by Sheryl Wall
I have two Westies and they are very smart and love to learn. They also are very good communicators and will always find a way to tell me what they want. I will share with you a few stories to give you a good picture of their unique communication skills.
Cosette and Natisa are very close to each other and don’t like to be separated. I learned this lesson the hard way. When they were younger I took them to Petco often to socialize them and do some training. Once my sister, Lorie came with me and we each did our shopping at Petco and she walked Natisa while I walked Cosette. Well, we were shopping on opposite sides of the store and my girls barked and whined until we brought them back together. The whole store got that message loud and clear.
Cosette is my agility girl and loves to compete most of the time. I took her to a trial in the summer time and it was warm but not too warm, or so I thought. Well, it was our turn to run and when I released Cosette from her stay she stayed at the jump and stared at me as if to say “Are you kidding me? Its too hot and I won’t do it!” Another time, she just left the ring after a couple jumps. After that I got the point that we don’t go to Agility trials in the heat.Cosette has a unique way of telling me when she needs to go outside to the bathroom. She will sit as still as a statue and whimper the smallest whine and look up at me. I know when she does this she really has to go and until that door is open she is quite unmovable. They also can communicate when they are hungry or want to play by looking up at me with a little bark and walking to what they want. For example, to the toy drawer or to the treat jar and stare at it and bark until they get an answer. Of course the answer isn’t always yes but they thankfully will take no for an answer too.
One day my Irish Setter, Maiyah, got into a bad of dog food that wasn’t hers and was chicken based which she is highly allergic to. I was in the other room and heard Cosette frantically barking and I went running in to see what happened. I was able to stop her and I believe Cosette actually saved Maiyah’s life but alerting me just in time. I will always listen when she barks like that.
Another time our girls had a frantic bark and I recognized it as their warning bark and it ended up there was someone breaking into the car.
This is just a few of the many ways that they have learned to communicate with us over the years. Westies are smart and stubborn so they learn quickly how to get their thoughts across to their owners. There is never any guessing when it comes to my Westies because their messages are always loud and clear.
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