"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. – Peter F. Drucker

ImageOK, so it’s not the crispest shot I ever taken, but you try taking a photo in a vet’s office on a cloudy day with a very stressed fluff ball who just wants you to pick him up! Consequently, this is a one handed iPhone shot.

We have been trying very hard to learn our dogs language and we are getting pretty good at it but this is the first time I have seen it all in one place. It is amazing how much our dogs can tell us.

Zed also has quite a few verbal clues as well. He let the Vet know that he was not happy and having his Dew Claw removed (it was almost off anyway) made him yelp. He is pretty tough so it must have hurt, but in true doggie fashion he was happy again in about a minute and didn’t seem to hold a grudge.


I still dislike people from decades ago!

My dogs are heaps more Zen than I am……… I still have a lot to learn.


3 responses

  1. This is such a good poster, Terry – it makes it easy to see what a dog is communicating. And I loved what you said about Zed. Dogs are so much better than most humans at forgiving and forgetting! We can learn so much from them!


    April 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

    • Apart from homeschooling, understanding our dogs has been the most interesting journey we have been on.
      Our vet is this pragmatic Dutch guy who comes off as a bit gruff. I love him because he knows his stuff, gives clear information and is always available (even if it does cost an arm and a leg out of hours). The other vet who works at this practice is this cute tiny little youngish lady who cares a lot but does not give me any confidence. Fortunately I’m the kind of bloke who asks questions and I can be quite ‘pushy’ when I need to be. But I’m not always ‘up’ and there are times when I struggle just being in the world and at these times I’m at the mercy of the ‘professionals’ that I’m forced to deal with. Give me the slightly gruff, arrogant types every time as long as they do their job well.
      We took puppy training classes at this vet when both of our dogs were young but we really learned very little, and we were keen to learn. It was only when we looked further than ‘obedience training’ and went on to dog psychology that we realised that there was a heap more to learn.
      Dogs communicate so well with each other but their language is foreign to us. They give us so much, the least we can do is attempt to learn their language.
      Zed’s gift to me is the example of ‘moving on’ and not dragging around all the old hurts. I hope to be like him one day.
      Thank you for the comment.


      April 21, 2013 at 10:26 am

  2. Pingback: Bow,Wow,Wow. | Understanding Your Dog

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