1. "You May Be My Owner, But I’m Your’s Too"
Though some people think of themselves as their dog's owner, the assumption goes both ways! Dogs are pack animals and consider you an irreplaceable part of their family.
This is why they can get a little grouchy or over protective when an unfamiliar dog is around. It’s not that they’re trying to behave badly, it’s that you are their girl and they want to make sure no other dogs (or geese) get any ideas.
2. "I Get Bored Too"
Ever returned home from a long day at the office only to discover your home has been redecorated with a roll’s worth of shredded toilet paper? If so, keep in mind before you get all angry, that your dog probably wasn’t acting out because he was lonely, merely because he was bored.
After all, imagine what kinds of antics you might come up with if you were trapped in the house with nothing to do all day? Combat such behavior by making sure you dog gets plenty of walks, playtime, and mental stimulation, or even check out a doggie daycare where he can go play while you’re at work.
3. "My Memory Doesn’t Work Like You May Assume"
When you arrive home to find your favorite shoe chewed to a pulp, it may be tempting to shame your dog over it. Keep in mind however, that if the shoe underwent turmoil hours before you got home, she may have no idea why you’re so upset.
Dogs are creatures of association so it’s better to call out there behavior when it’s happening, or better yet, make sure she’s got plenty of chew toys and that your shoes are stored securely in the closet.
4. "I May Not Understand Words, But I Do Understand Tone"
Though dogs tend to be able to understand more words than we may think, the odds are unlikely that they’re going to pick up every word of a heartfelt talk we have with them. Rest assured however, that they definitely understand tone.
When you’re having a talk with them, they understand that something important is happening and they couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.
5. "I’m a Dog, Not a Tiny Person"
In the midst of dressing your Chihuahua up in adorable winter coats, it can be easy to start thinking of him as your baby, which indeed he may be. Always keep in mind however, that he’s also a dog and will always have the need to indulge in the things dogs love to do.
As annoying as it can be to wait for him to complete his sniffing roads, multiple pee stops, or million circles before he poops, for him, these are the things that life is made of. Or perhaps digging is his favorite thing ever? Get him a sandbox and let him knock himself out!
6. "I Pick Up On Your Feelings"
Though dogs may not speak English, they are experts on the language of emotion. Keep this in mind when you’re anxious or upset. Your dog is quite possibly going to pick up on your emotion and may even take on some of your anxiety herself, so if she ends up barking a little more on your walk, you may actually be part of why she’s acting out.
7. "Sometimes I Bark Out of Fear, Not Aggression"
When your dog is barking, take the time to figure out why before you step in. Just like we have different tones of voice for different emotions, so do dogs. If your pooch is feeling a little nervous about something, she may need soothing to calm her down rather than a lecture.
8. "Fear Sucks as a Training Tool"
Though a large dog who is untrained can be a nightmare on a walk, fear and punishment are definitely not the only training tactics around.
Rather that trying to make sure your dog knows that you’re the pack leader and must be obeyed, seek to use positive reinforcement to let her know that you are buddies, working together to teach her the rules of living around humans.
9. "Sometimes I Don’t Wanna Say Hi"
Keep in mind that just because your dog is a dog doesn’t mean he’s gonna be up for making friends with everyone.
Just like you’re not necessarily down for shaking hands with every stranger you meet on the sidewalks, there may be times your dog shys away from certain strangers, whether they be humans or other dogs. And ya know what? That’s okay!
10. "I Love Having Your Clothes Around When You're Not Here"
Though you may be tempted to store your clothes away for fear of your dog destroying them, dogs actually love the clothes of their people simply because they have their scents on them.
In fact, leaving an old unwashed t-shirt or pair of socks in your dog’s space when you’re not home is a great way to ease separation anxiety and make your dog feel safe.