Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

Learning to Speak Dog

on August 5, 2008

You would think that after a year, I could read Jasmine’s body language and figure out what she wants.  Nope.  Not really.  I’m still learning.

Until recently, Jasmine has not communicated (that I could discern) that she needs to go outside.  The Whipworm situation made that very difficult, especially when she was getting up in the middle of the night to go.  More often than not, I heard her tags go jingle jangle jingle and woke up as she was leaving the room.  If I slept through the sound, Jasmine went in a spot that was easy to clean (on the slate floor in the front hallway).  I’m trying the “ring the bell” method of getting her to signal, but I don’t think she’s equating the bell to going out yet.  She may never.  My husband snickers at me every time I ring the bell.  However, I have noticed in the last couple of days that Jasmine has begun staring intently at me at the oddest times.  I have equated this to “Mom, lemme out!” and have immediately stood up, asked if she wants to go outside, rang the bell and taken her outside.

She knows what “Do you want to go outside?” means, but I’m trying to get her to overtly signal her need to me.  I also have to figure out what the difference in her signals…what does she do when she wants to go out?  When she wants to play?  When she wants dinner?

Last night, I was sitting on the couch working, and she started to jump up on the couch to get my attention, tail wagging and happy face on.  I was puzzled…I didn’t know what she wanted.  I tried to pet her, but after a pet or two, she darted around the coffee table and jumped on the other side of me.  After several “pet and run” sessions, I asked her if she was hungry and she went nuts.  Hm…a clue!  So maybe she’ll equate this pet-and-run game to “Mom, I’m hungry!”  And the staring intently and ringing the bell to “I want to go out!”

I’ve read a few blogs and websites for doggie bells…we’ll see how it goes!


One response to “Learning to Speak Dog

  1. that girl says:

    With our dachshund, we have learned that his “pounce and run” means I need you to do something for me. Usually, it’s a sign of wanting to be fed.

    Sudden inattentiveness to his favorite chew toy means he needs to go outside. If the initial signal goes unnoticed, he runs through the vertical blinds to let us know.

    Unfortunately, wanting to play sounds like we’re beating him, which, of course, we are not. He screams and yells at the top of his lungs until he gets us to play and continues to scream while playing. I guess he’s just excited. 🙂

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