There is a habit that seems to be a carry-over to dogs, from how we humans communicate. It is a habit that must leave dogs pondering what is wanted and what to do. That dogs even respond to this style of communication is a tribute to how observant they are and how good their ability is to read the owner.

The bad habit is this: just saying the dog’s name. People just say the dog’s name and expect that the dog knows the rest of the sentence. Of course, when this is done with another human, the person may say: “yes?”, “what?”, “is there something you need?”, “what can I do for you?” and so forth. However, the dog can respond only with a puzzled look.

There is a further part of that sentence that simply begins with the dog’s name. It is just that we humans often do not say it and just say the dog’s name. Certainly, you cannot scold the dog for not obeying when you have not said anything really, except its name. – Now, you probably are thinking ‘I don’t do that’. Yes, you do – we all do that! And it must be so puzzling to dogs when we place them in situations where they have to read our minds.

If you don’t think you do it, monitor yourself for a couple of days. It might surprise you.

Catherine Forsythe

[tag]dog, name, communication[/tag]