If you are a die-hard doggie fanatic, you've probably watched pup based TV shows such as National Geographic's Dog Whisperer on any given Friday night. While we average Joe pet lovers may not have the training or credentials to land us our own primetime series, we come equipped with all the inklings of a dog whisper in the making.
Want to know what your own dog is saying? Read on to decode each behavior, woof and ruff all without ever turning on the boob tube.
The Shoe Nibbler
Ok. This one is for all your femme fatales with poodles who haven't quite figured out that Jimmy Choos are not chew toys. If you've got a young pup, chewing . . . unfortunately, is just a simple step in growing up. You know, much like your own young destructive phase. Yea. You know the one. Remember those years your room was so messy you could have hidden a few cars or dead bodies on the floor and no one would have noticed?
However, if you have an old dog and the nibbling is new it could be a cry for attention. Has there been a change in your life? A new baby in the mix? A new beau who takes Fluffy's side of the sofa? Then chances are this little shoe nibbler is saying one of two things "Show me some attention!" or "Get off my sofa or else, bucko!"
The Leash Leader
Does your Great Dane drag you down the street? Feel like you're the one on the leash? When your dog takes off without you while out for a walk he's not just acting up, he's trying to tell you something. This kind of behavior says, "Our relationship is off balance." and "I'm the leader of the pack."
Wild dogs by nature run in packs with one leader. Your unruly Chow Chow has that same DNA programmed into his being. You are the leader of the pack and when your dog takes you for a leash ride, it's time to listen up and take your place as the head "pup."
The Stranger Bark
Does your furry friend growl like mad at the mailman or eagerly chase the wheels of every car that passes your place? If these animal antics are familiar to your family, than your pup is telling outsiders to be warned. "This is my family! Stay away!"
While many dogs will bark at any stranger that comes too close for comfort, some otherwise friendly dogs are an uncanny judge of character. In fact there are many true life stories that tell the tale of dogs who instinctively barked at their owners assailant days before the actual attack - some in passing on the street, others while hearing a knock at the door. When a dog is truly uneasy and weary of someone around you, he will place himself between you and that person. When you aren't sure if you're dog is showing out or going into protective mode the best thing to do is assume that it's the latter and get away as quickly as possible. It might just save your life.
The Multi-Personality Pooch
Is your puppy well behaved around strangers but behind closed doors tries to gnaw your hands or ankles? Just like us, puppies have a certain comfort level. For instance, while you might not wear sweat pants in front of your boss, you certainly don't mind vegging out the sofa with your sister.
If you have a multi-personality pooch often times his behavior is saying "I can be myself around you." And while the teeth marks on your leg might not be flattering, what they are trying to say is.
When it comes to understanding your pooch, the important thing to remember is that just like a hand-stitched quilt, no two pups are alike. The longer you know your pooch the easier it becomes to figure out what each of his moods, "voices" and actions mean. However, if you notice unusual behavior in your dog, don't be afraid to ask questions. Talk to your veterinarian. They will help you decode their unusual behaviors and get them back to feeling tail wagging wonderful in no time at all.