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Whether you already own a dog or are planning to have one in near future, it’s helpful to understand their language as this will help you in communicating with them in a much better way. Dogs usually make gestures and vocalizations using their body and face just like humans do in order to express their feelings. While some of these gestures are like human gestures, in dogs they may have a completely different meaning.
In this article, we will learn ways to interpret dog’s messaging strategies and how to talk to dogs in their language.
Understand Dog Behavior
According to wikihow.com you should observe your dog’s mannerisms, habits, and movements through observation as this will help you in understanding their communication behavior. There are many things that will make sense to you without any explanation. Like any person, your dog is also unique!
Keep in mind that your dog’s communication techniques or language are subtle and by learning how to talk to dogs in their language, you can quickly address any issue your dog expresses before the situation escalates. Remember that it’s actually a two-way learning process. Dogs will also have to learn your behavioral clues, so you need to be careful about your own posture and gestures.
Dogs do not understand your language, so you should teach them the meaning of “sit” or “no”. They won’t learn if you keep on repeating these words. Luring your dog to follow your commands and then rewarding them will make him eager to sit, and the process would become easier. However, your pet’s ability to signal may be hampered by their breed. For instance, if your dog has a docked tail or squat ears, some of these signals may not apply to him/her.
You should try to understand your dog’s response to eye contact. Dogs often feel threatened or confused by direct eye contact because it’s a threat stance for them. If your dog looks away in this situation, then he’s actually being polite and wants to avoid confrontation. The best way to train your dog is through clicker training or positive reinforcements. Punishment won’t work as dogs have a short memory, and may fail to connect with the situations like pooping on your floor to your dissatisfaction. When your dog learns you dislike their act they may “act guilty” in order to appease you.
Exposing their body and rolling over is a gesture to appease you, and giving them a belly rub is a good reinforcement for this behavior. Mounting indicates stress in dog, and dogs use variety of gestures to express discomfort, including yawning or misplaced sneezing, avoiding eye contact, licking lips, whale eye, cowering, and a stiff body. When this happens, the best thing to do is to immediately stop what you’re doing and do not repeat it in future.
Your dog can show emotions with his tail. A wiggly butt or a wagging tail means pure joy. A tucked tails means they’re scared and a low tail is a sign of content. A slowly wagging tail indicates cautious nature and a stiff tails indicates his high level of alertness.
Read Your Dog’s Body Language
We4animals.org states that you need to learn ways to properly interpret dog’s posture. The way he holds his body can tell you more about its emotions and mood. Most of these signals are subtle and it can take some time to learn their expressions, but it’s well worth the effort.
A confident dog will stand tall, with his tail wagging slowly and ears either relaxed or pricked up. Your dog is bowing when facing you with chest and head dipped to low ground. This denotes playtime. Hip nudges and swings is another sign of play. When dog’s rear is presented to you, it means either your dog wants a scratch, or is an indication of trust.
If your dog raised his paw to touch any body part, he wants to get your attention. If he’s stretching front of his legs or his butt, he’s probably being playful. Repeated pawing in air is an invitation to play. If he’s fiercely wagging his tail, he’s feeling mischievous and is inclined to annoy fellow canine or you!
According to petfinder.com pacing can be a sure sign of nervousness. It can also indicate sign of boredom or excitement. A threatened dog may raise hackles and a scared dog can even bite, so you should be very careful around a dog’s raising its hackles.
Lastly, you should watch your dog’s face as they show how they’re feeling with their facial expressions. A yawning dog means he’s tired and feeling stressed. A stretched mouth shows he’s very stressed and an alert dog will have mouth partially closed.
You should do some research on how dogs communicate with each other. By modeling your communication strategy on dog-to-dog communication you will learn how to talk to dogs in their language. This this will certainly lead to a more successful two way communication.