dog listens

The Post for Anyone Who Talks to Their Dog

dog listens

Dogs are our confidants. With purpose and sometimes without intent, we tell our dogs things that would almost never be uttered to another human being (at least not to their faces). We also tell them mundane things — anything and everything, actually. So why do we do it? Do we believe our dogs “get” what we say? Do you talk to your dog?

For me, it’s a little of both. I’m willing to confess to things if you are. Oh and guess what? I actually know my dog understands a lot of what I say.  Here are a few areas in which I always find myself talking to my dog:

When I’m thinking through my schedule

“Mommy has to go get groceries and then run to pick up her dry cleaning and she’ll be right back.” How many of you can relate to saying things of that sort to your dog? Or how about, “Let me just check Facebook and tweet a few things out and then we’ll play, okay?” Nod in agreement if you bargain your time and explain this to Fido.

When I’m just rambling

As far back as I can remember,my spouse asks me now and again, “Who are you talking to?” I have a (bad) habit of talking to myself. Years of writing and a career from a home-based office lend themselves well to the occasional muttering and reading out loud.

With a four-legged, 24/7 listener at my feet, I finally have an answer to their querying of my mental status. “The dog — that’s who I’m talking to.” Enough said.

dexter dog

When I’m venting

“Don’t ever become a human. People can be mean.” After a bad day or an annoying phone call, who better to understand than our canine life partners?

I’ve been annoyed on the phone, and immediately upon hanging up, a few choice words dangle in the air. In mixed company, these things would never be spoken. It doesn’t matter, though, with Fido at my feet: What happens in Fido’s earshot stays in Fido’s earshot.

I feel more at ease in what I say around my dog than I do most people. True, he won’t and can’t talk, but even if he could, the spirit and loyalty of a dog convinces me there are some secrets he will take to his grave. Is it any wonder that we share so much of who we really are when no one, save Fido, is looking (or listening)?

When I’m singing

I sing to my heart’s content when I am alone, and I know Dexter will not pass Simon Cowell-esque judgment. I can even use a hair brush as a microphone and never get more than a heavy sigh (usually because I woke him up from a nap).

Most of us sing in the shower, but I sing with more ardent fervor in the car and around the house when I know Dexter is a captive audience.

pet friendly
Dexter and I love to do things together, including travel.

And let’s not forget his bucket list

I have a bucket list for both myself and for my dog. Having loved and lost a dog, I realize the short span of time we have with these precious beings. The acronym-of-the-moment YOLO (you only live once) resonates.

I started a bucket list for my dog, and I tell him things we’ll do together. My Dexter already lives carefree and in the moment, so what exactly is on his list? I broke it up into categories — physical, mental, emotional, and frivolous — and I talk to him about all of them.

For instance, for the mental category, I share some of the fun games and activities we’ll be doing together. In the emotional category, I talk about things that allow Dex to channel his inner puppy (like me taking a day or an hour off to run around the park with him).

Frivolous things include trips to the pet supply store together, and my now-famous “mommy and me” night, where my boy and I spend an evening out on our own, just exploring and enjoying.

Beyond this, my dog knows things that I don’t even say aloud. When the GPS tells me I’ll be “arriving at destination in 0.4 miles, on left,” he starts to whine and shakes his little tush in the car. He also knows when I am upset, even when I don’t say so.

Dogs speak with their hearts. Whether anything I say makes actual sense is up for debate. But I know he’s listening, which puts him in a category all of his own.

How about you? Do you talk to your dog? What sort of things are you saying?

I bet some of these folks talk to their pets:


  1. I have conversations with the cats regularly, especially when I’m in the house on my own… I’m sure they understand every word. Charlie can also say “nooooo” and “whyyy”, but that’s usually when I’m asking him to do something, like get off the *** kitchen bench. [well, that’s what it sounds like he’s saying].

  2. Oh we listen all the time. Thank dog we have big long ears to hold all the stuff we have to politely listen to. We don’t mind, though. It makes Mom happy to talk at us.

  3. I talk to my dog all the time and I think he really listens. Sometimes he’s the only one in the house who does.

  4. LOL. Not only do I talk to my dog about everything, I answer for him using that voice that in my head sounds just like him. Sometimes silly, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes profound. There are times I can tell he thinks I’m spot on!

    “Mama get up off that fat butt and take me outside” “I didn’t say that, you did”

  5. I have a 4 year old St Bernard, ironically, named Dexter too! I do find myself talking to him, often. lol Weekday mornings it’sjust me and him as everyone’s out of the house for a bit with school. I talk about what I need to get done and he follows me around the house while I do my morning chores!

  6. Hi Y’all!
    Both my Humans talk to me. I talk back sometimes. When it’s time to eat or I need to go out I keep barkin’ until my Human stops workin’ and takes care of me…IMMEDIATELY!
    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  7. I talk because I feel like she actually listens. She may not understand exactly, but she is there to lend an ear. With people, we have so many distractions that it sometimes feels hard to express feelings or carry on a conversation anymore. In college, I wasn’t allowed a dog in my apartment, but I had a fish who was my moral support. When things got tough and when I felt like I didn’t have anyone else, I talked to him and I made it through.

  8. We’re cats, not dogs, but Mum talks to us all the time. We understand her, and even answer to her ! We know that cats have always been her siblings and her confidents since she was a child. Purrs

  9. I do these things with my cats too! I frequently talk out loud to myself (particularly when it’s just me and the cats). They love it when I sing to them. It’s great to have a couple of furry confidants 🙂

  10. I talk to my dos and cats ALL the time. While I’m often just “thinking out loud” or some would say talking to myself, I see it more of a type of “petting”. I’m not actually touching them, but my voice can have the same affect on them. So, I’m doing so out of affection. I even talk to my deaf hound girl, Ran (who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder the beginning of the year). While she can’t hear what I’m saying, she’s very alert to my facial movements when I’m talking. Oh, and I love singing along to the radio or my mp3’s and have found that not only my own furbabies, but the rescue dogs and cats I’ve helped transport respond positively to me talking and singing to them (even if I don’t have the best voice). I would suspect that furbabies that are seen as part of the family get spoken to much more than those who are just “pets”.

  11. Ooooh yes, I talk to my pups Missy & Buzz every day 🙂 When Missy is ready to retire for the night, she’ll stand in front of me, waiting to be tucked into her bed, UNDERCOVER, next to my side of the bed. I always tell her “Yes, Missy, Mommy will tuck you in, hold on”.
    When we’re out on our morning walks, I always find something to share with the pups, too. Like “what do you guys think of this left behind pile of poop by someone else? Don’t we just hate irresponsible dog owners?!”

  12. My boyfriend and I have conversations with and sing to our dogs all the time. The other day, I was lying on the couch with both dogs in the room with me, and I could hear Rob in the shower singing some song about the dogs. He wasn’t singing to them… they were with me.

  13. If mom talks to me to much I bite her nose, but Lily listens good
    Lily & Edward

  14. Oh yes,my Cocker uring my teenage years new all of my secrets.I tell Beauregard all sorts of things and I know he listens because he will often talk back.I love when he gruffs back at me like he really understands everything I have told him.Right now I am remining him all about his big brother,Riley…we are coming up on the 2nd anniversary of having to let him go.Beau is giving extra kisses to help right now.

  15. Fun post! I totally talk to my dogs all the time! I mainly talk about what I’m going to do – Mommy & Daddy are going out, you watch the house! I also talk about what my dogs are going to do – You’re going to Doggie Day Camp!! I know my dogs understand this because my Husky goes nuts when I tell her she’s going to camp. Ditto when I say we are going for a walk.

  16. I think this is a cute post for any dog owner. I never owned a dog but this is great way to always be in communication with someone…even if they bark instead of speaking English lol!

  17. I’ve always talked to my dogs and I feel very confident that they understood most of what I was saying to them. One, Nikki, always knew when I was unhappy and he’d leave the room when I was cranky! He didn’t want to be in the area when mom was not happy.

  18. Oh my, I talk to my huskies and kitties every day!!! I think some people think i’m the crazy dog lady, but hey, i’m cool with that 😉
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  19. Not only does Bruno listen, his reaction expressions are priceless! I have never had a dog that listens so intently to what I say…and responds with his eyes! If I am down or in pain, his head tilt and expressions make me laugh. Bruno is better than any anti depressant on the market!!!

  20. Oh, man, I talk to my dogs all of the time. And now that I’ve taught them to speak on command, they sometimes talk right back to me!

  21. I don’t have to talk – my dog reads minds! Great article and there’s so many of us dog talkers out there.

  22. Guilty! I talk to my little Freddie all the time. I tell him why I have to leave the house for a little while, and why he can not go this time. I talk to him about family issues, I’m sure the neighbors would think I’m nuts if they can hear me.

  23. I’ve been walking down the street with my Victor, talking away to him and strangers turn to me and say, ‘what?’ ‘pardon?’ And I think, ‘do you really think I’m talking to you?’

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