Blog

Canine Communication

Why Does My Dog?

It's way too easy to assume that a dog does something for no reason, when really all behaviour tells us much more about the dog's inner state than we could possibly imagine. Dogs do dog things, just as people do human things but none of us do those things for no reason. There’s always are reason.

For example, many of us eat carbs when we are sad. I learned recently that when we have a bellyful of carbs, our body is so busy that it has to temporarily switch off the emotional resp…

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Why Scared Dogs Make Reactive Choices

My terrier Chips, is socially awkward and somewhat fearful of other dogs. He actually really likes other dogs and with proper introduction he will be friendly and enjoy a brief hello. He’s much more comfortable with the smaller dogs and those that don’t have obscured faces, such as long haired or black dogs which are more difficult for others to read.

Canine Fear Behaviour - Leads To A Choice

When he sees a dog that he’s not comfortable with, Chips will put on an aggressive display – a…

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Worried Dogs Speak - Do You Listen?

Often, strangers try to touch or interact with dogs without asking their permission, or in some cases they don’t even ask ours. It’s perfectly natural for us to want to love every dog we see. The problem is not all dogs want to be fiddled with by strangers and here's how they tell us.

Dogs get worried and scared of things they think may be threatening to them just like we do, so even if the excited stranger is friendly they can make our dogs feel tense. Our job as thei…

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Emotional Intelligence & Reactive Dogs

Emotions affect the way that we feel and our presence with our dogs, let’s focus on what we can do about it. Let's start with being mindful.

The basis of mindfulness is awareness and being aware will help you to take a less involved view of your mind chatter. Through being mindful we can’t stop our thoughts but we can stop assuming they are an accurate representation of our reality because often they are not. An example would be how we start to see other dogs and dog walkers when we…

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Is Your Dog Naughty Or Confused?

When our dogs get confused they show us in no uncertainty exactly how they feel. Confusion is defined as uncertainty about what is happening, intended or required. When a dog becomes confused or uncertain he may become stressed, particularly if pushed too far despite his confusion – without being given any extra information.

If a dog becomes confused about what we expect, he is likely to feel conflicted. He knows that we want something but doesn’t know what that something is. He…

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On Lead Greetings - Risky Business!

Dogs communicate really well with each other when they have learned to and are given space to do so. A competently social dog will never go directly towards an unknown dog eye to eye, or even face to face. They would curve around and sniff. They offer signals that unless we watch really carefully will go unnoticed by us. A blink, a glance away, a lick of the nose can be a definite request for space and if the other dog is socially savvy, they will respect that, and everyone will stay hap…

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Are You Mindful Of Your Dog's Finer Needs?

As friends and family, dogs have to put up with a lot from us as naturally we speak before we listen. We are a busy species always thinking of the next thing we need to do and we are mindless because we rarely sit back and just enjoy the moment. We often don’t give them time to adapt in their own minds to what we are asking of them. We are great at rushing dogs through the things we have to do with them, so we can tick those things off our list for the day.

Walk check, food check,…

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Canine Coaching Is Good Guardianship

Everyone who has a dog in their home should learn at least some practical canine coaching, it’s an integral part of good guardianship. Not only does coaching give our dogs the chance to learn new things and big boosts in their self-esteem when they do – it also helps them in situations they might find uncomfortable in the future.

Whilst there are dog trainers in every town, not all of them are equal and even if you do need professional help – you will need some knowledge of good coaching meth…

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Canine Communication - The Neutral State

Whilst dog behaviour and communication are universal there is also a need for every dog to learn competent communication from litter mates, their mother and from their first home when they get to it.

If there is a gap in learning, for example if they are isolated away from other dogs altogether between eight weeks and twelve weeks, they will often not learn effective and respectful communication. Or if a puppy tries hard to show he is uncomfortable over and over again early in…

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Hands Off The Dog - Unless By Request

Touch between dogs is usually limited to familiarity or fighting. Unlike people who like to shake hands, even hug strangers, dogs are careful about who they touch and why. Familiarity is an excellent reason that dogs touch each other, which is linked to their individual preference of social distance.

Like people some dogs are quite tactile and others less. Generally, dogs are touched by people much more than they would like to be. We should always ask permission before we touch them and respe…

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