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Interpret dog behavior,pitbulls fighting raccoons,how to get a puppy to stop biting feet,how to stop your dog barking when you leave them - PDF 2016

Category: Dog Trainers Los Angeles | Author: admin 04.08.2014
Jamie Ianello is passionate about dogs and her mission is to help create effective  and fun communication skills for people and their dogs!
Studying a dog’s behavior and observing them interacting with the world can be a fascinating spectacle, especially if you know what to look for. In some dogs, their body language is very obvious and easily discernible, but in others it is a little more subtle. The direct approach and eye contact translate into a challenge, it involves the taking of space and can cause potential problems if you are not careful, or make the dog uncomfortable and weary of you. Once you have a general idea after observing the dog as a whole, you can zoom in on individual body parts that will often give you key clues on the dog’s emotional state.
One of the most complicated yet revealing parts of a dog, the mouth gives us a wealth of information. A displacement behavior is an otherwise normal activity performed at a time that seems out of place.
Lili Chincomes to the rescue yet again with this great pictionary of calming signals in dogs.
Desensitizing and classical or counter-conditioning (associating scary things with good things) can work wonders in camera-shy dogs, as well as avoiding putting the camera in front of your face and instead shooting from a lower level.
When you are doing this, remember to please take your time and go at the dog’s pace, NOT your own. I am so grateful to Theresa for not only sharing this experience for others to learn from, but also for letting me share the images she took of the dog in question. In other words, a dog can do what it can to make scary things go away (bark, growl, lunge etc.), or try to run away and hide from them (hiding, crouching, shutting down).
Canine body language interpretation is not an exact science, and just like any form of communication, misunderstandings can happen.
If you want to learn more about recognizing body language in dogs I urge you to do your research and go to the source! Our next post will include a brief portion in understanding a dog’s voice, the meanings behind growls, whines and barks.
Understanding Dog Body Language and Behavior is an elaborate and sophisticated system of non-verbal communication that, fortunately, we can learn to recognize and interpret. Dogs and humans have spent thousands of years living side by side, and we can instinctively recognise most of each other’s moods from body language, facial expressions vocalisation and behavior. The playful stance, where a dog has his rump raised high, is the sign that it’s time to go out and play! Dogs also acquire this stance as a time out or as an apology or peace offering if they think they may have behaved too aggressively or threateningly.
Submissive dogs are not necessarily wimps, just dogs who agree to recognize who the leader is and avoid confrontation. In instances of total submission, a dog will lay on his back exposing his stomach, legs folded, eyes closed.
Because dogs sweat through the pads on their feet, most of their body heat is expelled through their mouth when they pant. In nature, dogs bark to raise an alarm at the first signs of possible danger or to herald a new arrival.
Just as a growing child, your dog will want to chew on toys and other objects to relieve the pain of a new set of teeth coming in. Though it may seem like play behavior, or an enthusiastic greeting, jumping up is a sign that your dog is attempting to assert her dominance over you. Dogs live and travel in packs, so it’s natural for them to feel anxious when they are separated from their pack-mates. Once you understand these behaviors, you’ll be better equipped to recognize when your dog’s needs are not being met! By Understanding Dog Body Language and Behavior, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. Like all of us at LOVE DOGS, Jamie believes that the more people understand dogs,  the stronger their bond and richer their relationship with them! A dog’s physiognomy is as varied today as paint color swatches at the hardware store. Ironically, these two vary greatly from dog to dog, making communication a breeze or a nightmare. A dog’s eyes can reveal subtle changes in mood with the shape of the eye, the pupils and the canine equivalent of a human eyebrow, the skin above the eye. For example, a dog yawning when sleepy is of course normal, but if the dog yawns when he is not tired, it may be a sign that he is uncomfortable. It has come in VERY handy in my work with dogs in general, but especially with Willow, our fearful foster pup.


This dog seemed to have a very short fuse, since slight movements pushed her to her limit and triggered her to lunge at Theresa. Personally I think this dog can tend to be fear-aggressive or very protective of her territory and therefore requires a good deal more space from newcomers.
Upon meeting a new dog, don’t reach for the dog or try to pet him right away, it is better if the dog approaches you and wait him out.
It is my personal belief that a dog will not bite without provocation (regardless of how slight and whether we know we are the ones provoking them) and 9 out of 10 times it can be the person’s fault due to ignorance, fast movements, moving without thinking, carelessness, not knowing the dog, not having enough time to read the body before the bite or not paying attention etc. Observe dogs at a dog park, volunteer at a shelter, read and watch everything you can get your hands on regarding canine body language, there is no shortage of material out there! This is the most thorough examination of dog signals that I've seen - congrats on a great article! Once you learn how to “read” a dog’s postures and signals, you’ll better understand his feelings and motivations and be better able to predict what he’s likely to do.
When you leave for work, it’s very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn’t like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away.
If your dog is full grown, you may also come home to find your couch cushions or favorite pair of shoes ripped to shreds, but it is not because they enjoy the taste. The good news is, once you know what to look for, with lots of practice, the basics are fairly easy to spot, regardless of what the dog looks like.
And unless you know the dog well and know he is comfortable with it, do not grab the dog’s face and kiss it! If you are the one coming into their territory (visiting a friend’s house for example), I like to avoid eye contact with the dog, and face away from her (showing her the side of my body, NOT my back). Dogs often use displacement behaviors to calm themselves in situations that make them nervous or anxious.
Willow is in her awkward adolescent phase in which all dogs test their boundaries to see where they fit in. This is why so many dogs shy away from it and why proper precautions should be taken before you shove a lens in a dog’s face.
The owner had cue words and her safe pillow in the yard and used both to calm the dog any time she got aroused. After a few minutes of trying to warm her up to me, I decided it was best if I was a bit further away, so the owner tossed a toy around for the dog and also got her to sit, lay down etc a good distance from me. There is a very thin line between fear and aggression and two ways a dog can act based on that emotion: offense or defense, fight or flight. The trick is to handle ourselves in a mindful manner that will make it possible for the dog to interpret what we are trying to communicate.
Until the dog feels comfortable (and you feel comfortable doing it), gently stroke the dog on the side for no more than three seconds (1 stroke, 2 stroke, 3 stroke…remove hand).
However, I like to add that the same question should be asked in some form to the dog himself! Nicole is also the brilliant creator of the popular Hair of the Dog, a blog dedicated to business and marketing tips for veteran and aspiring pet photographers. These skills will enable you to understand and interact with dogs with greater enjoyment, safety, trust and build a better relationship with your dog. There are, however, ways to prevent a dog bite from ever happening if you stay in tune to the dog’s body language. It is important to always keep in mind something that seems like it's not a big deal to us may be a huge deal to your dog.
Jamie has been dog training for 5 years and is dedicated to helping shelter dogs find their purpose in life as well as building dog-human team relationships based on trust, understanding and LOVE! It is an invasion of space (and one I am guilty of with my own dogs, but I’ve raised them and have a relationship with them, they are ok with me doing it, but not a total stranger). If the dog seems comfortable and friendly and is little or calm, I like to crouch to their level still facing away so they can check me out without jumping up.
Piloerection can be challenging to spot on a dog with a very fluffy coat, in which case, reading the other body parts will be a better bet. Theresa has over ten years of experience photographing rescued dogs, and in those 10 years, this is the only case that gave her the heebe jeebies. The only thing I would have done differently from Theresa would have been to use a telephoto lens and shoot from afar (since the dog seemed more at ease if Theresa kept her distance) or ending the session after the first lunge entirely and trying again another day with a different approach tailored to this specific situation. Theresa mentioned the dog’s owners are working with certified behaviorists to try and modify some of these behaviors and that just tells me this dog is loved and well-cared for by responsible people. Moving at a fast pace, slamming doors and cabinets like you do when you are running late for work can be scary for a dog that is a little more fearful. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they’re happy, and to alert their human to a problem.


If your dog is uncomfortable, stressed, happy, threatened or feeling any emotion they will always show it through body language signals. A photograph, an illustration, maybe even a video can aid a lot in recognizing a dog’s body language, but if you want the best experience possible, observe your dogs. I don’t like to make any fast movements regardless of the dog and while avoiding eye contact, I am always checking out their body for signals. You focus on your work, and let the other person focus on the dog’s (or insert animal here) body language and comfort level. Thankfully, Theresa was in good company that day; someone who knew the dog she was photographing very well was present at the photo session and did everything she could to keep Theresa safe and the dog at ease and under control. I usually kneel or lie down to take photos but not this time!! I didn’t really want to be in a vulnerable position with this dog who was in a highly aroused state.
Or if you are animated in conversation, squealing and flailing your arms all over the place in jerky movements could seem a little threatening to a dog. A dog never does anything "for no reason" or "out of no where", contrary to what it may seem.
In the simplest of forms, the more wiggly dog with softer, more fluid motions, indicates a friendly dog, up for human contact. Any stiffness, freezing on the other hand will tell you the dog is anxious, uncomfortable or on guard.
Just because your own dog LOVES a hefty scratch at the base of his tail or a deep and lengthy ear massage, DOES NOT mean EVERY other dog will enjoy that. If we figure out what we could have done differently to avoid that bite, we do so in the future being careful not to generalize what happened with that individual dog that bit us; you learn and you move on. On the contrary, a tense, stiff or frozen body and tail, indicates a not so friendly dog and one that would rather I keep my distance. Unless your dog is familiar with your loving gazes, and especially if it is a dog you’ve never met before, avoid staring.
We switch cameras back and forth, and one of us is always focused on getting the shot, while the other works with handling and observing the dog for any signals.
She noticed the dog averting her eyes, licking her lips and holding her mouth closed and did not hesitate to lunge at Theresa if she moved too quick or too close.
People often mistake the rollover for an automatic belly rub request, will get too close only to find that the dog snaps or submissively urinates in response.
Act naturally and calmly, and turn your body sideways (instead of straightforward) to let the dog know you mean no harm. I will go through each of these signals and explain what some mean with photos to give you the best idea of what the heck I am talking about :)Before I start, I'd like you to keep in mind nothing is set in stone with dogs. For example, a dog can being giving off calming signals while stiffed up cowering in a corner while showing his teeth. A quick break down of this scenario is the dog is scared and cornered causing it to have no other choice(in his mind)but to defend himself.
This dog is most likely uncomfortable with a big camera lens and is trying to communicate that.
Some of these signals are used to try calm everyone down around them and some are used to calm the dog himself down.
Distance decreasing signals mean the dog wants whatever it is they are looking at to come closer or play.
Try to help your dog along by doing some positive reinforced obedience or tricks like sit, down, stay or watch me. You will most likely see your dog exhibit some type of stress signals during every day life like when they go in the car, when they are in doggy obedience class or when you have company over.
There are strange people, strange dogs, new room, loud noises along with having to learn new commands, but this is all good stress. This is socialization and a learning experience your dog must go through and it is for the better. Instead get some high value treats and dog some obedience and tricks in front of the big scary garbage can. Displacement behaviours are all normal behaviors (in their proper place) but they occur out of context.
For example, during a training session if you tell your dog to sit but instead they start scratching or smelling the ground they have smelled ten times before, they are just avoiding doing the command.



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