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All About The Show Dog


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Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief, SAAB


Isn’t it amazing that dogs understand our language, from Pacific northwest to Texas drawl and Louisiana Cajun but we have problems understanding our dog?


Dogs, more than any other animal, speak to us in a million ways and we usually think “Huh?” and if we even realize he’s telling us something, we say “Are you hungy?” (always!) Wanna go out?” (Sure now that you mention it…)



Other mammals have no trouble understanding each other. In fact, world-renowned elephant authority, University Of GA Theriogenology Professor Richard Fayer-Hoskins, DVM {Ref #1} reports that elephants actually carry on extensive verbal conversations that even hippos understand.


No matter where they live, dogs have no problem understanding each other whereas mid-westerners can understand get lost on directions from someone in Brooklyn. It isn’t just body language dogs understand. THINK about fixing his food early your dog will beat you to the kitchen..


And what about dogs that live in Alabama but instantly understand what someone from New Hampshire is saying? We went to dog shows all over the country but taking a taxi from “The Garden” (Westminster) in New York City was an interesting challenge for us southerners.


New York City cabbies are remarkable in their command of foreign languages but they had a little trouble with finding us “sumpun ta eat” that was “not too fur a piece.”



Imagine going to China and instantly speaking their language! Well how is it that your Italian Greyhound meets and greets a Pekinese like an old friend. Even more remarkable a Rottweiler and a Poodle have very different body carriage and signals but they understand each other. Then think about this… dog have an uncanny ability to read humans like a book!


Most animals can sense intentions but dogs are born understanding human body language. It’s a fact that Protection Breeds are as tuned in to humans as Flock Guardians are to their sheep. And If your mixed-breed dog is normally friendly but takes exception to someone, don’t let your guard down.


Even more amazing, your dog can read your mind and we take that for granted! You are watching TV, your dog dozing by your chair. During the commercial you THINK about a snack. Even as you start to get up, your dog jumps up and heads for the kitchen!



In today’s world we really need to fine-tune our ability to understand dogs as well as they understand us. And here’s a fact to ponder. Put all the college professors in the world together and they still don’t have the perceptiveness of a wild rabbit!


Perhaps we depend too much on the spoken word and have therefore diminished what our senses might tell us about a situation or a person’s character? In today’s world we should consciously make an effort to learn from our dogs. Guard breed owners have learned to read their dog but most dogs, especially the Toy breeds, are equally as alert and protective. OK, sometimes too much so…


Consciously try it for a few days. “Listen” to your dog AND to get in touch with your own instincts.


Your dog can “sense” if a person intends to harm you. It is up to you to work on reading him and honing your own instincts based on what your dog displays. We are so evolved that we often let manners overrule our innate perception.


It is a fact that the more “elevated” and educated person is the easiest target for a clever conman.


Your lap dog can sense bad intensions as easily as can a New York city police officer. If you have a young child or grandchildren, note how they seem to understand your dog and how it “talks” to them.



Understanding your dog could save your life. He may lie about who tipped over the kitchen garbage but there is no deceit in a dog when it comes to danger! Reading his signals can keep you safer or give you a laugh when you most need it. And hold this thought…


Your dog just might even be smarter than you because he understands everything about you. Then think about the fact that your dog loves you and forgives you for not being as smart as he is!


Reference Information {1} Professor Richard Fayer-Hoskins, DVM - University Of GA Theriogenology EST 1998 © Mar 2023



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