Why should a person understand the "language" of dogs? And how to learn to understand it?
Ekaterina Kastritskaya, psychologist, specialist in animal therapy, consultant on animal behavior and well-being
If a person wants to establish constructive communication with a dog and effectively train it, he needs to learn to understand the "language" of dogs. How to become a real "dog translator"?
How to learn to understand the "language" of dogs?
To understand what the dog wants to tell us, you need to pay attention to three things:
- What does the dog do? (Barks, jumps around, looks around, etc.)
- What signals does the body language of the dog give? (The tail is tightened, the ears are tightened, the paw is raised, etc.)
- What is happening in the world at this time? What is the context for a dog’s behavior? (For example, a pet saw a relative or guests came to you, etc.)
Do you know the answer to all three questions? So you are able to understand what your dog is “talking about”!
Always ask yourself these three questions to understand the behavior of a four-legged friend.
How can a person use the “language” of dogs in practice?
Knowing the features of the “language” of dogs, a person can use them to build contact with the dog and achieve better understanding with it. For example, you can:
- to approach the dog in an arc, not directly - so you will make it clear that you have peaceful intentions
- avoid staring straight into the eyes of an unfamiliar dog, instead turning his head to the side
- teach your puppy not to bite your hands if you scream when you bite
- turn your back to calm a shy dog (but in no case do this if the dog is about to attack!)
- greet the dog, turning to her side to calm her
- yawn and soften your eyes to inform the dog of peaceful intentions and calm her
How does understanding the “tongue” of dogs help cope with the aggression of fear?
The best thing you can do with aggression of fear in a dog is:
- give her a way out
- stop doing what scares her
- learn to decipher warning signals
- Work on the dog’s trust in the owner.
But sometimes dogs that have had the sad experience of not understanding and ignoring a person’s warning signals stop showing them. What to do in this case?
- Find out the cause of aggressive behavior.
- To organize a time of “truce” and during this period to avoid conflicts whenever possible.
- Use a muzzle if it is necessary to carry out manipulations during which the dog may show aggression.
- Work on building trust and improving contact.
- Create understandable rules and rituals for the dog, that is, increase predictability.
- Encourage the slightest attempt to show warning signals and move backward. Show the dog that you understand it and are ready to respond to its “messages”, so biting is not necessary.