Do you know how to read your dog’s body language?
Do you sometimes get worried that your dog is an aggressive dog and waste time wondering what your dog is thinking, and how he is going to react to another dog that has just come into his space?
It can be a concern for an owner that their dog’s behavior is going to be aggressive when he first meets a strange dog; on the other hand, is he going to warm to this dog or puppy that he’s meeting for the first time?
It’s a fact that your dog is quite aware and comfortable with his feelings; he knows whether he’s in the mood to socialize, or ignore the visitor, or even assert aggressive behavior and send the visitor away.
But, for an owner to know what his dog’s reaction will be immediately the visitor appears can be somewhat alarming, and stepping in to interfere can be upsetting to your dog.
Know Your Dog’s Body Language
Learning to read your dog’s body language is a great help for both you and your dog. When you understand whether or not he is happy with what is happening around him, life for both you and your dog will be considerably less stressful.
Misreading a dog’s behavior, or potential reaction to a situation, is common but there are ways to learn how to understand what your dog is feeling, just simply by watching how he uses his body.
A great fact around this subject is that a dog understands the behavior of another dog but, as humans, we don’t have the insight that our dog has. Consequently, we are the ones that suffer the fear of what could happen if our dog becomes aggressive towards the visiting dog.
Here are some ways that you can tell from your dog’s body language, what he is thinking:
- Watch to see if the hair on your dog’s back is raised: This shows that your dog is ready to act so you need to be alert. However, because your dog’s hair is raised it doesn’t mean that he is feeling aggressive; it may be that he is excited because he’s found a friend to play with. Just be watchful until it’s clear whether or not your dog is happy.
- Your dog stands still on 3 legs with one paw in the air: This is passive behaviour of your dog telling the visitor that he wants to be friendly. Your role here is to watch that the other dog responds in a friendly way too.
- Your dog does a spin: A 360 degree spin around means that your dog is happy and trusting of the other dog. When your dog turns his back on another dog it means that he is happy and at ease with the visiting dog.
- Your dog keeps on returning to the other dog: This behavior means that he’s happy and is letting the visiting dog know that he’s enjoying the company and wants to play. If your dog becomes unhappy or bored with the other one, he will stop returning to the other dog.
- Asserting dominance over another dog: A dog may place it’s head over another dog’s neck as an act of asserting itself over the other dog. This is common practice for some dogs, but often other dogs do not like this behavior and will make their feelings quite clear.
These are just some of a dog’s body language indicators and there are many more to learn about.
Doggy Dan’s online training videos are brilliant for viewing exactly how dogs react to different situations.
Take a look at the short video below to see examples of dogs interacting, as explained above.
<< Learn more Dog and Puppy training skills by watching Doggy Dan’s FREE 4 part video series “The Easy Way To An Obedient Dog“ >>