What do dogs think about us? Is it always heart eye emojis and tail wags? Do we get under their skin from time to time? And how much do our actions and training styles impact how they see us?
Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for science to give us the technology we need to read our dogs’ every thought (for goodness sake, we’re sending people into space, you’d think we’d have cracked this by now!) But in the meantime, researchers have made some interesting discoveries about the ways in which our doggos may think about us.
Get ready to see yourself through the eyes of your dog with these 5 things that your doggo definitely thinks of you!
#1: You are the giver of treats! I’ll do anything for you!
If your dog’s ears perk up every time you reach for the treat bag, it’s because they’ve learned something very important about you: you’re the giver of treats!
From the very first time that you gave your pup a morsel of food as a reward, the two of you established a working bond. They see you as a source of yummy treats and positive praise, and they are willing to go to the ends of the earth to make you happy (and receive their delicious reward!) This is the basis of positive reinforcement training, which studies show is one of the most effective and humane ways to train your pooch. It also establishes you as a pretty wonderful person in their eyes!
#2: Not to be rude, but you’re kind of slow
There’s no denying that doggos are some of nature’s best athletes. Their ancestors, grey wolves, are able to trot along at 10 kilometres per hour with ease, covering distances of up to 50km a day. Our fastest domestic doggos, the sighthound group, can race at speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour!
So, don’t be offended if, while you’re out on your daily walk with your dog, they give you a look of “Would you hurry it up, please?” In fact, leash pulling is common with puppies as they learn that their beloved human simply can’t keep up! With some dedicated leash training and plenty of opportunities for your dog to exercise off-leash, you’ll find that your super fast Fido is more tolerant of slower walks.
Having a dedicated Dog Walker is another way for you to satisfy your dog’s inner athlete. Whether you’ve got an easygoing Frenchie or an agile Aussie Shepherd, they’ll love the opportunity to explore the neighbourhood!
#3: You have all the answers! I’ll follow your lead!
For thousands of years, the human-dog bond has been one of leader and follower. While we want our dogs to have the best, happiest life possible, we also expect them to follow the rules of a good doggy family member. With a bond built on trust, understanding, and plenty of treats, we are able to achieve a relationship in which our dogs look to us for guidance and direction.
And as it turns out, dogs seem to be more than happy to fill that role in our world! If your dog looks to you when they’re unsure about how to navigate a new situation or feeling intimidated by a dog at the dog park, it’s because they see you as a safe and reliable source of wisdom and security. In fact, even if your pup doesn’t look at you in these moments, they may be using their amazing senses to pick up on your emotions and physical cues. This allows them to make decisions based on what they think their beloved caretaker would want them to do.
On the flipside, dogs who do not have this strong, trusting bond with their Owners tend to show an impaired ability to cope with stress.
Keep in mind, also, that some dogs have been bred to work and think independently of their Owners. But, even if you have a strong-willed terrier, you can be sure they still look to you as a source of safety and love in their life.
#4: How could you do this to me?
Bath night for a dog who hates baths
Our doggos are excellent at letting us know when they feel absolutely betrayed. Whether it’s a look of complete devastation as you drive towards the vet’s office or pleading puppy dog eyes as you fill up the bathtub, your dog is clearly saying, “How could you do this to me?”
Obviously, there are times when you’re going to do something that your doggo doesn’t like. But even if it’s in their best interest, it’s hard to resist that adorable face!
Don’t worry. Even though your dog might look at you like they’ll never forgive you for this injustice, dogs don’t hold grudges. You’ll be back in their good graces in no time.
#5: You need to be protected. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!
As social animals, dogs are hardwired to care about the wellbeing of all of their pack members, and they most likely care about you most of all! Even though you might be thinking, “What do dogs think about when they’re waking up the entire neighbourhood at 3 in the morning?” chances are, they’re doing what they do best: protecting their loved ones!
Of course, it can be a bit frustrating when your dog seems to be sounding the alarm at everything from the wind to your trusted houseguests. But, with some empathy and desensitisation training, you can convince your pooch that they don’t need to be in watchdog mode all the time.
Overall, what do dogs think about you? As you can see, mostly good things!
You probably knew this already, but your dog thinks pretty highly of you! In fact, as long as you’re able to build a strong bond and give them plenty of chin scratches, they probably see you as the centre of their universe. Sure, they may get excited to see their friendly Dog Walker and your dog-loving friends. But the love they have for you is something special!
While there are some common thoughts that most dogs share, “what do dogs think about you” is also a question with unique answers for every doggo-Owner pair! We can bet that you know a few other things that your dog thinks about you, so feel free to share them in the comments!