Dog Behavior |
Understanding the language of your four-legged friend
Dogs are very eager to understand us and work with us. They have a great need for clarity and safety. It is up to us to offer them just this and to understand their behavior!
Dogs “talk” a lot with their body. Facial expression, ear position, body position and tail position say a lot about how your dog feels. Learn to read your dog’s body language well. We often miss the sometimes very subtle signals when an animal is not feeling very well. Examples of this include sticking the tongue out briefly (“tinkling”), yawning, panting, licking the beak or smacking, lifting a front leg, freezing for a moment, turning the head or body or looking away.
Did you know?
Wagging doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is happy or relaxed! The way the dog wags is very important in interpreting its behavior. For example, a short wag with a high, somewhat stiff tail can indicate tension.
Listen to the signals your dog is giving you. Does or doesn’t he want to do something? Then try to find out the cause of his behavior first. Why does(n’t) he do something? If the dog doesn’t want to be brushed, can, for example, can indicate (hidden) pain. And a lot of dog behavior is directly related to our own behavior: dogs are masters in reading and (re)mirroring how we ourselves feel. Like master… indeed, like dog!
Dogs will repeat behavior that yields something, and stop behavior that does not yield something. One must remember that negative attention, such as looking angry/ frowning, grumbling, or pushing the dog away, can also be attention and can therefore be favorable to the dog! The reason dogs pull on the leash is often simply because it gets them where they want to be faster. Is your dog pulling? Stop running. Your dog will then experience the consequences of his behavior: you will not gain any extra distance by pulling. Does your dog jump and bark when putting on his collar and leash? Just place the leash back. Your dog will quickly realize what is expected of him. As long as you explain clearly and consistently.
We often focus on unwanted behavior and you may know: anything you give attention, grows. So try to focus on the behavior that you do like, and reward that. Anything you give attention… indeed! For example, does the dog jump against visitors? Punishing him for this behavior doesn’t teach him what is expected by you. By rewarding him when he is with all four feet on the floor, does! We often get angry and punish out of powerlessness and frustration. Always stay calm and calm and be the wisest!
Did you know?
Bending over a dog, embracing him and/ or looking straight in his eyes is, in dog language, threatening and extremely rude. Prevent fear and aggression by keeping your eyes and body away from a dog, especially when you meet him or her for the first time.
Growling is a clear signal and means of communication, which is often used as a last warning. Never punish your dog for growling, because you don’t want to miss this warning! A dog punished for growling can skip this step and immediately start biting. In case of sudden behavioral changes, always consult your vet, as very often (sudden) behavioral problems have to do with (hidden) pain.
If you have the slightest feeling that something is not working well in the communication with your dog, please contact our customer care team immediately. If so desired, we can assist you in contacting a dog behavior expert to help you and your dog in better understanding each other. This can prevent many problems in the future!
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