When in another part of the world, we English have a reputation of expecting people to understand English. If they don’t, we think speaking more slowly and LOUDLY will make us understood.
Similarly, we expect our dog to understand Human – and he does – usually a lot better than we understand Dog that’s for sure.
If we want to communicate something (something that to Archie is baffling, unnecessary and out of any kind of sensible context) we think he will understand us best if we shout.
NO!..or…GET DOWN!…or… LEAVE IT!
In general, I suspect people from Dutch to Japanese put in more effort learning English than we do their language.
Certainly we expect dogs to understand our language without making much effort to understand theirs.
I am often amazed at how surprised some clients are when I act as interpreter for their dog. The dog is communicating all the time, or trying to, and most of his efforts are either misread or ignored altogether.
(Yawning? I thought he was tired).
Our dogs are constantly aware of the smallest nuance in our movements, feelings or expressions. They understand us, whether we want them to or not.
It’s hard to fool a dog.
About one in four of us live with a dog, I believe. Isn’t it time that even non dog-owning humans learn to read Dog – in school. It’s not hard. ‘Dog’ doesn’t use a strange alphabet and we don’t need to speak it or read words. All we need do is understand it.
Safer for us. Less frustrating for dogs.
Theo Stewart www.dogidog.co.uk