Understanding Your Pet's Language!

The Animal Rescue Site

Gram and I are sitting here as usual, thinking about cats and dogs and how they communicate with humans. Gram says I am very verbal and that she and my parents pretty well understand what I want.

My biggest problem is that I am not the most patient dog in the world and as a result I do get extremely verbal if my needs are not met. However, I am learning to be more patient. So much so that I am going to let Gram have this whole column to explain understanding your pet's language.

I’ll bet there isn’t a single one of us that has a pet that has not had a conversation with our animal at one time or another.

The question here, however is how many of us understand what our pets are saying to us?

Granted some of our pet’s requests are fairly obvious and we understand them, but many times we really don’t have a clue and this is where trouble can start.

Animals of one kind or another have been around as pets for hundreds of years. In days gone by the household pets also worked for their keep, cats catching small rodents and dogs doing many chores from helping to herd the sheep or cows to hunting with the farmer.

Today’s pet has an easy life or does it?

Why do I say that?

In yesteryear, animals spent most of their days out in the open, doing whatever it was they did best. Today, animals spend most of their time cooped up in a house or apartment waiting patiently for their person to come home from work.

They are unemployed; most pets were specifically bred to do certain jobs and now those jobs are gone.

There isn’t even any unemployment insurance program for them.

Our pets want to please us and in subtle ways they try to tell us what they need or want.

You may not realize this, but our pets watch our every move and try to determine what we want from them.

They are aware of the tone of our voices, they can determine how we feel by our footsteps, the expression on our face and even by the odor our body emits.

They know if we are happy, sad or mad.

Surprising, huh!

Dogs and cats can understand more of our words than we give them credit for, some can even understand when we spell a word.

Sometimes though they do not understand our actions.

Consider this; your dog is doing something you do not want him to do, so you start yelling and throwing your arms about.

What does your dog think?

You look like you want to play.

You do the same kind of act when Miss Kitty is on the kitchen table and she thinks, “well, I won’t do this when she is around.”

There are so many things we humans do that baffle our pets and because they do not understand our actions the signals, get crossed and misbehavior happens.

Pets communicate to us through body language and some sounds. Every flick of a tail or blink of an eye means something in cat or dog language.

This is why I have said this many times before and will say many times again in the future., “”it is very important to take the time to bond and know your pet.”

A dog’s language is very different from a cat’s. Their understanding of our language and actions depend a good bit on the breed of dog.

A dog bred to be a guard dog and one that is best suited as a lapdog do not speak the same language.

A dog that chews your favorite shoes is not doing it for spite, but maybe trying to tell you, it is afraid of being alone and chewing something that is a part of you helps it feel better.

A dog that barks excessively may be telling you it is lonesome, anxious or needs some exercise.

A cat on the other hand may start to purr softly when you are petting it and then suddenly the purr gets a little louder or the cat gets a little nippy, it is trying to let you know enough is enough. Some cats only like a few strokes and then want “out.”

The same with furniture scratching, most cats scratch the furniture because they don’t have a scratching post they like, to call their own.

Pets do not do anything for spite. They do not know what that word means.

What may seem destructive to you, may be normal behavior for them.

Nature intended cats to scratch just as it created a certain breed of dog to dig out moles.

The important thing here is “knowledge” take time to learn about your dog’s breed. Possibly you have a “Heinz 57” type dog, but even then certain breed characteristics stand out.

Learn what they are, become familiar with the breed and know what to expect. Pay attention to your pet, every dog or cat is different, just as people are different.

Our pets are not small furry children, they are animals and animals do not understand English as well as we do. Take time to learn some of their language.

Your pet talks to you all the time. They are familiar with your moods because they took the time to watch and learn.

Now it is your turn.