Although dogs do not speak, we’re all aware that they are able to understand our feelings, read behind our body movements and react to our commands and words. The fact that they do not respond to us vocally does not mean that they don’t communicate with us, and each dog owner and dog lover would tell you the same. They are instinctive creatures that connect with us in an entirely different way, but that still manage to tell us some basic things.
Researches have shown that dogs are masters of non-verbal communication. Not only do they communicate through their body language (wagging tail, firm stance, relaxed or steady ears and so on), but they also read our body language successfully as well. They will catch and learn their name and the words you use for basic commands, but the truth is that your dog is actually paying more attention to your non-verbal elements of the communication than to what you are actually saying.
For instance, your dog is paying attention to your tone of voice in order to understand if you’re excited and ready to play or have a more serious tone that tells him to stay calm, or a fearful voice that means he should protect you. Also, your dog understands gestures way better than your words. Just try teaching your dog to drop the ball he brought to you, and you’ll realize what we’re talking about. If you’re trying to tell him the command and expect that he will magically drop it, nothing will happen. If you do a hand movement and touch the flour in order to symbolize him that the ball has to be “dropped on the ground”, your dog will probably get what you’re saying within seconds.
Another thing that you might have noticed in the way your dog communicates with you is your dog’s gestures. It was found that dogs actually use 19 different gestures to communicate with us. That pawing your dog does while you’re not paying attention, is the equivalent of your dog saying “hey, I’m bored. Please, entertain me.” On the other hand, that bow your pup loves to do with his bottoms up and front paws pointed at you, is his way of telling you he wants to play.
The intelligence of dogs is indisputable, we just have to find the correct way to understand it and connect to it. Once you establish a good bond with your dog, along with good communication, you two will become an unstoppable tandem. You’ll be able to spend more time with your dog, teach him more commands and tricks, and establish an even more loving connection that you believed was already awesome enough. If you follow these tips and work on the bond between you and your dog, you will be surprised how much your already loving relationship can be additionally improved.