Even though our relationships with our dogs have some "human" qualities, such as mutual respect and affection, there's an inevitable distance between us. We belong to different species, after all, and we see the world and communicate in very different ways. Sometimes dogs are telling us things we can't understand. And sometimes we want to tell them things but don't know the best ways to experss them. This doesn't mean we can't talk to our dogs. It just mans we have to learn how to speak dog language.
Although we consider our dog a part of our family, dog's aren't like us. This is why our words and gestures mean nothing to them or, in some cases, mean the opposite of what we're trying to say. Hugging is a good example of this. To us, a nice hug is a sign of affection. But dogs don't feel that way. The nearest they come to hugging in when one dog, in an attempt to dominate, pins another dog's shoulders with her paws. So dogs may view hugs as signs of dominance rather than affection.
In my next series of blogs I'll explore dog human communication. What are you saying to your dog? What is your dog trying to tell you? Come back each day for more information about how dogs communicate with us and with other dogs. Hopefully, the information and insights in this blog will improve your relationship with your family friend.