Canine Body Language

Though it’s nearly impossible to read your dog’s body language with 100% accuracy, there are many reasons why you might want to get a better understanding of what your dog is communicating with her stance, posture, or gestures. For example, knowing and reacting to your dog’s body language can help with reaching training goals, anticipating behaviors (good or bad), and relieve your dog’s fears.
There are a few different facets of your own, and your dog’s, body language to observe:

  • Eyes – Both humans and dogs can use eye movements and eye contact very pointedly. You can teach your dog the meanings behind your own eye movements to elicit a certain behavior from the dog.
  • Lying down – Pay attention to how your dog is lying down. If they are lying with elbows on the ground and even hips, your dog is ready to get up quickly, possibly indicating readiness to break a position (maybe out of playfulness, or maybe out of anxiety). If you dog is lying to one side or with a paw tucked under, they are likely planning to stay in the same place for a longer time.
  • Combine motion and speech – Dogs are more likely to pick up on motion than on voices, so associate certain commands with certain gestures.
  • Negativity- Be aware of negative body language when working with your dog. A dog cowering in “guilt” is trying to stop you from being mad. Remember that your dog doesn’t connect what they did five minutes ago or yesterday with your anger now.

For (MUCH) more information on body language, please visit the link below.