If your dog asked you for help, you'd want to help them right? We love our dogs. For that reason, we want to make their lives as easy as possible.
Here's 3 ways that your dog asks for help.
1. They lay their head in your lap.
Sometimes your dog will lay their head in your lap simply because they want some attention. Yet sometimes, your dog is trying to get your attention for other reasons. This is a behavior my own personal dog does. She struggles with a little anxiety around other dogs, specifically when play gets too rough in a group of dogs. When B.B. wants me to "break it up" because she thinks the playgroup is getting too rowdy, she will travel back and forth from my lap to the group. She's clearly trying to tell me she isn't comfortable with the play that's being had here. Usually, she's right and this is when I pay attention to what's going on and give the dogs a break if I think they need to "simmer down". Sometimes a dog comes and lays their head in your lap just because they want to say Hi or show affection, but other times, they need your help with something.
2. They lean on you.
There are certain breeds that are more likely to do this than others, one that comes to mind is the Great Dane. It's also common for dogs who are a bit insecure to lean against you often. Your dog is dependent on you and dogs that are insecure are even more aware of this than dogs with lots of confidence. It makes sense that the Great Dane would be prone to this because so are horses! During trail rides, horses prefer to stay in close groups and not lag behind. They use the power of numbers to ensure their safety so they don't get attacked by predators. Similarly, your dog will lean on you when they're feeling unsafe as a way of trying to "stick with the herd". An easy way to show your dog that there's nothing to worry about is to calmly say "you're all right" (not a baby voice) and gently push your dog into their own bubble of space. If you hug and pet your dog while they're leaning on you, they may misinterpret that as if you're saying that they SHOULD be scared in this moment, and that will only create more anxiety. Dogs also do this to be affectionate but that's usually only when you're in the comfort of your home. If you're out and about, you can bet your dog is feeling anxious or insecure.
3. They come and sit in front of you.
There are lots of instances where our dogs come to sit in front of us, including when they're asking for food or wanting attention. Most dogs know how to sit and use it as a way of saying "please" to their owners. Dogs know sitting is a behavior we desire, and that it tends to get them rewarded so sometimes, they use this trick to communicate with us. When your dog sits without you asking, pay attention. If they're not asking for food or attention, they may be asking for something else. Maybe your dog has run out of water or they need to go to the bathroom.
Do you have anything to add? How does your dog ask you for help? I'd love to hear in the comments below.
Tara Siefring www.happyhoundfl.com
Live in Northwest Florida and need help training your dog? You can download my Good Dog Workbook on the homepage of my website at www.happyhoundfl.com
We provide dog training in Pensacola, Navarre and Milton Florida.
Tara is a dog trainer helping struggling dog owners have extraordinary dogs in the Navarre, Milton and Pensacola areas. She got her start as a struggling dog owner herself which was her fuel to learn the skills to help others. Today, she's helped nearly two thousand dog owners all over Northwest Florida learn how to be better leaders to their pets so that their dogs can be better companions for the family. Hire Tara or learn more at www.happyhoundfl.com