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longgone's avatar

Do you ever notice your pets purposefully communicating with you?

Asked by longgone (17106points) January 16th, 2015

Any stories to share?

My lab will try to make me play with her at times, and she tells me exactly where she’d like to be petted.

The most “communicative” experience with her I had about a year ago: She stood in front of her basket, but the blanket was missing. It hurts her to lie on hard surfaces, so she was pretty adamant about that – she kept looking at basket, blanket and me in turn, until I had caught on.

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21 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

My fish always come near me when they want to say: “Feed us! Feed us!”. They are really sensitive to food. Whenever I bring something for them, even as small as a mosquito, they come to me immediately. Food always gets them excited.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Absolutely! My dogs talk to me. When I have lunch, I usually save them a little titbit. So the other day I was going to make a sandwich and took a couple of slices of bread out of the freezer and put it under a tea towel on the kitchen bench and then went to do a bit more work while it defrosted. I forgot about it. I was engrossed in what I was doing until I realised my boy dog was talking to me. He has his own language and the noises he was making told me he wanted me to follow him. So I got up and he ran off down the hallway to the kitchen. I then realised what the problem was. He wanted his treat and I hadn’t made my sandwich. He is very communicative.

Similarly, my cat talks to us. If he gets wet, he will make it clear he needs to be towelled off. Or if I give the dogs a bit of toast and miss him out, he’s quite able to let me know I’ve overlooked him.

Pachy's avatar

My cat is extremely communicative. He does this cute little thing of rolling over on his back and making a kind of talking sound when I softly whistle a certain way. In the mornings he asks to be fed by jumping into bed next to me, loudly purring, and staring at me. he also reaches for my hand with his paw and pats it. And in the evening, when I’m sitting, he jumps into my lap and stares directly into my eyes.

syz's avatar

Twice a day. When it’s time to eat.

wsxwh111's avatar

Yeah that happened a lot.
Had a dog from to 2002 to 2014.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

All the time.

Cruiser's avatar

My dog will stand in front of me while I am watching TV and just stare at me and that is her way of telling me she wants to go outside and play. She will stand by the back door which is her way of telling me she needs to go do her thing. She will bark loudly and aggressively and that is her way of telling a person or wild animal is outside or at the door. She will sit on the couch net to me and softly make these owr yowr yom yom om om noises and I will make the same noises and we have conversations and long ones too. It’s cute!

thorninmud's avatar

Oh yeah. Dogs must think that we humans are pretty obtuse. They’re constantly sending little visual messages that go right past us as we’re tuned into our verbal channels. When I’m with my dog at the dog park and he’s busily romping with his buddies, I notice that he regularly glances over at me and, for the split second that our eyes meet, his ears drop ever so slightly and his face subtly softens. Blink, and I miss it. He’s letting me know that he’s on my team, and that my input is invited. When you start to pick up on stuff like that, you begin to realize that your dog’s entire body is like a scrolling message board.

marinelife's avatar

Very much. My dog is really tuned to the verbal. From the time he was a puppy my husband worked afternoons and evenings and I was alone with no one else to talk to. So I talked to my dog. He has quite a large vocabulary, but I am also used to his body cues.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. My dog would come to me, sit down at my feet and look directly into my eyes when he had to go out. Or he would sit at the door and bark once to go out, or to be let in. If I didn’t know what he wanted I asked him questions that he knew the meanings of. Do you have to go outside? Do you want a drink? If he didn’t respond in a positive way, I would tell him to show me, and he would. If I said what he wanted, he would bark once. If you didn’t say what he wanted, he would put his ears back and looked confused. It pays to talk to your dag (and your young children) as if they are intelligent. No “baby talk.”

Aethelwine's avatar

All the time. Our dogs love it when we scratch their backs. Spot will come up to one of us and turn his back with his butt facing us, then look over his shoulder with a look of “You can scratch now. Go ahead. What’s keeping you?”

They also wait patiently every morning when I make my daughter’s sandwich for school and cut the crust. They want that crust. Our cat has joined in on this and will let me know he wants some too. Just last night we had our cat in the mudroom and I was standing in the kitchen giving our dogs a treat. The cat heard what was going on and began scratching at the door. I let him in and he let me know he wanted a piece of the action.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I’ve had multiple cats at various times in my life, and in my experience, they almost never meow at each other. I’m told that there are cats that do, but I’ve never seen this. What this tells me is that my cats pretty much only meow if they want to tell me something.

Buttonstc's avatar

Here’s an interesting tidbit of knowledge I came upon in a documentary on Animal Planet

Animal behaviorists have observed that when cats “meow” they’re communicating with us. They don’t meow to communicate with each other.

They rely on much more subtle clues in body posturing or warning growls.

So, they know what they’re doing.

lookingglassx3's avatar

My cat likes to sit in the living room windowsill pretty much all day. Most of the time he’s quiet, but sometimes when we’re all sat together he’ll turn to us and meow loudly, sometimes several times. I can’t help but wonder what he thinks he’s contributing to the conversation! ;)

Aethelwine's avatar

All it took was one look and here I am scratching my dog’s butt.

OpryLeigh's avatar

If I’m in bed my Jack Russell will often try and scrape back the covers with her paw so she can go under them but as she isn’t quite strong enough she’ll scrape then look at me and repeat the process until I do it for her.

She’ll also puts her head under my hand and nudge it when she wants attention.

My dad’s dog makes a very cute, soft “yowling” noise (not barking or anything piercing) when she wants attention but she won’t do it continuously. She yowls, then stares at you and waits. If nothing happens she does it again. It’s really hard to ignore as it is so funny that you can’t help but laugh.

longgone's avatar

Just thought of this thread – sitting on the couch with my old Labrador, I noticed she was banging her paw on the cushion, which is what she does whenever she is annoyed at something. She needed me to help her get up, old bones protesting.

I just realized this is something she must have learned specifically to communicate with humans. I’ve never seen a dog angrily stamp his paw at another canine.

marinelife's avatar

@longgone I just started giving my old dog (14) treats with glucosamine in them. It has really helped his mobility (as it does mine).

longgone's avatar

^ Thanks! She is on meds, but I will ask my vet about that!

Dutchess_III's avatar

If I don’t open the sliding glass door wide enough for Dakota, she’ll pause and glance up at me like, “HULLOOOO!”

The other day Dutchess wanted into the back yard via the deck. She stood in front of the gate and glanced up at the latch. I thought that was interesting.

But Dakota is, by far, the best communicator and she can be very adamant. I took Dutchess to the vet once. The next time I went to take her to the vet, Dakota was ADAMANT that I was not going to leave her home again! She’s a really obedient dog, but there was no way in hell she was staying home. So I had to pick her heavy butt up and load her in the truck because she can’t really jump any more.

One time Dakota crapped in the laundry room. I saw it and told my self I’d clean that up after I wake up.
Well, poor Dakota kept walking by the room glancing in worriedly. After the 3rd time I realized she was waiting for the shoe to fall! So I put her out of her misery. I squatted in front of the door, and pointed at the pile and said, “You know better than to do that in the house!” She was all hangdog. Then I opened the door and she gladly went out side.
I saw her a few minutes later, lying in the yard, much relieved and happy now.

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