7 things your dog wants you to know

Your dog receives so much love and attention from you, and he enjoys your company. In return, he gives you loyalty and unconditional love. But there are a few things your dog wants you to know. So, let’s hear what he has to say…

1. Educational toys

I love it that you give me toys to play with, and I love all the wonderful things that come out of those shopping bags! The balls and tug toys are great, but only if you are there to play with them with me. It’s really hard to play tug-of-war on your own, and the ball just lies there.

It would be so much nicer for me if you could also get me some toys that you can hide food in. I’ve seen my friends next door chewing away at those funny red things – I think they call them Kongs. Their mom and dad fill them with all sorts of yummy things and then give them to JoJo and Lucky when they go out. That way, they can still have fun if their humans are not around. Getting bits of food out, or even just the yummy taste, is almost as much fun as a game of tug-of-war! I have heard that things like cow hooves and smoked pigs’ ears are also really nice to chew on. But, hang on, then I overheard JoJo and Lucky’s mom telling them that hooves can be dangerous or us dogs – we could choke on little bits or make our gums bleed while chewing on them – let’s maybe rather avoid those. So, to sum up, can we have two types of toys in our house, please – the ones that you can play with, with me, and the ones that I can play with and enjoy on my own?

2. Sniffing away

When we go out for a run in the morning, I really enjoy the exercise as much (okay maybe sometimes not quite as much) as you do. But I would really prefer it if we could also have some breaks from running, when I can go and ‘read the newspaper’ by sniffing to find out who has been around and what everyone else on this route is up to. Sniffing is a very important thing for me to be able to do – it makes me feel good.

Remember, when you come back from your run, you shower, change and then go off somewhere in the car. You come back in the evening full of very exciting smells, so you must have been doing really cool stuff all day! I, on the other hand, stay at home all day. We have lived in this house for the last five years and I know every blade of grass in the garden and the most exciting thing that happens is the postman. So, you see, I really need to find out what is going on in the world around me, as well as getting the exercise.

3. I’m not naughty

When we go to training classes and I play the fool by doing things like chewing my lead, jumping up, rolling around and sniffing the ground, I’m not being naughty – I am feeling a bit unsure of myself. So please don’t get cross with me, because that only makes me more anxious. Rather sit with me a bit and stroke me, so that I can get used to the surroundings and settle down a bit, before trying all those strange exercises you like me to do.

4. Digging for entertainment

When you go out for the whole day, I have to think about how I am going to keep myself occupied. After a little snooze, I start to look around for things to do. One of my favourite things is when you’ve been gardening over the weekend and you’ve planted some new plants, especially if you put bone meal in the hole! I can smell it even though it is a bit further down – I just have to dig until I can get to it. Oops, sorry about the plant!

I also hear the little bugs in the grass and some of them are teasing me to come and get them. So, I have to dig to find them as well – it’s all such hard work. Then, when you come home, you look so angry that I run away in case you’re cross with me. I don’t know what I did wrong, I was just trying to keep myself entertained… it’s such a long day on my own!

5. Growling is communicating

If ever I growl at someone or something, please understand that I am not comfortable with that person or that thing. Growling is my way of telling you that I am not happy with the situation and that we should leave. Often, if I growl, the scary person or thing will move away, which is what I want, because then they are less scary. Always take note if I do growl and never get angry with me for doing it, because if you do, then I’ll stop growling and go straight to biting, which is something neither of us wants to happen.

6. It’s only zoomies

When I start going crazy and running around the room or the garden – normally early in the morning or late afternoon – there is no need to be worried. I have what you people call the ‘zoomies’. I am running for the sheer joy of it and if there are other dogs with me, I’ll do my best to get them to join in. So, move all the breakables for a little while and enjoy the zoomies with me!

7. I need your attention

Remember, you are my whole world. My life revolves around what you do. You get to go out every day, meet new people, see new places and experience new things, while I wait for you to come home. When you get home, I’m so pleased to see you that I may get a bit bouncy and a bit noisy, but it’s just that I’m excited. So, even if you’ve had a hard day, please spend some time with me, take me for a walk or throw a ball for me for a while. Let me curl up with you in the evening and just be near you. You are my world.

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