In general, the more intelligent the animal, the more stimulation they need to maintain general satisfaction with their life. Dogs are incredibly intelligent animals, sometimes so surprisingly so that people don’t expect that level of intelligence from an animal. This disconnection between humans and dogs results in dogs not getting a healthy amount of attention, exercise, and mental stimulation. Here are some dog behaviors that communicate important things, which humans often misinterpret.
1. Let’s play/Give me something to do
As previously mentioned, dogs generally love stimulation in their lives. It keeps their brains happy and healthy. Dogs may communicate this need by sitting in front of you, seemingly staring at you, or pawing at you. Sometimes they know exactly what they want to do, such as when they stand by their leash or by the door, meaning, “I want to go for a walk!” Asking for treats is another specific behavior they exhibit, as chewing provides them mental and physical stimulation. Investing in an interactive toy, such as a treat puzzle or treat-filled toys, will aid you in fulfilling their need for activities throughout the day.
2. Dogs try to make you laugh
Many people don’t think that dogs have a sense of humor, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dogs understand that people laughing and smiling is a good time, so they will continue behaviors when they notice it makes people laugh. Rolling over and making funny faces are common dog behaviors that make humans laugh and smile. Dogs can even laugh when they are enjoying themselves and having a great deal of fun. As a human listening for this, it will sound like heavy breathing.
3. I love you
There is another reason dogs stare at their owners, and it’s because dogs like the way we humans look, just as we like the way they look. They stare because they like us and they love us. Keeping us in their sight also assures them that we are safe. They also show this affection by following their humans around, snuggling up close to them, and wanting to be on their laps. One of the cutest ways they show their love is by bringing their owners a toy upon greeting. The toy is considered a valuable item, and it’s associated with good, happy times in their memories.
Want to cheer up your dog? Check out these fun dog toys
4. I’m uncomfortable/Don’t touch me there
Petting a dog should come with boundaries and consent defined by each individual dog. Sometimes humans forget this and don’t know the signs of a dog when they don’t like what they’re doing. This includes nipping and subtly pulling away. Dogs generally don’t like pats on the top of their head. It is uncomfortable for them because they see a hand coming right to their face. Watch closely for the subtle head move a dog does when trying to pet their head from the front. Pick a more comfortable area to pet them, possibly their neck or their back near the tail. Also, dogs will nip when they are uncomfortable with being touched in a certain area. This should not be confused with aggressive biting as it is only a warning, but it does mean that the touching should stop immediately.
Who wouldn’t want to hear all their dog has to say? Dogs may not speak English, but they sure do have the mental capacity to communicate all their wants and needs to any human who is in tune to these messages. Dogs are beautiful, intelligent creatures that prove their everlasting love and loyalty to their favorite humans every day. In return, humans give them love and resources they need to live a happy and healthy life together.