A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

30 Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew

Updated: Apr. 16, 2024

Unfortunately, our pups can’t learn spoken languages, so it’s about time we learn how they communicate.


You shouldn’t leave me alone all the time

I understand that you probably work and you’re busy, but I get bored easily. Consider taking me to doggy daycare or bringing in a dog sitter a few times per week. And also make sure to give me plenty of lovin’ once you get home! Make sure you also know about these signs that your dog wants some alone time.

Golden retriever puppy looking guilty from his punishment

I don’t feel guilty, even if you think I look like it

Crazy, right? I don’t have the breadth of emotions that you do, and when you try to make me feel guilty, frankly, I don’t understand. But usually your voice is really loud and that makes me upset. Please train me firmly, but with a softer tone. Check out these 15 signs that your dog is secretly mad at you.

a small funny white brown dog with red collar wagging its tail

I’m not always happy when I’m wagging my tail

Tail wagging is kind of a language for me. Sometimes it means I’m happy, but sometimes it means I’m scared, insecure, or even angry. Take the time to learn the differences between my tail wags. Find out what your dog’s noises actually mean.

Dog so cute mixed breed with Shih-Tzu, Pomeranian and Poodle sitting at wooden table outdoor restaurant waiting to eat a prawn fried shrimp seasoning salt feed by people is a pet owner

I don’t love crowded parties or picnics

While I am a social animal, don’t confuse that for me loving crowded places. I get overwhelmed and scared when there are a lot of people vying for my attention. Plus, if you were my size, wouldn’t you be scared of how many legs you have to dodge? Find out 50 more secrets your pet isn’t telling you.

Dogs look at food.

I respond to rewards, not punishments

If you give me treats for doing something good, I will keep doing that good thing because I love treats. But if you just yell at me and point at things when I do something bad, I won’t understand you and I’ll probably keep doing the bad thing. These are the best harnesses for every type of dog.

Happy Smiling Dog
Crystal Alba/Shutterstock

Honestly, I don’t know what you’re saying

Like I said, when you talk to me, I don’t understand your words. I do understand your tone, though. So keep talking to me in your high-pitched “pet” voice… I like that. Read the 19 things your dog actually wants from you.

Tilt head

I get confused when you change up the rules all the time

You get excited when I jump on you, but when I jump on a random stranger on our walk, you get angry. Who can I jump on? And am I allowed on the couch or no? Please make up your mind; I just want to make you happy.

Sick husky dog on background of vet working

Take me to the vet every year…I can’t tell you when I’m not feeling well

I need an annual check-up so the vet can make sure I’m healthy and up-to-date on my vaccines. Please don’t overlook this appointment––it could be life or death. Find out the 10 silent signs your “healthy” dog is actually sick.

Dog laid its head on the fence
Konstantin Savusia/Shutterstock

Fences and barriers are good things!

Since I’m a domesticated dog, I don’t always have the innate desire to “roam free.” Putting barriers and fences around the house or in the backyard will keep me safe and out of trouble, I promise! These 11 dog breeds do well being left alone.

Mix-breed Beagle
Sutiwat Prutthiprasert/Shutterstock

I know you’re tired, cold, hot, etc., but please don’t rush me when you take me out to go to the bathroom

Just like you like to scroll through your phone while you’re doing your business, I have a process. I have to find the perfect place with a mix of smells and mark my territory correctly, and I don’t like it when you tug on my leash. Check out these 13 unbelievable (and helpful!) facts you never knew about your pup.

Some brushes are specifically made for me…buy those

There are myriad pet brushes to choose from when you go to the store, but they aren’t all created equally. Take the time to read the animals and fur types each brush is made for, and purchase one accordingly. My skin, fur, and mood will thank you!

Small Labrador Mixed Puppy Falling Asleep on Yellow Striped Blanket
Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock

If I’m acting differently than usual, I’m probably not feeling well

I don’t pick up new characteristics or tricks by myself like you do. I’m a creature of habit, so if you notice me acting differently, chances are something is up. I might be sick and you should consider taking me to see the vet.  Find out the 12 secrets your dog’s tail is trying to tell you.

sleeping dog
chennarong thuamnok/Shutterstock

I dream just like you!

If my legs or eyes are twitching in my sleep, I’m dreaming. Just like you have vivid dreams, I’m probably imagining playing outside or that fun time you had me chase the tennis ball. Find out how many hours a day dogs usually sleep.

I have a “sixth sense”

If you notice me whining, trying to hide, or otherwise acting erratically, chances are, something bad is going to happen, like a thunderstorm. I just know these things. Call the local weatherman and say you know someone better for the job. Read up on the 11 superpowers that dogs have that prove that they’re way cooler than humans.

little yard dog on a chain

Eating poop is pretty normal for me

Don’t freak out, but I don’t hate eating poop. I actually kind of like it. Feces are definitely not the best thing for me to eat, but in most cases, they won’t harm my health. Don’t worry too much. Know about these ways your dog may be asking you for help.


I need to try out beds just like you

Just like you lay on mattresses before you buy them, I like to test my pet bed before you buy it for me. Take me to the pet store and let me lay on the different beds; depending on my sleeping position, I might choose one style over another. Check out the 13 amazing secrets your dog knows about you––they’re smarter than you think.

dog yawning sleep

If I’m yawning, that doesn’t always mean I’m tired

While yes, sometimes I do yawn when I’m sleepy, I also yawn when I’m scared, agitated, or overwhelmed. If you notice me yawning a lot, pay attention to the environment I’m in. Is there a reason I could be stressed or scared? Please remove me from the situation if I’m not coping well. Try these tips for grooming your dog at home.

Adorable pug dog sitting in his owner's lap in cafe bar and sleeping. Selective focus on dog.

When I put my butt in your face, that’s not a sign of spite

This action should actually be heartwarming! When I was a puppy, I used to do this to my mom so she could clean my bottom. This means I see you as a maternal figure. Be sure to read the 9 etiquette rules all dog owners should memorize.

English Bulldog in the forest drags at a leash
Christian Mueller/Shutterstock

If I’m refusing to listen to you, take the hint: I’m mad

This doesn’t mean you should let me win, but you should know that I’m not just disobeying you because I don’t know what to do. You’ve trained me well, I just feel like being rebellious. If your dog chews through everything, try these indestructible dog toys.

Women's or owner's hand trained dog, closeup
Focus and Blur/Shutterstock

It’s not impossible to teach me new tricks when I’m older

Just because my brain isn’t as plastic as it was when I was a puppy, doesn’t mean “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It just might take me a little longer to truly understand; be patient with me. And before you get frustrated and yell at your pup, read the 14 things you do that your dog actually hates.

Pampering dog. Naughty puppy. mischief
Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock

When I’m being “bad,” I’m probably just bored

If I’m jumping up on you or grabbing household objects and running around like a crazy dog, that means I just want to play. I know you’re busy, but I haven’t seen you all day and I’d love to play with you! Don’t miss these loyal dog breeds that make the best companions.

A dog on a leash in a dog kennel. Dog shelter. Animal on the chain
Yashkin Ilya/Shutterstock

I really, really, really hate the kennel

Please do your best not to board me when you leave for a longer period of time. I would love a dog sitter so much more, because then I don’t have to get used to new surroundings and interact with people and dogs I might not get along with. If you absolutely must put me in the kennel, don’t be surprised if I get a little ticked off. But don’t worry too much, I’ll still love you. Fido still not acting normal long after you return? Know the 10 silent signs that your dog is depressed.

sick dog Jack Russell and tablets
Nikolaev Mikhail/Shutterstock

I hate pills. Please hide them in yummy treats

If I don’t like the taste of something, I spit it out. So that’s why I’ve probably been spitting out my medicine. Try hiding it in meat, peanut butter, or “pill pocket” treats from the supermarket. These pills are important to my health, so please make sure I take them. These products can help your dog’s anxiety.

You’re probably feeding me too much

Think about what happens when you eat too much: you get a little pudgy. To keep me from putting on the pounds (which can lead to a slew of other health issues), control my food intake and actually pay attention to the number of treats you’re giving me.

Man walking the dog in the city

I overheat more quickly than you––check the temperature before exercising me

During summertime, the sidewalks and pavement can get really hot. You can wear sneakers and you have the choice to dress lighter. I, on the other hand, have lots of fur and I probably don’t have shoes to guard my paws against the pavement. Plus, my internal temperature control system just isn’t as advanced as yours. Please check the temperature before we go for a walk––it could save me. And if I’m an outside dog, make sure I have accessibility to shade or indoor space, and lots of water. Learn if dogs can eat cat food.

Blue anti tick and flea collar on cute dog

I know they’re expensive, but please give me worm and flea medicine!

I’m more susceptible to certain infections and health problems. The three most common are fleas, ticks, and worms. There is plenty of medicine and other supplies available at the vet to keep me safe from these potentially fatal problems. Make sure you know the 11 household items that could actually be very dangerous for your dog.

dog play

Just like you make time for work and sleep, make time to play with me

Like I said before, I can get bored if I’m not given enough attention. I can also get depressed and sad just like you. If you’re that busy, physically block out 30-60 minutes on your schedule to ensure that I get the love I need. Plus, I’ll give you love and stress relief in return! For even more beauty, check out these dogs with green eyes that are absolutely stunning.

Chihuahua Mixed Tan Dog Smiling at the Camera

My “dog breath” could be a sign of an infection

My breath is probably never going to smell pleasant…sorry about that. But if it’s sickening, it may be a sign of a rotten tooth, dental disease, or a handful of other health problems. Make sure to have the vet examine my mouth during my annual check-up. Check out the 8 signs that your dog trusts you. (Bonus #9: if they let you root around in their mouth without biting you!)

The Golden Retriever eating

Feed me healthy food

It doesn’t have to be homemade, “grain free,” or any of the other buzzy diets that are trending. But the ingredients in my food should be real, just like yours! You wouldn’t eat “corn by-product meal,” so why would you feed it to me? Healthy kibble might cost a few more dollars, but it’ll keep me happier and healthier in the long run. These are the best clippers to trim your dog’s nails at home.

Small terrier lay with his master playing. Top view. Positive relationships, trust concept.

I love you! I really do!

Even when you and I make mistakes, I’m so thankful to live with you and receive your love and attention. Sometimes I get scared or angry, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you! Have I mentioned that I love you?