Dog Dictionary: A concise dictionary of canine-to-English and English-to-canine language

Pettigrew on three pillows
Looking innocent.


Pointed stare, sharp bark, three steps backward, wait, repeat as needed ↔ There is something I really, really need you to do. Guess what it is! Food? Water? Walk? Something else? I’ll let me know if you get it right.

Rolling his eyes back so he can see who’s coming into the house without getting up from the sofa, head resting on the armrest↔ Yeah, so you’re home. I can see that. What, you wanted me to greet you at the door?!

Jumping all over me when I come in the door.↔ Where were you? I was so worried! It’s late?!

Paws on radiator cover. Fierce stare out window.  Loud barking. ↔ 

  1. Intruder, intruder. Our perimeter is being breached.
  2. Mail or package delivery.
  3. Dog walking by our house.
  4. Rescue vehicle passing.
  5. Car muffler too loud.

Just Because My Dog is Barking Doesn’t Mean I Know You Are At the Door

It’s My Turn #4: In Which Pettigrew Takes Umbrage at his Recent Treatment & Clarifies the Need for Barking

Frantic snuffling deep into a bush, shrub, or bank of ivy↔ 

  1. Another dog peed here. It smells great!
  2. There’s food!
  3. There’s an animal! Must. Give. Chase.

Coming up from under the table with the tablecloth draping over his head. Resting his muzzle in my lap and gazing upward with liquid brown eyes.↔ Don’t be sad. I’m here for you. When I’m feeling blue, Pettigrew Knows What to Do


Picking up leash in preparation for a walk↔ Five minute warning! Run around. Toss toy in air. Eat food. Drink water. Play catch-me-if-you-can before it’s time to take my family for a walk.

Grandmom and Pop Pop are on their way. ↔ A treat will be arriving momentarily! Assume position on window seat to catch first sight of incoming vehicle. The Command I Never Tried to Teach Is the One Pettigrew Knows the Best

Pettigrew go back downstairs!↔ You want me to walk downstairs?! Impossible, don’t you see there’s a gate blocking the bottom of the stairs! I would never cross that gate. The Grass is Always Greener on the Second Floor

Pettigrew stay! ↔ I love this game! I creep forward and stay just out of reach.

Pettigrew come! ↔ I don’t see a treat in her hand. I wonder if she’ll offer a treat if I stall.

Pettigrew lie down! Pettigrew heel!Pettigrew go in the corner!↔ Are you talking to me? I have no idea what you are saying.


6 thoughts on “Dog Dictionary: A concise dictionary of canine-to-English and English-to-canine language

  1. Well done! Your fluency in both languages is impressive! The descriptions of “Canine” are particularly well done. You are a keen observer. He’s incredibly communicative.

    Liked by 1 person

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