What You Say Vs. What They Hear

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

April 6, 2016

If you’re a dog owner, you are well aware of the specific language reserved only for your dog. It’s a language that arises out of instinct. You don’t even know that you know the language until you get a dog and you realize you are actually bilingual.

But for those people who aren’t blessed by the company of a canine, this language is incomprehensible. So, here’s a cheat sheet of some of the most common phrases in “Dog Owner” language, along with translations for you poor laymen (aka non-dog owners):

1.”He just wants to say hello!”

Translation: He’s going to stick his head in your crotch and I need you to be OK with that.

2. “Awww look at Fifi doing butt circles again!!”
butt probz

Translation: I’m instagramming my dog’s butt itch situation because it gets me likes.

3.”He’s a little judgmental.”
judge-y dog

Translation: I say my dog has complex feelings because I can’t get past the fact that he’s just an asshole sometimes.

4. “Princess? Snuggle wuggle joogie boojie goo!”
wide eyed

Translation:  I’ve had a stroke or I ate too many pop rocks as a child and it has severely impacted the language centers in my brain.

5. “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?”

Translation: This is the only way my dog will pay attention to me unless I am holding bacon.

6. “These are my babies, my lil furbabies!”

husky puppy

Translation: I am of the opinion that I can somehow birth a different species. I’m also weirdly turned off by human babies and hoping vitro fertilization radically evolves in the future to change this.

7. “It’s only grain-free for Sarge.”

Translation: The dog eats 10 times better than I do.

8. “Isn’t he cute?!”

really? Puppy

Translation: No one ever told me I was cute as a child, so I picked a dog I deemed adorable so I can live vicariously through his compliments. Give me validation. I won’t walk away until you do. I’m serious. I need this.

9. “Stop barking, Milo. Daddy doesn’t like that.”

Translation: See Translation #6

10. “Ok Moosh, outside time!”

quizzical puppy

Translation: My dog is the only reason I spend any time outdoors.

11.”My dog is so sweet!”


Translation: He once pooped in a friend’s purse, but that was like three months ago, so he’s totally over it now.

12. “He’s housebroken.”

Dog Disdain Husky

Translation: He’s housebroken 98% of the time.

13. “I have to hire a dog sitter for my final.”

Translation: I can’t leave my dog alone for three hours because I have separation anxiety even though I blame it on my dog 100% of the time.

14. “I have to go home to walk my dog.”

stay at home 2

Translation:  I know we had plans tonight, but I really don’t like you and I don’t have the courage to tell you that I’d rather hang out with someone who can’t talk.

15. “My dog has a gluten allergy”


Translation: I have projected my own allergy on my dog so we can eat the same foods together, and I don’t have to feel so weak and alone on Pie Day.

16. “Can I bring my dog?”

personality dog

Translation: He’s my personality. Without him I bring nothing to the table, and I’m completely terrified of human interaction.

17. “Don’t say that in front of the dog.”

Translation: I think my dog has a moral barometer that matches my own. I am delusional. 

Featured image via @murphys_lucky_penny and @charlesosawa

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

April 6, 2016

Toothbrush-free dental care for dogs.

Fresher breath in 1–2 weeks.



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.