Understanding How Your Pets Communicate
The more time you spend with your pet, the more you will understand how your pets communicate. You will know when they are having a good day; when their mood is buoyant; when it’s time to play and when it’s time to sleep.
Cats, for example, use their tails to communicate – sometimes with more nuance than humans are capable of understanding. Dogs also use their tails, though not quite to the same degree as their feline friends. Smaller pets all have ways of expressing emotion. Watch how these guinea pigs “popcorn” when they’re happy. A fennec fox pet or a hedgehog will communicate by using their body language, the way they look at you, and the noises they make. It’s not words, but it is a language.
Training Doesn’t Just Happen
One of the most infuriating things you see online is people bemoaning bad habits of their pet. They will whine about how their dog jumps up on the table, or the cat walks on their work surfaces. It’s frustrating, sure – maybe you’ve even done it yourself! It’s natural.
It’s also important, however, to recognize that you’re in command here. Pets aren’t just here to change your life for the better and enrich you with company and adoration. You have to sometimes take on the role of the trainer since they have no other way of knowing how to behave. Cats don’t know why they can’t walk on the counter, so you just have to show them they’re not allowed.
All animals (including humans!) respond better to positive training rather than negative. Emphasize and praise the good behavior; ignore the bad.
You Can Train Yourself, Too
If you hear a hissing noise from your cat, then you know that they’re unhappy about something. Meows, on the other hand, can be a little more difficult to interpret – especially if you have never owned a cat before. The same applies to a dog barking and whining; do you know the difference?
If not, talk to people. Get online to a relevant forum, especially if you have pets that are less common in the general populace. Ask people to describe the sounds their animals make and learn to recognize them. Search for videos and then try to identify the behavior you think the animal is doing at the time of making the sound.
Forget The Eyes
People rely a lot on eye contact to interpret what a person is thinking or saying. Most of us know the old wives tale about liars being reluctant to look you in the eye. We see eye contact as a sign of trust.
Animals don’t. Do not stare at an animal; they will most likely interpret it as a threat! In this case, the eyes are not the window to the soul – they’re an alarm signal, so don’t ring it!