Pet Expressway for Dogs

Understand Your Dog To Speak Dog Language

Understand Your Dog To Speak Dog Language

It’s remarkable that two entirely different species, humans and dogs, have lived harmoniously together for over 11,000 years. Both humans and dogs have adapted their ways and have had to incur some adjustments to achieve this. The secret to the success of this canine-human relationship is that both parties have the ability to cooperate, understand and communicate with one another and this is all done without speaking the same language.

If you have ever been to a foreign country and don’t speak the native language you will always find a way of communicating and getting across your message. This could involve hand gestures, body movements, facial expressions, etc. Well, the human-dog communication method is not a million miles away from the above scenario.


Learning how to speak dog is all about firstly making it easier for your dog to understand you and secondly easier for you to understand your dog.


Learning to speak dog will firstly involve building a special bond between you and your dog. You create this bond through having fun with your dog like playing together, go on walks, ensuring that you both have good experiences from your relationship together.


On Average Dogs Understand over 150 Words

Although dogs and humans are vastly different in physical appearance there are a lot of similarities when you go into the finer details.  Did you know that both humans and dogs process language on the left-hand side of their brains and emotions on the right-hand side? So it’s no wonder that they can understand human words.

Dr. Stanley Corr, a renowned canine expert at, the University of British Columbia, spoke at the American Psychological Association’s 117th Annual Convention and found that on average dogs understand over 150 words and also have the ability to intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get treats. Dr. Corr believes that dogs’ mental abilities are close to a human child age 2/2.5 years. It’s no wonder that dogs are now often referred to as “fur babies” in modern parlance.


YouTube video


I guess this ability to understand and play tricks for treats would not come as a huge surprise for most dog owners. And I suspect many dog owners would be aware of this already and may even have been a victim of treat fraud from their canine.

There are also some dogs out there who can understand a lot more than 150 words. There are some extraordinary examples – Meet Chaser, the Border Collie who can understand over 1000 words. His owner, a psychology Professor Pilly wanted to see how many words a dog could learn and he went about teaching his dog this task.


YouTube video


Ways To Understand Your Dog To Speak Dog Language


Be Adjustable with Training Methods

You may need to change the way you teach some training commands to make it easier for your dog to follow your instructions. For example, if you want to teach your dog fetch. Instead of just saying fetch and then just pointing to the item make it easier for your dog. Say your dog’s name, look at him, and then look towards what you are pointing at. It’s just easier for your dog this way to understand what you want him to do.

Be Aware Your Personality Influences Your Dog

Your own personality can influence how a dog reacts. Dogs are terrific at reading human body language and will pick up on the smallest of details.

A new study from the News Scientist shows that dogs are more attentive to extrovert personalities than introverts. And dogs will respond better to overcoming behavioral problems with an extrovert. These studies suggest people who are less confident with introverted personalities will more likely have dogs with behavioral problems. You may have heard previously that a dog will pick up on some of the owner’s traits well this may be the case as often a shy or anxious or nervous individual may induce these feelings in their dogs. Happy and content people usually have happy and content dogs.

Establish Routines

If you are not an established routine type of individual it might be worth reconsidering changing some areas of your daily life as dogs normally thrive on routine. It gives them a sense of security and they know what’s happening. Dogs don’t normally like surprises and any change in their daily routine can upset them. The more calm, settled, and organized you are the more emotionally stable and content your dog will be.

Know What Dogs Don’t Like

Dogs in general do not like to be hugged and grabbed from behind. They do not like surprises or scary frights either or hands being thrust into their face for a pet.  Can you imagine it from your dog’s perspective? Out of nowhere, this big hand comes towards your face and you’re not sure what’s going on until it pats you on the head. It can be scary from your dog’s point of view. Instead, it’s best to let the dog come to you by letting him sniff the back of your hand first.

Make Your Gestures & Vocals Clear & Concise

Always when giving dog commands be clear and concise as possible. Humans don’t even like messages that are unclear so can you imagine if your dog hears some garbled command with a feeble hand signal.

Maintain Consistency with No Mixed Messages

It’s important not to send mixed messages to your dog as it will cause confusion. You will need to be consistent with your dog in terms of what he is allowed to do and what is forbidden. For example, if you allow your dog to jump onto the sofa and another member of the household does not allow it, then the dog will naturally be confused. Everybody who lives there should be involved and consistent house rules set. There can be no exceptions as dogs don’t understand when there is a special day when rules don’t apply. The next day your dog will naturally expect the same thing to happen and when he’s not allowed it will cause distress and anxiety.


Understand How To Speak Dog
Understand How To Speak Dog



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Keith Byrne

Keith Byrne

From an early age Keith has been around dogs. He has been involved in dog grooming, dog walking, dog sitting and dog showing as well as voluntary work in animal shelters. His aim is to help all dog owners especially newbies learn about dogs and care for them in a loving, caring and fun way.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Small white dog with hands hovering above him performing Reiki

9 Ways Reiki Can Help Your Dog

Many dog owners are looking at alternative treatments and therapies for their dogs that can be utilized in conjunction with conventional therapies without adversely affecting

Read More »
Photo of a Dog Barking directly to camera with his mouth wide open and eyes closed

5 Main Reasons Dogs Bark

Dog domestication can be traced back to the end of the last Ice Age, 11,000 years ago where dogs were present across the northern hemisphere.

Read More »