Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday Voice: Liam’s Wuff

Communicating with your dog

Edited by William A. Johnson

[Editor’s Note: Liam is a 9-plus-year-old dog with three legs. In his interview on September 9, he answered questions posed by his dad, told us about his childhood, and provided some insights about life.
    Subsequently, he has received further inquiries about various important things. Today we share Liam’s views on the first topic.

Inquiry: My dog ignores my attempts to communicate. What should I do?

Liam: Your dog is undoubtedly communicating with you all the time. Every time he wags his tail, sniffs you, or licks your hand, he’s communicating to you. Rather than try to get him to talk in your language, begin to understand his and learn how to communicate from his point of view.
    First, when you know he is paying attention, have a treat ready. He’ll likely come. Then, for instance, when he wags his tail, you wag yours. When he licks your hand, pretend to lick his paw. As often as you can, do these things on his level, close to the ground. After a while you should be able to understand what he is saying. When you ask him to come, look hurt and whine when he doesn’t.
    Eventually, you can set up regular meetings with your dog. That will give you a chance to review the day and talk about tomorrow so both you and he can prepare. On special nights, rent a movie and watch it with him. Lassie and Toto are usually favorites.

                            Paws, Liam

Copyright © 2015 by Liam Johnson & William A. Johnson


  1. I try calling my dog but she looks the other way when we call her. If we keep at it Del will head toward who ever is calling and give the impression she coming to them, then at the last second she cuts around the chair and goes over and lays down.

  2. Siegfried almost always needs to think about coming...usually for a long time. Or he may be more of a mama's boy than a papa's boy: Whenever I need (or want) him to come quickly, I'll ask Carolyn to call him. I may even have to open the door so he can hear her voice better. This often works, but of course not always. He has just that much of a “mind of his own.” But I’m so proud to have such an independent, intellectual dog, I don’t mind much. I'll just stand there admiring him and wondering what on earth is he thinking about?