Who’s The Boss? 40+ Times Our Pets Reminded Us Who’s In Charge

By Anni K

Pets have a special way of creeping into our hearts and taking over our lives. You may think you are the one in charge, but your furry friend will always find a way to make you rethink that assumption. In fact, as these photos show, some pets may have trained us more than we’ve trained them!

From dogs bringing their bowls to their owners for food to cats meowing at the refrigerator for treats, these pictures reveal the hilarious ways our pets have become masters of our routines. You can’t help but chuckle at these instances that most pet parents know all too well.

So if you’ve ever found yourself rushing home to let your dog out or breaking your no-couch rule to snuggle with your cat, don’t worry; you’re certainly not alone. Read on to find out how these munchkins remind us that they are the real bosses in our households.

Hanging Out

This is an excellent example of a dog being smart enough to understand awesome cues. Just like you would clicker train a dog, or like Pavlov trained his dogs with bells, this dog was basically trained by the familiar sound an Xbox console makes. 

Swain64 / ig

When he hears it, he knows his owner will be sitting comfortably in front of the TV for a few hours, so he runs up to sit next to them so they can enjoy some quality time together. It’s a whole love language, and we’re so jealous!

Fresh Water, Please!

Over the years, this cat learned that her owner would quickly fill her bowl with fresh, cold water whenever she was thirsty. So now, years later, she still demands fresh water when she’s thirsty. No way she’s having ‘stale’ water when she has a plug!

Matnoukparis / ig

We don’t often realize that when we begin a simple practice with our pets, especially cats, they quickly get used to it and stick to it even after we leave the house or change owners. Well, at least we know this little rascal always gets clean water!

Lettuce Eat

Pets have unique ways of understanding cues and noises since they always take note of patterns and what we do. For instance, if you always open the fridge before feeding them, they will always associate the fridge opening with feeding time. 

Golumolu_theguineapigs / ig

For Gidgit, an adorable guinea pig, whenever her owner opened the fridge, she would come running because that meant she’d get delicious lettuce. The association was so strong that even when she was deep asleep, she could still hear the sound and get the munchies!

Excuse You

This is a weird one, even for us. Maybe the lines got crossed somewhere with this pooch and its owners because how else can you explain the fact that he thinks farting on people is a sign of affection? Where’d you see that?

Realstauffpics / ig

In the dog’s defense, the owners likely laugh at him when it happens, which makes the dog happy. So whenever he wants to see his owners happy and laughing, he pulls out this signature trick and lets one out for a good laugh!

Did I Hear Food?

There are a lot of words that dogs eventually learn even if you don’t actively train them to know them, like food, dinner, or walkies! For this pet owner, they had to resort to using complicated sentences to communicate in the house with words their dog didn’t understand. 

Ziathehyena / ig

For example, they now have to say ‘nightly meal’ instead of dinner to prevent freakouts and overexcitement from their dog. When you have to change the way you talk just because of a pet, you come to the strange realization that they’re, indeed, the boss of you!

Bunny or Dog?

Some pets have an intense love for random snacks or certain kinds of food. That seems to be the case with animals too. For instance, you would think this dog would beg for things like treats, biscuits, or even some fresh meat, but alas! He actually loves carrots, of all things!

Fonz.thenorfolk / ig

He adores this vegetable and not only enjoys eating them but also often plays with them, especially the green carrot tops. Well, at least we know his eyesight will not deteriorate any time soon and that he eats a healthy diet full of veggies – or at least one specific veggie! 

Concerned Pet

This is the cutest thing we have read so far! This dog has learned that the word ‘Oops’ means something unexpected has happened, so every time they hear it, they run to check that their person is okay and if they’ve accidentally dropped some food!

Ultramaoridoctor / ig

This is like having an informal service dog who attends to and cares for you whenever they hear a trigger word like ‘Oops.’ We would definitely fake a couple of them so the dog would come running just for cuddles and playtime!

Embarrassed Dog

The same way children can be embarrassed by their parent’s behavior, it seems dogs can be equally embarrassed about their owner’s behavior too! Especially when it’s something like being overexcited about sports and, of course, yelling and making funny gestures. 

Watson.mini.pit / ig

This person’s dog knew that whenever she heard the opening to any football match or some commentary, it was likely gameday, and their owner would get super excited about the game. So she’d run to another room and hide her head in embarrassment!

Smart Doggy

Evidently, this is a common problem among dog owners. Since most doggies get too excited when they hear words like ‘walk’ or ‘dinner,’ some people have resorted to spelling out the words to ensure their dog doesn’t understand them and get all jumpy.

Shore_pet_services_llc / ig

But this pup was onto this hack! On the bright side, we must admit that these guys are the lucky owners of a brilliant dog. Unfortunately for them, it looks like they’ll either have to accept their fate or learn sign language, and hope he doesn’t crack that too!


Sometimes you don’t have to say anything for your dog to pick up on some cues. For example, this dog knows that in order to go walk, his owner needs to put on their shoes. The only problem is he doesn’t realize that this doesn’t always mean walkies! 

princess_amalie_havanese / ig

So now, whenever someone in the house wears their shoes, even if it is a guest, the dog gets very excited since he thinks he’s going on a walk and proceeds to follow them around. He probably often wonders what’s taking so long!

Entertaining FaceTime Calls

When this person first got their dog, they would often Facetime their mom to show off the new doggy, which is so relatable because we know the excitement that comes with that. She would get the dog to do cute tricks for her, and as expected, the pattern stuck.

Sirshrek_theyorkie / ig

So whenever he hears the recognizable Facetime tune, he gets ready to show off his skills by rolling over, tossing around toys, and being a cutie all around! It’s adorable how dedicated he is to the art of entertaining Facetime guests!

Are You Okay?

Who said cats can’t be as cute with verbal cues as dogs? This cat proves that kitties can be just as smart. Whenever its owner would sneeze, it would reply by meowing twice, almost as if it was trying to say ‘bless you.’

Jovieyacola / ig

But the cuteness doesn’t stop there. When the owner would reply ‘Thank you,’ the cat would know they were fine, but if they didn’t, it wouldn’t stop meowing until it knew their person was okay. The only way to know that, of course, was through those two simple words. Such a cutie!

Refills Please

How could you not want to be trained by this cute dog with those puppy eyes? This little guy brings his bowl to his owner whenever it is empty, and they want a refill. Obviously, this must have worked many times before, or else he wouldn’t be doing it. 

Erikscott425 / ig

We love this so much because this means the dog does not have to whine or bark for food. He has such excellent manners and knows how to ask for food in a civilized way. Frankly, he’s actually better than most of us when we’re hungry!


When this person’s roommate got a cat, their dog quickly learned that cats get tasty treats and attention whenever their owner would call out for them. Since these were things the dog occasionally craved, it decided to use this trick to see if it would work out for them too.

Mollymiapaws / ig

So now, whenever the cat’s owner calls out for their furry friend, this sly canine shows up too! Needless to say, that idea worked like a charm. This dog’s lifestyle is a prime example of why you should always aim to work smarter, not harder.

Bed Time, Mom!

Cats are creatures of habit, and they love schedules. Cat trainers often ask owners to stick to a very specific schedule for feeding their cats to ensure they don’t get stressed or become what we may think of as ‘naughty cats.’ 

Kerobitemoon / ig

That said, this feline loves not only being fed at a specific time, but she also loves that her owner has a very specific bedtime. So when it’s getting too late, she meows at them to get into bed and even gently wakes them at 6 am. This is certainly an alarm clock we’d love!


Pets don’t know when they are being naughty. They just know if they do something, good or bad, you will come running to give them attention. They also don’t always understand if you are upset, even if you raise your voice. 

Erhathehuskybaby / ig

This cute husky knows this all too well. So, whenever he feels deprived, he flips his water bowl over and stands right in the middle of the whole mess because he knows his owner won’t ignore that. This gives us a lot of ideas to try out on our own!

My Seat!

This cat has some serious stink eye! Apparently, she will stare at her owner as if to say, “You’re sitting on one of my toys,” and as soon as they get up, she quickly sits on the nice and warm spot. Show us your ways, Master!

Brownie_leny / ig

To make matters worse, she’s taught the other resident kitty this neat little trick, which has left the owner playing a silly game of ‘steal my seat’ over and over again. Wait until the cat realizes her owner can simply pick them up and put them elsewhere!

Ding Dong!

Many dog owners that live in apartments use some sort of bell or another system so their furry friend can let them know when they need to go outside to use the ‘bathroom.’ But this doggy got it a bit wrong. Or is it the opposite?


Instead of just ringing the bell when he needs to go outside, he has realized that sometimes he also gets treats to reward his good behavior for using the bell. So now he just rings it to get a treat and won’t stop until he gets it! 

Sign Language, Sort Of

This person uses their hands a lot when speaking, so instead of learning the verbal cues during puppy training, his dog learned to respond better to his owner’s hand signals. We can’t even laugh at this one because we can totally see it happening to us too!

Max.thebc / ig

So essentially, the two of them started their own little sign language. Of course, there are hand gestures used when training dogs, but it seems when you use your hands a lot in your communication, your pooch learns to watch out for the signs more than the words.


This person thought it would be cute to teach their dog to go crazy whenever they said ‘filthy squirrel.’ Unfortunately for them, that backfired since their kids often point to squirrels out of admiration, causing this canine to go crazy for them!

Bodisontour / ig

Doing this can be dangerous when you’re not training a hunting dog or in other specific circumstances. So we hope this makes you think twice before trying to teach your dog a cute but potentially dangerous command as these people did. 


These dogs somehow confused two very basic commands. But hey, if it works, it works! They mixed up the meanings of the phrases ‘shake’ and ‘do you want to go out,’ so now whenever they want to go out, they go up to their owner and extend their paws!

Janesvillevet / ig

This is certainly the cutest way your dog can tell you that they want to go out. Plus, it’s very polite and far better than barking or whining in front of the door. Now this guy will just have to teach them another command to shake paws!

Let’s Go Downstairs

If you have a kitchen downstairs in a double-story home, you better hope this does not happen to you and your pets. These naughty rascals realized that if their owner came downstairs, there was a good chance they would be going into the kitchen. 


And as expected, if they go into the kitchen, there’s usually a high possibility of getting fed. So now, this person can’t go downstairs without being hounded by at least one kitty, thinking it is feeding time! They’re so lucky they’re cute!

Smelly Kitchen 

This couple once made peppery steak in the oven, which filled the house with a peppery smell causing the wife’s nose to be irritated. This then prompted their cat to hide in their bathroom, which was the furthest spot it could find from the kitchen.

Catcruizin / ig

So now, every time the stove or oven is turned on, it thinks the house will smell like pepper again, so the poor feline immediately bolts for the bathroom to hide. It only stopped happening when they had moved out. 

Clean Standards

Usually, after you set up a litterbox for your cat, you always ensure to keep it relatively clean by removing all the solid objects or changing the litter crystals. But for this cat, their standards are way higher than those of other cats. 

Martinkarlik7532 / ig

He does not tolerate any ‘leftovers’ in his litterbox and will only use it if it’s pristinely clean. These poor parents have to run after their cat every time it uses the litterbox! They should definitely look into getting one of those automatic cleaning litterboxes as a gift to themselves, right?

Passive-Aggressive Dog

This dog displays some passive-aggressive behavior toward its owners if they don’t follow its rules, which we have to say is better than having an aggressive dog. Plus, this habit must be a gold mine for hilarious stories! At least, in our opinion!

Snowy_theshepsky / ig

If they fail to go to bed at the same time every night, the dog gets very upset and huffs and puffs until they do. Additionally, whenever his bowl is empty, he will slowly lick it, manipulating his owners by making direct eye contact with them until they fill it up! 

Laundry Cat

You should be very careful of how and when you praise your pets, as they can very easily be convinced that what they have done is good, and they should do it again to get the same attention they got.

Waynecshields / ig

This person’s cat brought them a sock randomly one day, and it got a heap of praise and rubs from its owner. So now, every time it wants attention, it brings over some dirty laundry! Imagine this happening to you when you have guests!

Seated at the Table

This is a very cute example of positive reinforcement gone wrong, but it’s still a fun story to tell. The owners of these cats once saw one of them sit in a chair at the dinner table and thought it was cute. So they rewarded them with some snacks on a plate. 

Happy_theofournier / ig

Unfortunately, not only did the behavior continue, but their second cat saw this and decided he couldn’t be left out of the action! Now it has become a hilarious problem at dinnertime, especially when the owners have guests over at their place!

Small Hide for Food

We didn’t know that you could train snakes by accident like this person did. When their pet corn snake was still a small hatchling, every time they needed to feed her, they would first move her to a smaller hide. 

Wei_xian_ting / ig

The snake has now caught up to this pattern, so every time she wants food, she goes to the smaller hide to let her owners know that she’s hungry. We don’t know much about snakes, but we are sure this is a handy tidbit for owners!

Head Kisses

Some pets, like this kitty, have very specific nighttime routines. Her case is particularly special because though we would never get tired of doing this, she is a cat. And normally, they hate some forms of expressing affection, like head kisses. 

Terreurmignonne / ig

Apparently, this cat has always been given head kisses ever since she was a kitten. Now she will not go to bed until she gets her head kisses and aggressively head-butts her mom’s face until she gets them! How adorable is that? 

Treats or Playtime

If you store your pet’s favorite snacks in a cupboard or shelf you often use, you should expect that they will get excited every single time you open that door. They obviously expect you’re about to give them some yummy treats. 

Thor_and_loki_buns / ig

For example, these two bunnies know that their treats are stored in a certain closet, which just so happens to be where their owner stores their PlayStation. So every time they want to play a game, the bunnies come hopping for treats!

Small Spoon Only 

When this person first got their kitten, she thought it would be okay for her to share her bed since she was so tiny and excessively cute (quite understandable). However, the little kitty grew up but refused to outgrow her spot on the bed.

Deandotcom / ig

But that does not seem to bother the cat, as she demands to be the little spoon at all times. Even when their owner rolls over to change sleeping positions, she meows until they roll back over to snuggle them. Frankly, we would not complain about this! 

Koi Drums

We would never have ever guessed that fish can be trained, just like cats and dogs! These person’s fish, who he says are 28 years old and over 60cm long each, have associated the banging sound of their food container with seeing their owner.

Thefishshoppt / ig

Whenever he drums on the food container, which he sometimes does out of habit, the koi all rush to the end of the pond where he is standing, splashing about excitedly as they try and get in front of the line to get some food! How fascinating!

Clean Dog

This owner started a neat trick with their dog, and it has evidently caught on. Usually, animals don’t learn the behavior we want them to, but this dog has learned to ease its owner’s routine whenever they return home after a walk. 

Sophiebophiezoo / ig

Initially, the owner cleaned their dog’s paws of any dirt when they returned from a walk, and now, since it knows its owner is going to wipe them, they automatically lift its paws for the cleaning process. How cute and convenient is that?

Cat Detective

This trick that this dog can do is pretty cool. Whenever their owner asks the dog, “Where’s your brother?” the dog immediately jumps into action and sniffs around to find the cat – its brother- and points it out to its owner. 

Choo_n_bagle / ig

This has become very handy since the owner says that whenever they’re late for work, they simply ask the dog where its brother is, and that is how they make sure the cat isn’t stuck in a closet or something. We wonder how long it took to learn that!

Spinning Out of Control 

We know that mini pigs and full-sized pigs sometimes act similar to dogs when you keep them as pets. The only difference is they don’t bark! But what we’ve not yet heard of is that pigs spin when they don’t get what they want fast enough. 

Lola.lapig / ig

Spinning in circles is one of the first tricks this little piggy learned, and now whenever she wants something, and her owners don’t give it to her quick enough, she starts to spin. We don’t want to find out what happens if they don’t stop spinning. 

Properly Trained

This is a dog owner that has actually been trained by their dog more than their dog has been trained by them since they always do the thing their dog gets most excited about. Which is letting him out to go and play.

Doggyfostermomma / ig

Every time they hear their owner’s phone click as they lock their phone, the dog gets so excited because it thinks it’s time to go outside and play with its owner. To his credit, the owner thinks it’s so cute; that’s why they allow it every time!

Fresh Water 

This dog would not drink from her bowl, even if it was filled to the top with fresh water. The owner was forced to change the water in front of her so she could be certain that it was, in fact, fresh water.

The_life_of_lincoln / ig

We wonder if these are simply trust issues the dog has or just unreasonably high standards. Did someone give her old water at some point which now forces her to demand fresh water to ensure she doesn’t relive the traumas of the past? Odd, but still cute!

Vulnerable Cuddles

There is something about cats that confuses us a lot. They rarely ever want cuddles when you want to hold them or give them even the slightest petting, but when you are at your most vulnerable and on the toilet, that’s when they want to catch up on cuddling. 

Andythetortie / ig

Some of them will meow until you open the bathroom door, hop on your lap and demand the world’s best cuddles when you really cannot change your position for a few minutes. Cats are odd, but frankly, we will take the cuddles anyway!

Fake Wounds

This pup suffered some pain in her eye when she was much younger, and like any kind dog owner, her owner spoiled her with love and treats to make her feel better sooner. But that led this sneaky pooch to learn a new trick. 

Naruversum / ig

She now pretends to have a bad eye and winks and whimpers in order to get her owner’s attention! She pulls at her heartstrings so they can give her some treats and affection. Then, as soon as she gets her way, her eyes become good as new!

Evil Bird

This bird has a very sadistic nature, as not only does it steal the batteries from remotes and other electronics, but it also dances and laughs when its owner finds the batteries the bird has hidden. Those are some evil tendencies!

Cookie_the_eagle / ig

Batteries are not valuable in monetary terms, but when you quickly need to shave your beard or you’ve just sat down in front of the TV and realized your remote has no batteries, it can be really frustrating. Better tape your electronics up!


This is a heartwarming tale of a little dachshund. This dog had no official training to identify epilepsy – which some service dogs can do. He would just circle his owner when she was about to have an epilepsy attack so she could quickly find a safe spot for herself. 

Stanley_the_tiny_dachshund / ig

Ironically, the little doggy also had epilepsy, and they both helped each other out for over 17 years by calming each other down whenever either had a seizure. We are convinced that that must have been her soulmate in animal form!

Good Guardian

You would think this is just a clever cat who realized that when the eggs are exposed, crows come around to steal them since cats love hunting birds. However, it seems that this kitty is simply a good guardian to its owners. 

Deandotcom / ig

He doesn’t want to catch the crows just for the sake of catching them. He actively guards eggs against the crows trying to get to them so they can eat them since crows are omnivorous and often eat different kinds of bird eggs. Such a good kitty!

Sneaky Boy

Dogs are sneaky when it comes to doing things they know they shouldn’t be doing. For this one, he wasn’t allowed upstairs in one of its owner’s rooms. But whenever they got back from school and pulled into the driveway, he would be in this room, standing at the window. 

Any.do.agreste / ig

He would see the two boys come home and quickly run downstairs and lie down behind the couch and dramatically lift his head when they came in the front door, pretending he’d just woken up from a nap! Sneaky dog.

System & Control 

There are two incredibly smart animals in this story. First, we have a sneaky cat that taught itself how to open the fridge door and get itself some snacks. And then we have a dog that realized the cat could do this neat trick. 

Fynn.land / ig

The dog would beg the cat to also feed him some snacks, and the cat obliged. What a cool yet scary thing! One day the cat and dog will start a plan to overthrow their owners and rule the household!