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Your dog knows you like the back of her paw! For many Pack Leaders, the best part of the human-canine bond is that feeling of connection. You don’t have to tell your dog what you need or what you’re feeling. She just knows.

But how much do you really know about her? Does she have the same feeling that you really “get” her?

In our modern life, many of us have become disconnected from a lot of the things that are instinctual to our dogs. In fact, that is often the root cause of problem behaviors.

If you really know your dog, you’ll not only be able to better meet her needs but also more peacefully co-exist. Here are a few things that your dog wishes you knew about her.

“I need exercise first, then discipline, and finally affection”
A common human mistake is showering our dogs with love — and then wondering why they experience anxiety, hyperactivity, and other issues. Just like humans, dog need affection, but they need exercise and discipline first. Provide regular exercise and pack leadership — then enjoy those kisses and snuggles!

“I need a daily walk”
Really. Every day. Your dog doesn’t care what the weather is like. Or if you’ve had a long day. Fish swim, birds fly, and dogs walk! He wants to get out there and migrate with his pack. So make a commitment to fulfilling this need.

“I need a Pack Leader”
Dogs who don’t understand their place in the pack order can experience anxiety. Knowing where they fit in can help them relax and simply focus on playing their role for the pack. That’s better for all human and canine family members.

“I need mental challenges”
Sitting at home all day waiting for you doesn’t fulfill your dog’s needs. Canines are intelligent creatures, and they like to use that intelligence to complete tasks. Those tasks can be as complicated as sniffing out a bomb for law enforcement or as simple as learning basic obedience training.

“I need rules, boundaries, and limitations”
Just like young children, dogs need consistency when it comes to discipline. Otherwise, it becomes confusing. Why is it okay for me to eat food from the table one day and not another? Should I “sit” before crossing the street every time? When things aren’t consistent, dogs don’t know what to expect. They could get a positive or negative reaction from the same behavior. This makes them feel insecure.

“You need to communicate with my nose first, then my eyes, and finally my ears”
When you’re talking, often what your dog hears is simply jabber, jabber, jabber. He’s paying attention to more important means of communication. What smells different about you? What can he pick up about your body language?

This is why sometimes your dog knows a verbal command but won’t perform it in particular instances. For example, maybe you’re holding something in your hand or sitting instead of standing. This can cause the nonverbal cues that your dog associates with the command to be missing, and it confuses him.

“You’re mine, and I’m yours”
Okay, you may already know your dog feels this way, but she probably wants you to know just how true it is. She likes being close to you for a reason. You are a member of her pack. You are someone she cares deeply about and wants to protect. She lives a short life compared to ours, and she is honored to be living it by your side!

How does your dog communicate his needs to you? Let us know in the comments.

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