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Dog-to-dog tips
By Luann Lewis, July 2018, Updated August 2021

So you’re new in the house and you need a few pointers. First thing, the woman does the food and the petting. The man does the walking and the playing. Get that straight.


If you want a tummy rub or a neck scratch, first you’ve got to get her attention but you don’t want to do it the wrong way.  The best way is to lie in your bed, chin on the fluffy part, then look up… make your eyes real big… and stare at the woman. Stare her right in the face.  Don’t stop. Just stare. Pretty soon she’ll look back. If she looks away, give a tiny whimper. She’ll glance over at you. If she looks away again, give another whimper and when she gives in, keep your head down but wag your tail and smile.  If she chuckles, you’ve got it made. If she doesn’t chuckle, repeat. Once she laughs, you can pounce on her and she’ll giggle hard and pet you like crazy. Humans like to feel loved. That’s what they pay you for.



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And speaking of pay, let’s move on to treats. Payday comes when the woman is in the kitchen. When she’s walking around you can smell the stuff she’s doing. Stay real still and look up at her. If that doesn’t work, whine a little…. not too much. Open your eyes wide, make sure they’re moist, like big tears waiting to drip down your furry face. Sit. Stand. Wag your tail. Open your mouth, pant and smile… let her know you’re convinced she’s going to give you that treat and you’re ready for it. Sit again.

Whine in disappointment.  Lie down. Stand up. Jump a little (until she yells). Smile and pant. Smile and drool. Sit again. Go sit outside the kitchen door watch her. Go back into the kitchen because she’s not paying attention.

Whimper.  Make a face like the dogs in the ASPCA commercials.  Put a paw on her leg.

Bark (but not too much). Whine (but not too much). Sit and pant. Never take your eyes off her… watch every move of her hand.

When she looks at you, stand up, wiggle… wag…. wiggle really hard and smile.

YES!  You got it! The treat! Payday!

Once kitchen time is over, they’re going to want to sit and look at that glass picture thing but you need to keep them moving. The woman has already been busy in the kitchen so she won’t want to get up, but the man might look over at you. If he cocks his head to the left and raises one eyebrow, that means he’s considering a walk. You need to encourage him. Jump around a and make lots of happy noises. Spin and look silly. Men like that, it makes them feel smarter than you. Once the leash is in his hand, you can take him out for a walk.  He’lll be safely tethered to you and won’t wander into the street or miss the good smells of the other dogs. He might slow you down when you’re trying to get the squirrels but what can you do? He’s just a man. The woman is even worse.  She’ll stop and talk to someone and you just have to sit there or endure the other annoying dog that’s walking his woman and trying to tell you that this is HIS street.

Finally, when the day is done, the man and woman like to sleep in your bed with you. That’s nice, especially in winter when you can nestle right in between them. They may, for some reason, push you down to the foot of the bed or even order you off the bed from time to time. I don’t get it… after all, it is YOUR bed. I mean, who spends the most time on it? But, don’t worry, once they start making that loud snorting noise, they won’t notice that you’re right up there between them again.  And when it’s time for them to wake up, just get in their faces. Take a good long whiff of their mouth and wish them good morning. You know how they love to put faces together that way. They do it all the time.

Yes, I think you’ll enjoy running your new home.  The pay can be very tasty but in between those naps, you’ll have to work like a dog.



Luann Lewis was in the law profession but is now pursuing her MFA and likes to dabble in Flash Fiction, Poetry and Literary Fiction.