1: I’m a pack animal. I love you but I also like to interact with members of my own species and I’m happiest when I have opportunities to do so.
2: I’m a den animal. I enjoy being in small, enclosed spaces like crates. It makes me feel safe and I don’t get claustrophobic like you. This is because I have evolved from wolves (I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true) and wolves live in caves and small dens. What you may think of as cramped I think of as comfortable.
3: I’ll be much better behaved, less destructive and more receptive to training if I’ve been well exercised.
4: Sometimes one dog smells the butt of another dog and just doesn’t like what he smells. Like you, I may not like other members of my species and this may be for no apparent reason. You have friends you naturally gravitate towards and so do I.
5: I crave attention from you and even negative attention is better to me than no attention at all.
6: I will listen to you better if you have a treat in your hand. The technical term for this is “rewards based training”.
7: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Body language, tone, and intonation are very important to me.
8: If I’m wagging my tail it means I’m exited, not necessarily happy. I can be excited and happy, or excited/alert, or even excited and anxious/nervous. Please look at my ears, mouth and head position and listen for verbal cues for indicators of my overall mood.
9: I love being rubbed above my tail, on my belly, and even under my arm pits!
10: I urinate for a variety of reasons. Sometimes to empty my bladder, sometimes to mark my scent on something for other dogs to smell, sometimes because I’m nervous, sometimes because I’m excited, and even sometimes because I want attention (remember for me, even negative attention is better than no attention). Think of my urine as an emoticon that you have to decipher. It may take some time but once you understand I have a feeling you will get less upset with me.
For ample opportunities for exercise, canine companionship, and positive human attention, enroll me in daycare at Dingo’s Dogsitting!