Most of us dog lovers also love walking dogs, but even the most canine-obsessed step counters among us have days when we are preoccupied with other things. Our dogs, though, are focused 100 percent of the time.
They will not be distracted from their daily constitutional, and it only takes one look in their eyes to realize that while your mind has been swirling with a million thoughts, your dog’s has held just one that he’s been desperately trying to telepathically communicate: Walk me!
We may not be mind readers, but if we let our busy brains settle down, we’ll notice the not-so-subtle signs our buddies are showing us. Who needs a beeping Fitbit when you’ve got a canine companion to remind you to get up and move? Here are 10 ways to tell if your dog wants to put paw to pavement.
1. The saddest sigh in the world
Your dog flops and lands with a thud, and exhales enough hot breath to fill a king-size air mattress. You feel the gust of breath, but you also hear it: the loudest, saddest, most overacted sigh in the world. This is the sound of walk wanting.
2. He’s leashing up without you
He’s prepared for a walk, so you’d better get prepared, too. If your dog is wandering around the house with his leash hanging from his mouth, or if he’s somehow managed to open the closet and find his own harness, you should a) be impressed, and b) be ready to go.
3. He’s window watching
Back and forth, back and forth, a dog head moves, scanning the length of the window, big eyes jealously watching every pair of feet that walk down the street. In the most desperate cases, this plea for a walk is combined with barking. (Maybe if I get their attention, one of those pedestrians will walk me! That’ll make my human jealous.)
4. He’s doing the pee-pee paso doble
Unless your dog has been cast on Dancing With the Pups, fancy footwork by the door can only mean one thing: Hurry, human!
5. He’s fetching your footwear
Your shoes have been moved from the rack to the doormat without your assistance. Either your house is haunted, or an earthly creature is trying to tell you something. Do you have a ghost or a Golden Retriever? Either way, someone wants you out of the house.
6. He’s wagging like he’s never wagged before
You didn’t say “walk,” but he thought you did. Guess you’re going now before he wags the house down. Seriously, the place is shaking.
7. He looks like he’s going with or without you
He’s standing by the door with a look that can only be described as one part disappointment, one part demand. “Get your keys, human, or the next time you open this door for FedEx I’m gonna bolt.” This is not an empty threat. You should get the leash.
8. He’s singing the walk song
It’s the kind of noise you didn’t even know could come from a dog, but to him, this is an anthem that gets action. If this noisy dog could talk he would say, “If I howl loud enough to wake the neighbors maybe I’ll get my way.”
9. He’s doing a pre-walk warm up
And warming your heart. A big stretch, followed by a yoga pose (the perfect Downward Dog) followed by a big kiss for the human. They’re so cute when they want something.
10. He’s a DOG
Is there a dog in your house? He WANTS a walk.
Tell us: What are the signs that YOUR dog wants to go for a walk? Does he display any of these signals when he wants to go for a walk?
Thumbnail: Photography ©damedeeso | Getty Images.
Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer and two-time dog mom to GhostBuster and Marshmallow. Despite their movie-inspired names, Heather’s dogs aren’t in any web series — but they are on the web as the @ghostpetson Instagram. You can find Heather on Twitter.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!