By Deborah Taylor-French
Are you a pet lover who admits you talk to your pets?
Is your dog a good listener?
“Almost half of the pet owners surveyed admit they sometimes talk to their pet. And 80% of those people stated that on those occasions, the animal seemed to respond by means of sounds, facial expressions, or body language.” Petfinder
Sure, I talk to my dog. He is a good listener, tilting his head, smiling or frowning along with my speech. Some dogs know over a thousand words. Sydney may not know that many, but he makes up for it by being sympathetic, and at times an enthusiastic listener.
What conversations do you have with your dog?
- Do you talk about food, going for a drive or visiting a dog park?
- Do you tell your dog your troubles, like I do? Does he give good advice?
- I like to talk to Sydney. He never says, “NO!” Well, hardly ever.
Being in the moment, dogs tune into our tone of voice. I can see him working out what will come of my talk.
- Maybe he thinks, when will she say the word “Walk?”
- His head shoots up when I ask, “Out?”
- Sydney knows the words, “Food, breakfast, snack, treat and dinner.”
You ask how do I know my dog listens?
Because his ears go up, then he runs to his bed by our kitchen table, waiting to be fed. We taught him polite manners. He knows he must wait in his bed while we make and serve his meals. It strikes me funny, that he does this. Being a little dog, Sydney tends toward excitable behavior. Anything he loves (like food) makes him dance, wiggle, and go yipping in circles. I know he does NOT go to his bed and wait because it is his own idea. (Guess why dozens of dog training methods got started.)
No way! Sydney would love to climb in the refrigerator and help himself. Dogs want to get straight to their food.
Some people who buy puppies believe that getting a young pup will stop a dog from begging. Oh, please.
Any passing child, dropping a cracker or cookie and…viola! A pricy purebred puppy just learned people food tastes yummy.
Even our rescue rabbit, only with us for less than a month, knows how to beg. Yep, Tokyo Tuxedo came already food motivated. Our organic carrot tops and tiny carrots bring him running. One afternoon I opened a box of raspberries and ate a few. He jumped, came hopping and sniffed my breath, so I offered one. He wriggled and shivered with delight as he ate it.
Note: With pet rabbits under 6 pounds, give only tiny bits of fruit daily.