From the desk of Sharda Baker.
Hi and welcome everyone!
This is Sharda with dog training newsletter!
Today we will discuss about dog temperament training!
Dogs communicate with their body language just as humans do. The way they move their eyes, their ears, their body gestures, and their tails all have a specific purpose and reason.
And this is their canine language! So you must understand those first before you engage in any kind of dog training. They also deserve to be understood first to avoid doing aggressive dog training in the future.
Understanding a dog’s body language helps you know what the dog is thinking—and what he might do next. As a responsible dog owner, you need to really watch your dog and see how he behaves in certain situations.
Pay close attention to his ears, eyes, tail, mouth, hair, and overall body posture.
For example, most people believe that when a dog’s tail is wagging, it means that he is excited or happy about something. However, you need to pay attention to how his tail is wagging.
If a dog’s tail is stiff and perched up, he could be alert or even curious about something. After close observation, you will begin to notice the difference from a wagging “happy” tail and a wagging “alert” tail.
The better the relationship you have with your dog, the better you can “read” him and predict his behavior. Certainly, every dog has their own personality, so knowing that, along with basic body gestures will help you determine how he is feeling and what his next move might be.
In this chapter, you will learn about how dogs “speak” to each other when expressing their level of comfort in a situation. This includes body gestures, facial expressions, and vocalizations.
As a dog owner, you definitely need to be aware of signs of aggression in your dog and others that you come across. A dog that will likely act aggressively is one with a tense body and dominant stance.
His ears will be drawn back and lay close to his head. The dog’s eyes will be narrow, with a strong and intimidating stare. His lips will be drawn back so his teeth will be exposed, creating a snarl. His jaws will snap with force.
His tail will stick straight out from his tense body. He most will likely snarl, growl or bark loudly.
You will learn more about Aggression in Chapter 14.
When a dog is alert his body will be displayed in a slight dominant position, or he could stand up on his tip toes. His ears will perk up and he may turn his body to locate the direction that the sound is coming from.
The dog’s eyes will open up and widen. His mouth will remain closed or he may open it slightly, but he won’t show all of his teeth as he would if he were about to be aggressive. His tail may be perched up a bit and wagging.
He won’t say much except maybe a soft whine or a short bark.
An anxious dog will take a standing position with a tense body which he will lower into a submissive position. His ears will set back partially, but not all the way as he would if he were about to get aggressive.
His eyes will be slightly narrowed. He will keep his mouth closed, but he might flash a small grin. The dog’s tail will be partially lowered. The only vocals an anxious dog will make is a soft whine or a low bark—like he is moaning.
When a dog is about to chase, he will lower his body into a tense crouched, predatory position, as if he is about ready to take off in a sprint. His ears will be perched up high and may even point forward a bit.
His eyes will be bright and wide open. He will be panting in excitement. His tail will point straight out from his tense body. He will not be making any vocal sounds as he is about to run.
A dog who is curious, eager, or excited will demonstrate the same types of body gestures. His body will wiggle or do a slight prance. His eyes will be gleaming and wide open. His mouth will be slightly open as he pants in excitement.
When he is curious about another dog, he will sniff around, first at his nose, then his genitals. His tail will be up high and wagging enthusiastically in long, wide sweeps. He may whine or bark because he is so excited.
A dog who wants to show his dominance will stand in a very tall, confident posture, possibly with hackles up. A dominant dog may stand above the other, submissive dog. His ears will either point up or forward. He will give a strong stare with his wide eyes.
He will keep a closed mouth. A dominant dog will have a still tail that is puffed either straight out or up from his body. This dog may growl or grunt in an aggressive, assertive manner.
If a dominant dog wants to play, he may roll on his back and expose his belly in a non-threatening manner to encourage the other dog to play.
A dog may mount or “hump” another dog to signify that he is dominant, but it isn’t always the case. Sometimes a more submissive dog will do this to show his loyalty to a higher-ranked dog.
A dog that is fearful is one that lowers his body in a tense and submissive position so he will appear smaller and less threatening.
He will most likely be shivering or trembling with a scent excreting from the anal glands. His ears will lay back flat near his head.
His eyes will be narrow and averted with the whites showing (this is called “whale eye.”) He will draw back his lips and show his teeth.
His tail will be tucked between his legs. In extreme situations, he may even roll onto his backside and lift his leg and urinate. The fearful dog may cry, whine, or growl.
A dog that is ready for flight will have a tense body that is shivering and ready to sprint. His ears will be back, but will not necessarily lay against his head.
His eyes will be wide and the whites may be showing. His mouth will be open somewhat and may even be drooling. His tail will be lowered between his legs. He will not give off any vocalizations as he prepares for flight.
A dog that is ready for play or that is feeling happy will relax his body with his front end positioned lower to the ground than his rear end.
His ears will be perched forward. His eyes will be sparkling with excitement. His mouth will be relaxed and slightly opened, but with his teeth covered. He may jump, bounce, run in circles, or run back and forth with a wagging tail.
He will bark and maybe even imitate a growl.
A predator dog will keep his firm body low to the ground. His ears will be alert so he can hear any sounds. His eyes will be focused and opened wide. His nose will be up as he sniffs the air.
His tail will be low and straight. A predator dog will not be making any vocalizations.
A submissive dog will lower his head and body to the ground and permit another dog to stand over him. The dominant dog may hook his head over the submissive dog’s shoulders and lick his lips and corners of the mouth.
The submissive dog will roll on his back and look and crane his head away from the dominant dog. He will tuck his tail under and will generally not make any vocalizations unless it is a cry or low growl.
I hope you learned a lot from today’s Dog training newsletter.
I will be back for more!