How Do Dogs Think?

How many of you often wonder,"what is my dog thinking about"? That is a pretty common question. Dogs can’t communicate with us the way we communicate with eachother. So it is often difficult to figure out what they are really thinking. So how do dogs think? What do they think about? Well, in reality, your guess is as good as mine. But if we really analyze it, I think we can figure it out.

Mostly, dogs care about survival. It’s in their blood. That’s why it always seems that a dog is never full after eating! If you give a dog a nice juicy steak after he’s eaten all of his dog food, there’s no way he’ll turn it down! After all, it’s probably pretty rare that he gets a steak all of the time! A dogs goal is to have enough to eat, and a place to sleep. If your dog has those bare necessities, he’s probably pretty happy! Of course, most dogs crave companionship as well. That is also important.

When training a dog, it is important to teach the dog why he’s doing the behavior as well as teaching him to do it. If he doesn’t understand why, he’s less likely to learn that behavior. For example, if you want to teach your dog to turn on a light, you need to teach him why as well. Dogs don’t need to turn on a light. They can see in the dark. So it doesn’t make sense to them to turn on a light. But, if you teach your dog that you need the light to see, then it will be much easier to teach him the behavior, because it will please you when he does it. If he knows that a certain behavior pleases you, he will be more likely to do it again. By the same token, if he learns that a certain behavior upsets you, he won’t repeat it. However, if you’re not careful, he may repeat that behavior when you are away. That is a whole other can of worms!

In conculsion, how do dogs think? Well, I don’t know of any scientific studies to prove how dogs think. But from my experiences, dogs just are! They live in the moment. Not in the future, not in the past, but in the present. They want to please us, they want to eat, they want to check things out, and defend their territory. Don’t forget, no matter how human we try to make them, they are still animals with instincts. They are loyal, compassionate, and if trained correctly, our obedient best friends.

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About thecanineguru

I am a canine behaviorist of 23 years and offer canine rehabilitation, training, and behavior change to clients under the given name "The Canine Guru." I am known mostly for my online presence through my blogs, Doggy Times and Doggy Times II. Both were honored by MSN Editors multiple times. My methodology focuses on energy and how to use and read it. I firmly believe in operant conditioning and positive reinforcement. I don't feel that choke, pinch, or electric collars are necessary when working with dogs. The harshest method I ever use is the squirt bottle and the occasional touch, or poke. I'm known for "speaking" to dogs in their own language using body language, energy, touch, and the occasional sound.
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2 Responses to How Do Dogs Think?

  1. Tuk&Tam says:

    Awesome space, Dogs are cool :D

  2. Tridter says:

    My husband and his buddy [who also happens to be a Jack Russell] spend alot of time together – they act about the same, sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t. Jack doesn’t alway obey some days, but he tries very hard [squirrels are distracting]. But when a little girl puts bows on his head and paints his nails [nontoxic kid stuff] he is very patient and that reminds us that we are very lucky to have this little guy -who just wants to be with us and be loved. Nice space you got here.

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