Doggy Tricks

No, this is not an article to explain how to teach your dog tricks.

This article is going to teach you tricks to make communicating with your pet (dog or cat) a little easier.

Granted life would be much easier if our dogs or cats understood English as well as we do.

Since that is not going to happen anytime soon, a wise pet owner will learn ways to communicate that pets can understand.

Our pets pick up certain things from just watching us, they are very astute in recognizing things we do without our realizing it.

There are several things that we do that give silent communication to our pets; body language, use of hands, facial and eye expressions are all dead giveaways.

Now add the tone of your voice and your pet can pretty much get an idea of what you are up to.

How many times have you planned on giving your dog a bath and while you never mentioned the “B” word, your dog suddenly disappeared.

From watching you at previous bath times, your dog was able to read the signs and knew what you were up to.

While I will not be able to teach you how to keep bath time a secret, I am going to alert you to things you can do to make communicating with your pet easier.

To begin with, from the moment you walk into the house, your pet can tell what kind of mood you are in.


From the weight of your footsteps on the floor, the expression on your face, your body posture as you walk into the house and of course your tone of voice when you greeted them.

Dogs and cats are very sensitive to our moods and can pick up on them almost immediately.

Your voice plays a very important part in communicating with your pet and it is a very useful tool. Learning to use that tool is another thing.

I will give you some ideas on how to speak dog and cat language.

First of all, pets respond to low-pitched words, spoken slowly.

Pets, like people, like to hear the sound of their own names, so when you want to gain your pet’s attention say its name first and then the command or whatever you were planning on saying.

Consider this your scolding or command voice. Use a descending tone when speaking to your pet, start with your normal voice and then lower it as you are speaking.

When dogs are speaking to each other, one dog in an attempt to get the other dog to stop what it is doing, will bark in a normal tone and then descend to a low growl.

I am not suggesting you bark and growl, but follow the progression of sound. Normal voice and then descend to a lower pitch.

The same technique can be used to call your dog or to give praise, however, you then use a normal voice and end with a higher pitch cheerful voice.

The hard part here is for humans to realize that shouting or yelling at your dog does little good. Keep your tone of voice down and your words slow and clear.

If you catch your dog or cat in the midst of doing something naughty, instead of yelling, startle them, this is when a loud No or a loud bang works wonders.

Once you have their attention divert their energies to a toy or something of interest they can do.

The largest number of people bitten by dogs are children.


Children yell, scream and wildly move their arms about when playing.

Dogs do not know what to make of the noise and the activity. Because the children seem excited, the dog gets excited and some dogs may begin to think of the child as “prey” and bite.

The best thing you can do for your child is to teach him/her to lower their voices around the family pet and save their running and yelling, when the dog is elsewhere.

Cats are also sensitive to high pitched yelling, but cats will usually respond by leaving the scene and finding some quiet place to go to.

How do you get your pet into the bathtub or in the car to go to the vet?

This bit of advice may seem silly, but trust me it works, I have tried it many times and it does not fail.

At my house giving the monthly flea medication causes the troops to vanish off the face of the earth.

No matter how subtle I thought I was being, they would vanish.

Then I learned a trick, when it is time to do the dirty deed, I completely turn my mind to something else.

I continue to get everything together, but I concentrate on what I am going to make for dinner, something I have to do later, think of anything at all. The trick is, you have to really concentrate on that “thing” while you gather up the cat or dog, do not let “bath” or “vet” creep in at all.

If you find that hard to do and your pet is leash trained use the ploy of “park” or “walk” and for a few minutes take them out, so you do not appear to be a liar.

Now you have the leash on and you are in command, this way you can lead them to the tub or the car for the ride to the vet.

Always reward your pet when they do what it is you are asking.

You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.

Some animals seem to cringe when an adult approaches them.

Ever wonder why?

Think about how big we must look.

I have found that crouching down to pet a dog or cat works wonders. You are almost their size and you do not look so foreboding.

If you have trouble getting your dog to come when called, try crouching down when calling it and see what happens.

Some animals do not like to be approached head on, using a sideways approach works best and is sometimes the safest when approaching a strange dog.

Head on approaches in the old “pack days” were signs of an approaching adversary.

Staring into a dog’s eyes is another “no no.” Staring is also a sign of an adversary in dog understanding.

Hands are another interesting piece of equipment that we humans have. Ever wondered how our pets see our hands?

Dogs and cats use their mouths to move things about and pick up things and when they watch what we do with our hands they get a bit confused.

Think how you would feel if a dog suddenly lunged toward you with its face.

Scary, huh?

That’s how many of our pets feel when we lunge at their faces with our hands to pet them.

Your hand going toward a strange dog can trigger a defense mechanism and you might get a bite.

It is said when approaching a strange dog keep your hands to yourself and let the dog approach you. Then offer your hand below the level of the dog’s nose, this is a less threatening approach and most dogs accept it with no problem.

Naturally, family pets are used to being petted on top of the head or patted on the back of the neck and it is fine.

However, back in the “pack days” when one dog wanted to show its dominance over another dog it would rest its head on the other dog’s shoulder, as a result some dogs consider hands on their neck, a rather “pushy” act.

I hope you found this information of interest and hopefully you learned something more about your pet.

Pets are our treasures, give them lots of love and tender care and you will be rewarded with pleasures beyond compare.