If you are planning to get a dog or own one already, be prepared for something more than you think you know. Well, everyone knows a dog needs food for survival, a comfortable place to live in and some exercise which involves walking and playing. Is this all you think a dog needs? There is much more to it. As Orhan Pamuk quotes, “Dogs do speak but only to those who know how to listen.” A dog’s life revolves around different feelings and emotions that they express through physical attributes.
There are various occasions in a day when you notice that a dog wants something from you. Sometimes it will get very hard to figure out what they want. Every dog behaves in a different way and has numerous ways to express what it needs but there are some common physical attributes such as wagging tails, barks, postures or eyes that indicate something.
A dog’s bark indicates or signals something. Dogs bark if they need attention or want to alert you over something that you are unaware of. For example, they will bark if a stranger approaches your doorstep. Persistent barks indicate signs of discomfort in dogs or if they sense something unpleasant. Some dogs might bark to wake you up. They even bark if they want to express aggression or feel frightened. If a dog is sick or in pain, it might whine or bark in a squeaky voice to show that something is wrong. There are different tones to the bark, each tone implying a different meaning.
Dogs are loving creatures and will do anything to make you feel cheerful and happy. They demand attention, do not be astonished to see a dog roll over at random timings asking for belly rubs. If they want to play, they will probably be roaming around with a ball in their mouth indicating that they want to play. If they want to go out for a walk, they might be sitting near the door waiting for you to notice. Perhaps if they know they are going out for a stroll, they might start spinning in order to express their excitement. If they are anxious or waiting for a response from you, they might start wagging their tails. If they are hungry they might go and sit near their food bowls or where their food is, waiting for you to serve them.
A dog’s eye can express different sentiments. You might have seen gleaming puppy dog eyes that make your heart melt away. This could be to show affection or to deceive you into something which you do not want to do. You might have ended up giving table scrap which is not good for dogs or might have ended up taking them out on strolls no matter how lazy you might have been. If you see dark glazing eyes of a dog that does not move and see a ferocious look, know that you might get into trouble. If your dog is in distress or pain, the eyes and look will appear differently than the usual normal look. Even dog ears tell a different story each time. If the dog ears are stiff and straight that means a dog is attentive or alert or showing aggression. Whereas, if the ears are aligned with the head that means the dog has either surrendered or it might be fretting over a situation.
How a dog behaves in a certain environment makes it easy for you to understand if your dog is happy or sad, bored or feeling cheerful. A dog might appear normal when you are around but do not be astounded to see damaged things when you return home. Some of your precious belongings might have been destroyed. If your dog has separation anxiety you might return home to see that your dog might have puked or littered your house. This is a dog’s way of expressing its frustration and anger of being left alone or it might be an outcome of sheer boredom. Even if your dog has been sleeping the whole time when you return, it does not mean that it is happy and calm this might be due to boredom, stress or some other emotion.
You might see other drastic changes in a dog’s behavior. For example, a dog that was once known to be a friendly dog has become an angry dog and does not let any stranger come near. This behavior could be due to someone’s mistreatment with that dog or some sort of other fear. If you notice your dog being grumpy and inactive all the time, it could be a sign of an ailment. A hyper and excited dog will behave in a more friendly way. So how a dog behaves depicts a lot of things that you might not have known. Sometimes all a dog wants is your time and affection.
Dogs speak a language which nobody can understand but you.
The best way to figure out what a dog wants is to make a proper routine for your dog. Give food at fixed timings. Set playing and walking hours. Train your dog to maintain a sleeping pattern. If your dog knows that you have a routine too, they will adapt to it and know that this is ought to happen. If you miss out on something, your dog will express what it wants signaling you at something. For example, if you forgot that it is their walk time they will probably go sniffing their leash or your walking shoes. They might even end up waiting and just glare without any reason and suddenly it might hit you that it is their time for walking. So maintaining a regular routine will help you understand your dog a lot better than doing the guesswork all the time. It is not difficult to comprehend what a dog wants from you if you pay heed and observe well.