Trust your dog is always communicating!
My dogs speak to me in so many ways. They can tell me if they are hurting long before limping appears, they tell me what I have really trained them to do (regardless of what I have asked), and they tell me what they love.
They naturally understand so many things as evidence of beliefs of several handling systems, APHS and OMD.
The dogs and I were playing this morning. I was working on some discrimination skills. Tunnel and two jumps. Take this closer jump or take the further jump, I was cuing from the far left of both jumps. Split told me that my cue was incorrect, I was cuing the far jump improperly. This was the cue for take the backside of the closer jump. He was exactly right! I had no idea he had that skill! (basically do a threadle independently to get to the backside).
I was running a trial this weekend and one of my dogs was crashing into jumps in a very unusual way. Of course I couldn't really see it because I run ahead of my dogs. A couple of friends brought it to my attention, looked at the video (!! f.r.e.a.k.e.d o.u.t !!), got him adjusted and things became right again. As a side note, it was the calmest I have ever seen him be while getting adjusted, he knew this was what he needed.
But, if I have been listening, I would have seen this before I got slapped in the face. There were avoidance behaviors that told me something was up. If I had only been listening! Motivates you to be a good listener doesn't it?
I was working a skill and rewarding with a tug. One of the dogs was willing to work, but the energy wasn't there. The lack of energy did have my attention, but I guess not enough to troubleshoot it. Finally, I decided to listen to the clear message that this was work and not fun. I got a better, more exciting tug and the game was on.
They can't use words, but I think that is better. They use a language that anyone can understand if only we care to listen.