Interpreting Your Dog’s Body Language

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Can you speak Dog? While dogs do bark and use sound signals, most of the information they communicate is through their body language.

If you want to communicate with your dog and build a better relationship, start by trying to understand the meaning and causes behind his or her most common dog behaviors.

At the bottom of this article is a link to a great video by Doggy Dan in which you can see all the behaviors mentioned below for yourself. 

LIFTING A PAW: If your dog raises one paw in the air, stop what you are doing and leave the dog alone. This is a sign that your dog does not want to be petted or bothered and is not happy. Your dog may be worried or may not feel well, but definitely does not feel like being with you right now. 

COMPLETE 360-DEGREE SPINS: Sometimes dogs spin in circles when they are excited for the arrival of their owner, or food or a game of fetch. This is a normal behavior. However, when a dog is spinning around in circles repetitively multiple times a day, he or she is dealing with a very stressful situation. Think of it like biting your nails. It is a compulsion. Maybe your dog was left alone too long or maybe he didn’t get enough attention from you or something else. Safely interrupt the behavior by providing some distraction for the dog.

Provide more structure to your dog’s day so he/she does not have so much time alone. Get him/her out to exercise and play more often. 

THE HEAD OVER ANTOHER DOG’S BACK: When meeting a more submissive dog, the dominant dog may attempt to place its head over the more submissive dog’s shoulders or back. If a dog is highly dominant, it may respond to your touch on or at the back of its head with a growl or snap, reading into your hand position an attempt to express your dominance. 

RETURN TO PLAY: Have you ever observed your dog play with another dog? His/her front end is down, the rear end is up and there is a characteristic enthusiastic tail was with a wiggly rear end. This means your dog is receptive to the attention you are giving him/her and wants to play. 

HAIR ON THE DOG”S BACK STANDS UP: If your dog senses a challenge, the hair on his back will stand up and he will stare intensely. If you return the stare, now matter how sincerely or kindly meant, it could be seen as a challenge and result in a bite.

One of the best places to learn how to interpret your dog’s behavior is Doggy Dan’s website The Online Dog Trainer. Here is just one fantastic example of his work, demonstrating the above dog behaviors and many more:

Doggy Dan’s site is an excellent source of knowledge with over 250 videos on dog training, interpreting your dog’s behavior and stopping unwanted behaviors. Doggy Dan even offers a 3 Day $1 trial of the site that YOU can take advantage of.  CLICK HERE 

Need help training your pooch?
Here is a great resource full of video guides that will make it easy. Click here >>

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