How do I Talk to my Dog? Analyse dog behaviour the easy way

How do I Talk to my Dog? All you need to know about dog behaviour

Dog Training
Dogs are very social creatures and they live in groups. Their social group may be made up of other dogs in the household and/or their human family and other fury housemembers( cats or natives). It is important for social animals to avoid conflict, because physical violence has a high risk of injury. Understanding this is your first step to understand dog behaviour.

Pack dog

To avoid conflict, dogs develop a hierarchy. Dog hierarchies are flexible and interchangeable depending on the circumstances – for example one dog may be in charge of the food, whilst the other dog may be in charge of the ball game –depending on what is more important to each dog.

Contrary to popular belief Dogs do not attempt to gain control over other dogs or their owners, so the days of ‘alpha rolls’ and using
Physical force or ‘dominance’ to show your dog ‘who is boss’ are OVER and this information is out-dated.

Rather than practice the out-dated “be the boss of your dog pack”, we encourage the family to become dependable ‘parents’ or ‘leaders’ for your puppy. To do this you need to provide your puppy with consistent routines and rules in our household. This will help to establish a stable, predictable relationship with your
puppy, helping to avoid any confusion.

Your dogs behaviour is easy to understand. A very easy way to establish a predictable routine is to enforce the ‘nothing in life is free’ program. This is done by asking your
pup to sit for everything that it wants in life.
For example:Sit before
• eating,
• patting,
• having the lead on,
• Etc
Your dog will soon learn that ‘good’
things happen when they sit, and this takes a lot of ‘guess work’ out of their life.

What is Socialisation?

2 puppies playing

By definition, socialisation is learning to tolerate dogs, people and other species in the same environment. Socialisation does not mean ‘play’.

The main aim of the socialisation process is for pet dogs to be better-equipped to cope with life in a human context and to be able to fulfil their owner’s expectations of a companion animal. This will make it easier for you to understand dog behaviour.

Dogs have a ‘socialisation period’ between about 3-12/14 weeks of age. The socialisation period is a critical period of a puppy’s development for the formation of social relationships, which have lasting long-term effects.

During the socialisation period puppies need to be exposed to lots of new experiences in a positive and non-threatening way.

Unfortunately the socialisation period is a double-edged sword, in that if a negative experience or no being exposed to the acquired experience occurs it will potentially impact the way a puppy
reacts to many situations or things throughout its life.
For example if the puppy has not been exposed to fireworks in that period they well very likely find that very frighting.

It is important to watch your puppy closely for any signs of stress or fear which may indicate that a certain experience is ‘negative’. Remember that only your puppy can decide whether an experience is positive or negative. There for it is important to learn how to interpret your puppy’s body language.

‘Socialisation’ doesn’t just end at 12/14 weeks of age, as owners of puppies you need to continue this process for the rest of your dog’s life, but especially in the first 12 months.

Most good vets run what is called Puppy Preschool which is a safe controlled environment to help you socialise your puppy.

How do dogs communicate?

Dogs communicate in different ways. That is why it is important for you to understand your dog behaviour. And if you need help then click here

• SIGHT:
Dogs watch the body language of other dogs and humans
Body language includes body posture, tail position, and facial
Expressions.

• SMELL:
I suppose this is a not so familiar form of communication in us humans but dog do rely on this form it includes urine, faeces, anal glands, pheromones.
• SOUND/HEARING:
Dogs have many different vocalisations including barking, whining,
and growling.

Beware of what your body language is saying when approaching or interacting with your dog.

Important note – a wagging tail does NOT always mean a friendly dog.

Other Body language to be aware of:

1. Displacement (fiddle) behaviours:

Dogs may display one or more of these signs if they are feeling uncomfortable in a situation and want to avoid conflict or ‘diffuse’ the situation (similar to when we ‘fidget’). Displacement behaviours are often very subtle but are easily recognised
once you are aware of them.

. Blinking eyes                                                        . Scratching
. Averting eyes (avoiding eye contact)               . Stretching
. Tongue flicks                                                        . Body shake (wet dog shake)
. Yawning                                                                 . Sniffing
. Turning head                                                         . Moving slowly.

2. Signs of stress:
The signs of stress and anxiety are variable, but may include one or more of the
following:

. Yawning                                                               . Barking
. Panting                                                                . Scratching
. Trembling                                                           . Pacing
. Dilated pupils                                                    . Self-mutilation
. Ears flat against head                                       . Urinating/defecating
. Whining                                                               . Anal sac secretions.

3. Warning signs of aggression (the signs given off before a bite):
. Freeze (becoming suddenly very still)
. Stare
. “Whale eye” – showing the whites of the eyes
. Lip lift
. Hackles along back
. Growl
. BITE.

Not all dogs will follow this pattern. The progression from a warning sign to a bite can happen VERY quickly or can be none existing.

Note – some breeds don’t show many of these warning signs – such as Staffordshire bull terriers, Sharpei’s, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Before you get any of these dogs make sure you have researched your new dog behaviour

Please NEVER punish a puppy/dog for growling – it is a warning sign telling you that they are not happy about the particular situation. If you punish the warning sign,
then next time they may skip the warning and bite first. The warning sign is a big help with dog behaviour.

4. Typical body postures:

Happy, content dog:

•Soft eyes                                                                       •Stops what it was doing

•Relaxed body                                                               •May offer playbow.

•Full body wag                                                              •Relaxed tail

Aroused, alert dog

 

•Mouth closed

•Erect ears

•Eyes focused

•Tail out straight/erect.

Fearful Dog

•Round body shape

•Tail tucked under body

•Dilated pupils

•Lip licking

•Body freeze

•May urinate

•Averts eyes

•CAN BITE.

Aggressive dog

•Forward body posture

•Hackles along back (raised hair)

•Fixed stare

•Growls

•Lips lifted or drawn back to expose teeth

•CAN BITE.

VERY IMPORTANT:
A WAGGING TAIL DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN A FRIENDLY DOG

A wagging tail simply means that the dog is interested and alert – the rest of the dog’s body language will tell the full story.

IF you need help now then follow this link  Doggy Dan can help in a kind and gentle way
Read the rest of the story in part 2 (end of May 2015)

 

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