Check out this interesting article on communication between dogs and their people. I connected with the author’s opinion that cuing your pup feels unnatural, when usually you are speaking and listening to one another without even trying. I’ve noticed this effortless exchange developing between Ace and I, and between Ace and Jefe (and really, between Jefe and I), the longer we’ve been together. Cuing is very helpful when a specific behavior is needed; for example, I only use the word “come” when I need Ace to return to me NOW, and I usually use my exuberant voice (okay, I have a few of these; I’m talking about the most exuberant one). But when I’d like her to approach me, I ask her in other ways: patting my lap, saying her name sweetly and softly, making a kiss noise, or simply gazing at her until she comes padding over.
Dogs were bred to live alongside us, to observe us and to learn our world. It delights me to imagine that, the longer Ace and I are together, the better we will be at predicting and understanding each other. Together, we will feel more and more like home.