food, water, or walk. Your dog may be clever enough to bring its leash over to you or nudge you in a particular way.

What about when your dog is ill or notices a danger or has some other need for your help? Well, Lassie was great at this sort of communication. The only problem was that those were all canned responses to off-camera prompts, which had nothing to do with the plot of the episode.

It is up to you. You need to pay attention to your dog and try to decipher its behavior. The more you successfully respond to your dog’s behavior and meet its needs the more your dog will be inspired to communicate with you. In this way your dog will teach you its language, just as you teach commands to it in your language.