What Do Dogs Know About Us – or Bow WOW!

What Do Dogs Know About Us – or Bow WOW!

Dog lovers all know that their fur babies tend to read more into our tone and body language than our actual words. In fact, they communicate with us all day and, whether we know it or not, we’re talking right back to them through a variety of verbal and nonverbal cues. Dogs notice when we are sad, mad, or suspicious.

For more, we curated this story by Alexandra Horowitz from The Atlantic titled “What Do Dogs Know About Us? Subtitle: Man’s best friend is surprisingly skilled at getting inside your head.

HENRY THE PUP, aka Henry Robert Viebrock. Photo, Clint Viebrock.

Quid and I have struck a deal. Every morning she flies up the stairs, leaps onto our bed, and attacks my nose with her sharp little teeth. And I am awakened.

Oh wait, no; we don’t have a deal. She just does that. It is vexing and charming at once. Just at the moment of nose-attack I can smell the sleep collected on her breath and fur. It mingles with the odor of the other dogs in the room and is beginning to smell, to me, like home. It has been six months since she left her natal litter of 10 siblings and joined our family of three humans, two dogs, and one cat. And it has been a few months since she went from being a very young puppy to an adolescent, her brain trailing her body in development. Recently, she has become more interested in contact of any sort with us. She minds where we are, beating a hasty path after us if we rise from a chair to leave the room, sometimes licking our ankles as we go. She lies next to me on the couch, her body contorted to maximize body-to-body contact.

It feels as if she has come to a different level of awareness of us. She is seeing us; she is minding us. With this she has developed a knowing look. Picking up a peanut-butter-jar lid from the floor, she gently mouths it and carries it over to a dog bed, the prey captured and brought back to her den. And then she looks directly at me as she begins to gnaw it. Outside she picks up a perfect maple leaf by the stem and lightly pads away inside with it, glancing backward until she is out of our view. Another day she hurries into my son’s room, then saunters out carrying his sock, lazily mouthing it, looking right at me. There is a real understanding going on there, between my seeing her and her seeing me see her (and now my seeing her see me see her). And it is not an understanding of the nested seeings; it’s an understanding of who we are, and how we tend to react, and what that means for the actions she is doing at the moment…

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