30 Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew

“Angry Dog” by steve.garner32 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We all want our dogs to be our closest pals and vice versa. But the fact that we speak different languages makes it tough to decode their signals. That’s why it’s crucial to dive deep into dog behavior if we want to learn what’s going on in their minds and hearts. Here are some things your dog wishes you knew!

Don’t leave me hanging! I miss our time together

dog behind metal bars
Photo by Tillmann Hübner on Unsplash

I get it; you’ve got a job and a busy schedule, but I’m not the most patient when it comes to boredom. How about throwing in some excitement by considering doggy daycare or getting a dog sitter to hang out with me a few times a week? And when you finally get home, shower me with lots of love – that’s the key to my heart!

I can’t talk, but vet visits keep me feeling pawsitively great

shallow focus photography of brown puppy during daytime
Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

Unlike you humans, furry friends aren’t great at signaling when we’re not at our best. That’s why keeping up with those vet visits is super important. While some vet offices might send you a reminder for our check-ups or booster shots, not all do, so it’s wise to stay on top of it yourself! And please take us to the vet regularly, even when you’re busy.

I don’t feel guilty, even if you think I look like it

Adult Brown and White Pembroke Welsh Corgi Near the Body of Water
Photo by muhannad alatawi on Pexels

Isn’t it wild? I don’t have the same range of emotions as you do, so when you try to lay on the guilt, it just doesn’t register for me. Plus, when your voice gets all loud, it really rattles my nerves. How about we work together on some training? Firm but with a gentler tone, it would do wonders for us.

Take play breaks, just like you take work breaks

short-coat brown and white dog sitting near gray concrete wall during daytime
Photo by Catarina Carvalho on Unsplash

I get bored, feel down, and get pretty sad when I don’t get enough attention. I totally understand you’ve got a lot going on, but it would seriously mean the world to me if you could set aside 30-60 minutes on your calendar just for us. I promise, in return, you’ll get loads of love and some stress relief from yours truly!

Tail wagging doesn’t always mean I’m happy

adult chocolate Labrador retriever
Photo by James Barker on Unsplash

Tail wagging is like my way of talking. Sometimes, it’s a sign I’m feeling happy, but other times, it might mean I’m scared, insecure, nervous, excited, or even angry. It’s worth your while to learn the nuances of my tail wags. This way, we can communicate without even using the words, and you’ll know how I’m feeling about any situation.

Yawns don’t always mean sleep—I’m just taking a breather

close up photography of dog barking
Photo by Robert Gramner on Unsplash

Sure, sometimes I yawn because I’m sleepy, but other times, it’s because I’m feeling afraid, agitated, or even super stressed. If you notice me yawning more than usual, it might be worth checking out my surroundings. Is there something that could be making me anxious or scared? If you’re not sure what’s up, it’s okay to take me somewhere else where I feel more at ease.

I learn best when treats are involved

person holding brown wooden stick with white and black short coated dog
Photo by James Lacy on Unsplash

If you reward me with treats for doing something good, I’ll happily keep up the good behavior because, let’s face it, I love treats. But if you just yell at me and point out when I mess up, I won’t really get the message, and chances are, I’ll keep repeating the same mistake. So please remember that I learn better with rewards, not punishments.

Crowds? Not my scene

Short-coated Tan Dog
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels

Sure, I’m a social creature, but that doesn’t mean I love crowded places. Too many people vying for my attention can be overwhelming and downright scary. Imagine being my size – wouldn’t you feel intimidated by all those legs to dodge? Plus, people try to touch me and feed me even when I don’t like it. So please take me to a deserted place.

If I’m refusing to listen to you, that means I’m super mad

selective focus photography of golden Labrador retriever
Photo by Caleb Fisher on Unsplash

This doesn’t mean you should let me have my way all the time, but it’s important to understand that I’m sometimes disobeying because I don’t know better. You’ve trained me well, I just might feel a bit rebellious from time to time. After all, just like you humans, we dogs can have mood swings, too, you know? So please know that I’m super mad, and give me some of those yummy treats.

I hate pills, but I don’t mind them in yummy treats

brown and white short coated dog on white textile
Photo by Honest Paws on Unsplash

Think about it: if you taste something unpleasant, what’s your natural reaction? Spit it out, right? That’s why I’ve been spitting out my medicine. Here’s a tip: try hiding it in my favorite treat. And if you really want to seal the deal, add some peanut butter. I know those pills are for my own good, so please make sure I really take them.

I’m older now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn new tricks

black short coat large dog
Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Simply because my brain isn’t as adaptable as it was in my puppy days doesn’t prove the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It might just require a bit more time for me to fully grasp things, so please be patient with me. Regardless of age, us dogs have an inherent drive to learn.

I honestly don’t know what you’re saying

Photo by Matej Simko on Pexels

Sure, I might not grasp every word you’re saying, but I’m listening and paying attention just like humans do. I respond not only to your words but also to the emotional tone of your voice. So, don’t hesitate—keep chatting with me in that high-pitched “dog” voice of yours. We dogs actually enjoy baby talk and are more likely to respond to it. Maybe it’s because, among ourselves, we communicate with high-pitched barks and yips.

I get confused when you change up the rules all the time

Saint Bernard dog across pine trees during daytime
Photo by Alexandra Lau on Unsplash

You seem thrilled when I jump on you, but if I do the same to a random stranger during our walk, you get upset. So, who’s fair game for my jumping antics? And what about the couch – am I allowed or not? I’m just trying to keep you happy, but when the rules keep changing, it gets tough for me to figure out what you want.

Fences and barriers? Yes, they make me feel secure

Short-coated White Dog on Green Field
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

While some of my wild ancestors might have had the instinct to roam far and wide, I’m perfectly happy with the security and comfort given by my human family. Placing barriers and fences around the house or backyard is a great way to keep me safe and out of mischief. Plus, it’ll ease your worries about my safety.

Buy dog brushes for me

a person is brushing a dog's teeth with a brush
Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

When you’re browsing through the array of pet brushes at the store, remember they’re not all made equal. Take a moment to check which animals and fur types each brush is for and pick one that suits my special needs. And know that there are different types of brushes for different things. Please don’t use the same brush for my teeth as you do for my hair.

I’ll hurry up, but please don’t rush me on bathroom breaks

white and black short coated dog
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered why we make frequent pit stops to pee during walks? It’s our canine way of leaving messages for other dogs, a little note saying we’ve passed through. And when we’re thoroughly sniffing every nook and cranny, we’re not just being nosy – we’re gathering information about our furry neighbors and staying in the loop about what’s happening in our hood!

Fun fact: I’ve got a sixth sense

brown curly haired dog on green grass field
Photo by Afra Ramió on Unsplash

If you catch me whining, attempting to hide, or behaving strangely, odds are something unpleasant is on the horizon, like a thunderstorm. I’ve got a knack for sensing these things. Maybe you should give the local weatherman a call and suggest they hire someone with my forecasting skills! Just like gold fishes, we dogs can sense things, too.

If I’m acting strange, I’m probably not feeling well

short-coated black and brown dog lying down on brown surface
Photo by Dominik QN on Unsplash

You’re probably familiar with all my unique quirks and behaviors, right? Well, if you notice a sudden change, like me being less active or uninterested in my usual fun stuff, it could mean something’s up health-wise. So what should you do? Take me to the vet immediately so they can fix me up at the right time!

Healthy food keeps me feeling my best

brown and black long coated dog on brown wooden floor
Photo by Edoardo Cuoghi on Unsplash

While “grain-free” is nice, it’s not an absolute necessity. What really matters is that the ingredients in my food are genuine and fresh. Ask yourself, would you dine on a “by-product meal”? Probably not. So why serve it to me? Sure, opting for healthier kibbles might come with a higher price tag, but they taste so much better, and, more importantly, they’ll ensure my long-term happiness and health.

I might not look hot, but I could be overheating

short-coated white and tan dog
Photo by Bharathi Kannan on Unsplash

Did you know that we pups only sweat through the pads of our feet? So, when the weather heats up, panting can only do so much to keep us cool. Even if you’re feeling alright, I might be struggling with the heat. And some breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke than others, so it’s crucial to check if I’m at risk.

I don’t think of you as an owner – you’re family

man in blue shirt hugging black and white short coated dog
Photo by Cynthia Smith on Unsplash

We pups don’t see you as an owner – we see you as ours. We consider ourselves a furry part of your family, so think of us more like your four-legged child. Understanding and treating us with care, just like you would with your human kids, goes a long way in building a paws-itively strong bond!

I dream just like you

pet dog laying on bed
Photo by Irina on Unsplash

If you notice my legs or eyes twitching while I’m asleep, I’m probably dreaming. Just like you have vivid dreams, I might be imagining playing outside or recalling that fun time you had me chase the red ball. So please resist the urge to wake me up or get overly concerned—I’m simply in the midst of some sweet dreams.

I didn’t chew your favorite thing to be mean

dog laying on area rug
Photo by Mike Burke on Unsplash

When we dogs chew on things, it’s not always just for fun. Sometimes, it’s because we’re feeling super anxious or bored, especially when we’re left alone. Puppies chew to soothe their teething pains, and some of us hungry hounds might tear things apart in search of a snack. But hey, it’s never meant to be a dig at you! We’re just doing what comes naturally to us.

Eating poop might gross you out, but it’s normal for me

short-coated tan and black puppy close-up photography
Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

Admittedly, it might be a bit icky when we dogs snack on poop, but it’s a natural behavior. While it’s not the healthiest choice, it usually won’t harm us. Puppies often outgrow this phase, but with some guidance and positive reinforcement, we can kick the habit and focus on tastier treats instead!

Trying out beds is fun for me too

brown short coated dog lying on white couch
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Just like you wouldn’t buy a mattress without a test lie-down, I’ve got my own preferences when it comes to pet beds. Take me to the pet store and let’s have a cozy test-run on the different options. Depending on how I sprawl out, we’ll find the perfect bed that suits my sleeping style.

Door dashing isn’t about leaving you—it’s just exploring

dog jumping on lawn during daytime
Photo by Ron Fung on Unsplash

When I bolt out the door, it’s not about leaving you—it’s just my way of exploring those exciting outdoor smells. And when you chase after me, it’s like a game! But hey, if you want to curb my runaway tendencies, increasing my exercise routine and going on regular walks together can help channel that energy in a positive direction.

Nail trims are a must for my comfort

short-coated tan and white dog lying on teal surface
Photo by Jesse Schoff on Unsplash

Ever hear that click-clack sound when I stroll by? It’s a sign that it’s time for a nail trim. Keeping my nails in check keeps me comfortable and infection-free and saves your legs from accidental scratches when I jump up to say hello. So please make sure to trim my nails regularly, even when I’m acting like I don’t like them.

I age faster than you do

yellow labrador retriever lying on floor
Photo by Reba Spike on Unsplash

Here’s a tip from our dogs: cherish every moment we share together. Sadly, medium to large dogs hit their senior years by around 8, while smaller pups reach old age by 10. So please don’t be shocked if you notice us showing signs of aging sooner than you’d expect. We won’t be with you forever.

Yes, I’m begging, but I’m not really starving

white and brown long coated dog
Photo by Sorin Gheorghita on Unsplash

It might sound surprising, but this behavior really shows how closely linked we dogs are to our wolf ancestors. Wolves live by a ‘feast or famine’ mentality, meaning they’re always ready to chow down whenever food is around. It’s just one of the many traits we share with our wild cousins! That’s why when you show us treats, it seems like we’re too excited or very hungry.

I might act like a human sometimes, but I’m all dog at heart

yellow Labrador puppy running on field
Photo by Cristian Castillo on Unsplash

Remember, us dogs don’t quite understand human rules or emotions the way you do. So, when I snooze right beside the bed or do something unexpected, it’s not about being spiteful or trying to pull on your heartstrings. And as much as you mean to me, I’m not spending my whole day at home pondering your whereabouts. I’m just living in the moment, doing my thing!