What Your Dog Is Really Trying To Tell You With Their Behaviour

dog whisperer cesar milan

by Grazia |

If you’ve got a problem with your pooch, legendary dog behaviour specialist and Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan is on hand to solve it. Here he translates the 11 things your loyal companion is trying to tell you with their every move.

1. Dogs don't lie

You have to remember that dogs are very honest, they are not going to come to you and lie to you. We seek that feeling as humans, so when a dog comes to you and gives you eye contact you’re always going to have one hundred percent truth. It’s never going to be a selfish reason why they come to you, humans will come to you for selfish reasons, but a dog doesn’t have that in his soul. It’s just a pure expression of feeling well or not feeling well, there is nothing in the middle.

2. There are only three reasons for aggression

Remember, a dog is a predator. So the easiest way for the dog to solve is problem is by doing this. But it’s not the problem, it's the outcome of a problem. Looking at a dog that’s exhibiting aggression, most of those feelings come from lack of exercise, lack of mental stimulation or when they’re emotionally afraid. That’s when I go, ‘Okay this dog needs exercise, this dog needs to be challenged, needs to be around other dogs.’ Remember, city dogs spend more time with humans than with his own kind. And so, that’s why I have a pack of dogs, that’s why I have a ranch because sometimes it benefits the dog more to go back to his natural lifestyle.

Forty years ago, the human never saw the dog as a human, the human saw the dog as a companion, as a worker, as a partner, so they had a job. They actually had a more instinctual relationship. This has become more disconnected, more emotionally driven by the human needs.

3. Needy is normal

In relationships, men and women don’t want a needy person, but they don’t have a problem asking them for their space. But humans have a problem asking a dog to give space. So, it's not that the dog is needy, it's that the dog has not been taught to give space. So, every time you ask a dog to do something for you, you have to be calm and you have to be certain. Then the dog sees that that’s what you want. If you go, ‘I just don’t want to leave him behind’ the dog will think: ‘this human is worried! I have to follow the human!’

4. Newly adopted dogs need to be tuckered out before they get home

When dogs are in a shelter, it's like when people are in prison for a long time. They have no idea how to socialise, they have all this pent up energy. The wrong thing to do when you rescue a dog from a shelter is to go from the shelter to the car to the house. Remember the dogs in shelter poo and pee inside that shelter, so all he knows is disrespect. It’s not because he wants to, it's because he has no choice. He doesn’t have a normal lifestyle. Instead, grab the dog, take them for a long walk so they’re exhausted before they arrives at your house. Then your house becomes a resting place instead of a kennel, just bigger. It’s about that first impression, that this is a place for rest – it gives them boundaries.

5. Don’t try to stop excited dogs when they get to level 10

I focus on the excitement of the dog, not the size. The excitement comes from the impulse, they’re only reacting to what’s going on around them. But you need to learn to see when they’re about to get excited, and control them then – not try to do it when the dog is at a level 10. Any dog that gets to level 10 is going to be very strong. A Jack Russell can bring someone down if he gets to level 10. But you can walk a Great Dane if he’s at a level 0. You don’t want to be nervous, you want to be prepared.

6. Your dog is not addicted to treats

In developing countries, they can’t afford to buy cookies for the dog, but the dog still listens. It’s a first world problem! Obviously, it's not positive reinforcement for their behaviour anymore because the dog is gaining weight. There is nothing healthy about it. Weaning them off treats is no different from a diet. But first the owner has to agree with it. The owner believes the dog loves cookies. That’s why I say I train people and rehabilitate dogs. Dogs can do tricks for a stick. A dog can do it for a tennis ball, for a rock. Where I’m from even a coconut. They have a food drive and play drive, if you can nurture play drive, you can make a dog will play with a bottle. You need to make it so the dog is loyal to you, not the cookie. Without the cookie, you’re done!

7. Their sniffing is all about boundaries

Number one, that’s your name- that’s were all your identification comes from. If you make your behaviour more forward, and don’t more backward, creating a shield, you will avoid making them excited. Be calm, and claim your space. If you claim your space, they are going to give you space. Your scent belongs to you, but for the dog, they’ll get excited if you pull away and hide from them because you’re making him move more. He will track your smell.

8. They do know when you’re about to arrive home

They learn your pattern. They learn when you sleep, when you wake up, what days you’re more anxious. Even which days you get upset, lonely, because you’re a creature of pattern. They know you better sometimes than you know yourself. Dogs know if you’re upset and they are affected by it.

9. Dogs can sense when you’re not well

I’ve seen dogs that live in hospices who know exactly when the person is going to die. They know life. They know when a woman is pregnant. That’s sensitivity, that’s their abilities. They’re always connected to you inside. It’s almost like the dog is inside of you. It’s like there is an umbilical cord for the energetic relationship.

10. Dogs on a lead can be scary

You have to be careful of the dogs with a leash on. The dogs that are off leash you can convince them to behave, but the dogs that are on leash, they are reacting based on who is holding them. You get bitten more often from a dog on a leash. The street dog is not frustrated: they’re just telling you ‘you’re passing by my home’ so that’s why you should give them no eye-contact, no touch, and just let them smell you. It’s like a mafia thing.

11. You can be compatible with certain dogs over others

With family, you can’t pick. Your friends you can, so your friends are compatible. When you get a dog, that dog is a friend first, family second. Make sure you follow the steps - compatibility then family member. Most people just want to make them a family member, regardless of the energy. Most people pick a dog because it’s cute or because of its past. It’s an emotional impulse. But if you do it more logically - does the dog have the right energy? - your outcome will be perfect.

Check out Cesar Millan Live! ‘Once Upon A Dog’ on 26th March 2017 at 8pm at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith tickets: www.eventim.co.uk or 0844 249 1000

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