Dog, the first domesticated animal in human history is man’s best friend. Whether you keep a dog for safety purposes or you brought him home for you needed a companion, the first thing you should learn is how to understand that cute and friendly animal.
While most of us simply ignore the need of understanding our pets, many of us just fail to perceive what our brute actually wants. For the people who simply ignore this requirement – you don’t deserve to own a pet!
And for the people who have been trying to interpret their dog’s behavior, here’s the list of top 9 things which you must know as a dog owner. Obviously, I can’t present a detailed course on ‘dog behavior’ over here but I have summed up the most important things which a dog owner should be aware of.
Here’s what your dog wants you to understand –
1. I own you and want to protect you: Of course you consider yourself to be the owner of your dog, so does he. When he sits on your feet, he actually marks his ownership over you. Just like you consider your dog to be YOURS, he wants to tell you that “You’re mine”.
Remember when he tries to break off his leash and run towards the pack of stray dogs? Most of the times this behavior indicates that your dog doesn’t want you to be harmed. He wants to go there first, be the part of that pack and make sure you don’t get hurt.
Did you ever try to understand that? Next time you bawl out your pet for trying to run away towards stray dogs, remember that he does that to save you, not for himself.
2. I need more exercise: What kind of research did you do before bringing your pet home? Did you check what kind of exercise needs he has? Are you taking care about that?
Not every dog is a ‘toy dog’. You can’t just bring any breed home and expect it to stay there like the big teddy bear you have in your living room. Big dogs have more exercise needs. Even the cute ones like Dalmatian are supposed to be hunter dogs.
So make sure you do a good research about your dog’s breed and make him exercise according to his needs unless you want a frustrated, aggressive and ill dog
3. Don’t hug me: Hugging is a sign of affection, but only for humans. Don’t consider that your dog would like to be hugged too. When I didn’t know about the fact that hugging your dog makes him feel restrained rather than happy, I could still feel the kind of discomfort my dog used to go through when I hugged him. And I know you would have noticed it too. Stop doing that!
4. Don’t pat my head If you don’t know me: Most of the dogs don’t like to be patted on their heads. Your dog maybe too kind to let you do that even when he doesn’t like it at all, but remember that he won’t be the same towards all.
So next time, you ask your guests to pat your doggy’s head, be prepared for the unexpected behavior and remind yourself that it’s your fault, not his!
5. When I growl, I am scared, not angry: Just a small growl and we all are ready to scold and scream at our dog for misbehaving but hardly anyone of us tries to understand the reason behind this kind of reaction.
Growling is associated with feeling of being insecure and scared. When your dog growls, either he is sensing some kind of danger or he is just uncomfortable. Make him feel comfortable. Don’t scare him more by shouting at him.
6. Half of the food you give me is poison: When was the last time you researched about what kind of food is good for your dog. Raw meat? Bones? Dairy products? All of these might be poisonous for your dog.
Of course, he won’t die at once by eating these products but this would certainly affect his health and might cause several kinds of diseases. Search about what kind of food your dog actually needs. It depends upon his breed as well!
7. Don’t confuse me with your behavior: Yesterday when he jumped at you after you came back from a long trip, you felt so loved and today when he jumped at the neighbor’s kid when he came to your home, you berated him. This confuses your dog for he doesn’t understand the different situations as you do.
If you reward him for hugging you, he would consider this a good habit and repeat with everyone he loves, even your neighbor’s kid. Watch what you tell your dog through your own behavior!
8. I get old: Just as we get old, our dogs get old too and with the growing age, their behavior change as well. Don’t expect him to be extra tolerant and active at his old age. He might not play as he used to when he was 2-3 years old, he might not like you to disturb him again and again as you used to do before. Understand that his likes and dislikes change with time, just like yours do.
9. I need time: You have your friends, family, colleagues and tones of entertainment sources for yourself but your dog has only you. He waits for you for the whole day so that he can spend some time with you. He has given up his whole life just for you and this makes you responsible towards him. No matter how precious you consider your time to be, if you don’t give enough time to your dog, you don’t deserve to have a dog at your home.
These might just be the animals but they are certainly the best of best friends you can ever have in your life. So, care about them and do keep these facts in mind.
“People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
– Spoken by a 6 year old boy who had just lost his family’s 10 year old, Belker, to cancer.
Manpreet, this was something out of my niche but it captured my attention.
Because I am a huge lover of dogs and cannot even think without living them. We had dogs at our home since last 30 years (even before my birth :P), so you can say my family also love them.
Here are two images of my dogs..
I have one bitch too, but haven’t taken her pictures (it’s saint bernard).
Dogs are most loving creatures on the earth when we talk about having a good friend. They treat you like you are everything for them, they love you, care you, protect you and understand your feelings as well.
No matter how hard you scold them but they will always show their love in return.
I love having big dogs because they can save us in any situation and people be afraid of entering in our home even when we are not present.
We care our pets very politely and try to get them comfortable environment in their Kennels.
When I am not blogging, I play with my dogs as this is one of my most loving timepass. 🙂
As we have owned many dogs so I know very well how to treat them, train them and make them feel more comfortable.
I loved this article and happy after reading as you are also a dog lover. 🙂
Hello Kulwant, I am very sorry for replying late to this comment. It somehow got skipped from my notifications.
I didn’t know that you like dogs as well.. I must say you’re lucky!
Books, dogs, blogging – your interests are quite awesome..
And thank you for liking this article. 🙂
Hello Tuhin, yes I am very sensitive when it comes to dogs. I share a bond of love with these animals since my childhood and I seriously cannot bear injustice to these animals..
Well didn’t thought to keep a dog at house but this article made to reconsider the idea and will surely get one dog. Actually I really like dogs as they are very honest and friendly.
Hello Harish, definitely! they are the most honest and friendly creatures and yup, they are the best emotional support for humans.. You must have one dog.. consider adopting a local breed.. It requires less care. You would have a wonderful friend and you can help these animals as well 🙂
My dogs loved to be hugged, they even ask for it…just depends on how they were raised. Mine even hug back, but if they are not acclimatized to it, it’s a no-no. Some of this is common knowledge (like not touching a strange dog on the top of his head…it is a sign of aggression to them if they don’t know you…always approach from the side…a light touch on the cheek or lower neck is much more welcomed) I have been the director of an animal shelter for many years, and much of what you say is true…I might add that if there is no one home during the day, your dog will be much happier and more healthy if they have another dog to interact with…Dogs are pack animals and they suffer if their pack is away and they are alone. The only thing I might add is to be sure you research the breed you are interested in being owned by (they really DO own you) and make sure the breed fits your lifestyle and the climate you live in.
Thank you Julie for adding your advice into this article. As you have been the director of an animal shelter, you would know much more about dogs than me. My experience comes from dealing 7-8 dogs including a stray.
And yep, the theory about pack animals is really true. My dog Oscar used to be much happier when we had two dogs at home – Oscar and Rafi. Unfortunately we had to give one away and I am still trying to make it up for Oscar now feels the difference and we find it difficult to see that dog smile on his face which used to be there for the whole day.
The people in my society are quite conservative about their dogs (:D ) and that’s why don’t let them socialize so Oscar can’t even play with them. I am thinking to bring a new friend for Oscar, preferably a stray or one up for adoption. 🙂
Great breakdown of the fundamentals of building a relationship with your dog. Most of us unfortunately aren’t dog whisperers!