An adult dog will know about the same amount of words as a 5-year-old child. When I get messages from canines, I get a mixture of words, feelings, pictures. THANK GOD, I do not get smells. I do not think I could handle experiencing the extended versions of butt sniffing that dogs partake in. These stimuli are so intertwined with each other that I have to stop and consciously think of what came first, and what exactly is being transmitted. Information comes thru to me in the same way for dogs, horses, cats and humans. From younger animals, I receive more pictures; from older animals I usually get more phrases and words, depending on how much they have lived in the company of humans. I have never had a dog come thru with “arf, arf, arf, arf.”. Apparently they know that barking is not the best way to communicate with humans, except perhaps when they have to get our attention because someone has fallen down a well.
A scientist recently proved that dogs are telepathic. The study put a camera on a dog, a camera on the owner, and looked at all types of input like time of day, sound of the car, noises, telephone, and amount of light. What the study showed was that when the owner/pet parent thought of their dog at home, the dog responded immediately with immense happiness. The only explanation for that is that the dog is telepathic. Dogs are telepathic with their owners that is. As humans, we take for granted that the verbal word is the only form of communication. Yet 93% of actual human communication is non-verbal, body language.
In sessions with dogs, it often comes up that they are watching TV. I find two major reasons for that: they want to expand their vocabulary or they like to watch the shapes and colors move around the screen. The dogs pointed out to me that they like when someone does an action that is paired with a word, like, “I am walking to the mailbox.” The dog gets to see the person walk to the mailbox, and then get an inkling of what walking is, and what a mailbox might be. A dog specifically told me he did not like soap opera’s, because people just stand and talk to each other. I had never thought of this, but it makes sense. Some dogs ask for cartoons, they like the loud flat shapes of color, and the vibration of the happy music that usually accompanies cartoons. Much like dogs them, cartoons are happy diversions to the humdrum life. I am not saying that dogs are ADHD, but they do like to be intensely involved in something and then switch to something totally unrelated.
I have found that dog owners can use this fact to their advantage. Many dog owners come to me with issues about their fur kids going off the deep end barking and shouting at anyone from the UPS guy to the kid that walks past your front door after school. These dogs think that they are doing their job, announcing that there is a trespasser. Imagine if your job was to tell your manager when a salesman was to come to the office, only to have your manager tell you to be quiet, he is on the phone. Well of course, you would tell him again, and again, until you were heard, had your job done. Well, our dogs are the same way. They want to know they have done a great job. There are a few ways you can try to implement this information. First of all, when your dog starts barking, simply say to them, “great job, Benny”. Reinforce this with giving them a treat. Make sure you have the treats in a certain place, and make a lot of noise getting the treat out of the drawer and the wrapper. Do this action with a flourish so you get the dog’s attention. For most pups, this will draw their attention into the house and they will have forgotten about the intruder and concentrate on you and the treat. If you have done clicker training, use a clicker to reinforce that the treat is where you want their focus, I have had this be successful with many clients, and not just successful, but everyone is blissfully happy. Dogs are not malicious, just dedicated. Give them a new task, tell them that they are doing a great job, one that comes with snazzy treats, and they will gladly let the mailman walk on by!
By the way, dogs not only see in color, they SEE in Amazing COLOR! I know because they hurry to show me the BLUE ball, the RED BED, the green treat. And when they are watching cartoons, then there is green eggs and ham.
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