Dogs don't talk but they do understand!
Since dogs don’t talk, spoken language isn’t as important to them as it is to people. While they can learn what certain words mean, dogs understand non-verbal signals like tone of voice, gestures and posture better than they understand words. It’s a reason why dogs from a foreign land, can still cope in this country.
For example, why not get your dog’s attention and then, in a happy voice, call him to you using a different command than he’s used to and a different name than his own. If his name is Barney, say “Over here, Fred!” Guess what? Even if he’s never heard those words before, he’ll still come because he recognizes the inviting tone of voice you always use when you want him to come.
Dogs are also sensitive to facial expressions and eye contact. They know that a smile means you’re happy and a scowl means you’re not. Here’s another example: Using that same cheerful voice combined with a big smile, tell them that they are a terrible, awful, miserable dog and that you’re mad at them. What do they do? Instead of cowering in shame, they wiggle, wag and wants to kiss you! Why? Because you’re talking to them in the same tone that you normally use to praise them. Your dog doesn’t care what words you use – it’s your happy attitude that their responding to.
During this worrying time, we are all showing different types of body language to our dogs – and they know something is up. What, they have no idea but over the months, they have watched us and seen the fear that has grown in us. So many worrying things being broadcast every time the news is on. The Tv is covering it all the time and the radio is drip feeding us with worry – how much that is affecting us, I am not sure, but our dogs know. Which is why we love them so and I am the first to admit, they keep me sane.
Please think about this and then go and put your coat on, put your phone away and take your dog for a lovely walk. Even in the rain! Look at the trees – they have almost lost all their leaves. Check out the bushes, any berries left? If you haven’t already, consider feeding the birds when you get home and don’t forget water if it gets colder. If you can only walk the streets, then look at the decorations that others have put up and smile. I know how hard it is going to be when not with those you planned to be with over the Christmas period, but be grateful for your loyal companion – even if he/she is a menace most of the time.
Dry them off, put the coffee on and teach them some tricks – check this out: https://www.thewalkaboutway.co.uk/how-good-is-your-dog
Let me know how you get on and I would love to see some photos of your walks.