How to Speak Dog—and Why Learning Dog Language Could Save Your Pet’s Life

How to Speak Dog Language — and Why Learning It Can Save Your Pet’s Life

Have you ever been to a dog park and seen two dogs fighting? Or heard of a dog viciously attacking another dog “out of nowhere”? In fact, dogs will show many signs of fear or aggression before things escalate into a fight – signs that often go undetected or go unnoticed.

Dogs obviously don’t speak English, but they do have their own communication cues, and it’s your responsibility as a pet parent to learn them. Being consistent with your furry friend’s communication signals will help prevent problems and even save your pet’s life – other Pet your dog may be aggressive.

You probably know the classic cues like bristling your back hair or baring your teeth, but did you know that hiding behind your legs can also be a problem?

“Knowing when your dog is scared, agitated, or even in pain is an important thing to learn,” says behavioral therapist and Professional dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich explain. “You want to teach your dog to relax and be comfortable so they don’t injure themselves or others when they are emotionally or physically unwell.”

The main signals you should watch out for are:

  • ending
  • hide
  • stance or hump
  • dog on dog attack
  • resource guardian

If you see your dog exhibiting these behaviors, you should address it Instantly— and probably with professional training.

tail curled up and hidden

Tail tucking and hiding are both signs of fear—and fear is no Take it lightly.

“If a dog is tucking its tail and/or hiding behind you, benches, etc. in an attempt to stay away from other dogs, you need to get help from a professional to get him over his fear before he starts becoming aggressive to defend himself” Ug Albrich said.

yellow scared
Xiao Huang here with his tail tucked in, looks a bit scared of something, but not completely scared, because his ears are still forward. He was alert and interested.

Ulbrich says Fear often turns into aggression At about 18 months of age, dogs enter adulthood.

“At some point [fear turns to aggression] Because these emotions are closely related to the response — the fight-or-flight syndrome,” Ulbrich said. “As a result, timid dogs often bite because they get emotional. “

Every dog ​​responds differently to training to overcome fear.

“It depends on their age,” Ulbrich said. “Using a nudge or a biscuit makes it easier to push the puppy past it. Teaching and reinforcing curiosity about fear is an important part of raising a puppy. With older dogs, you may need to do some slow-paced fixes, Let them get used to the stimuli that affect them.”

Yellows make great strides in overcoming their fears, but it’s important to stay vigilant so your dog doesn’t repeat the same mistakes.

posing or having sex with other dogs

Posing or hunching over another dog are two signs we see at dog parks that are overlooked or completely ignored countless Second-rate.

Dogs sometimes try to assert dominance over other dogs. They can do this by simply stealing a bone or ball—or, more commonly, by hunched over or doing poses in the park.

Making love is not sex. Many people make the mistake of thinking that a hump dog is in heat and laugh off this very dangerous behavior.

“At best it’s rude, at worst it’s aggressive approaching,” Ulbrich explained. “Dogs that are hunched over will be terrified of the behavior, or more likely to be angry or aggressive. They can easily provoke the accosting dog, which can lead to a fight.”

While there’s no pretentiousness here, this greeting takes some work. “The dogs stand tall and are a bit stiff, so they have to be monitored closely to see if they relax enough to sniff, or if they start to react to each other,” Ulbrich observed. “It’s better to have the dog come in more relaxed, a little lower.”

Posture is when a dog puts his head on the other dog’s neck or back and stands there – or he may hop around a bit. Usually he is stiff, waiting to see how the other dog reacts. If the other dog “bows,” it’s usually fine. However, if another dog challenges it by growling or snapping, it can quickly escalate into a fight.

It is important to be aware of these behaviors not only in other dogs, but also in Your dog, also! It is your responsibility to train your dog that these behaviors are unacceptable so that he does not harm anyone.

“If your dog is posing at other dogs or doing hunches with other dogs, you should stop it on the spot before it escalates into a fight,” Ulbrich says. “If this is a pattern, seek professional help to teach your dog the proper way to interact.”

dog on dog attack

Are you afraid of approaching other dogs on walks because you fear what your dog might do? Avoiding other dogs, not allowing other dogs to smell, growling or snapping at other dogs are all unacceptable behaviors.

“Of course, if your dog only bites once a year, and it’s a nasty puppy, then you have nothing to worry about,” Ulbrich says. “But any pattern of this behavior needs to be addressed before escalation.

Dogs don’t just ‘grow from’. “

Aggression also has different stages. The beginning phase may include:

  • stiff body
  • bristling of hair on the neck and back
  • strange, stiff tail movement

Some more advanced signs of aggression include:

  • roar
  • roar
  • baring teeth
  • capture
  • bite

“If a dog is young, it could be avoiding — like looking away — or really running away,” Ulbrich added.

Also pay attention to how you feel. Dogs are good at sensing their owners’ emotions, which can influence their behavior, for better or worse. If you’re nervous, your dog will be too — and may even feel the need to protect you.

Both dogs are a bit shy and avoidant here. Sundown’s head is slightly away from the big dog.
After we showed Sundown the proper way to greet the harmless dog, the dogs warmed each other up. It’s hard to tell from the still photos, but they ran and played together for nearly an hour.

“If our dog barks or rushes at another dog, we’re naturally embarrassed,” Ulbrich said. “Our stomachs break, we cross the street, we turn around, we walk our dogs late at night when no one else is around. But when we cringe, we’re letting our dogs know something’s wrong. We’re putting our dogs in High alert. Now he feels he has to protect his terrified master and himself.”

you may need Professional Advice How to stay calm and in control when interacting with people and dogs.

resource protection

A dog guarding food or bones This is normal behavior in nature, but domestic pets are not welcome in our homes.

“Companion dogs should trust us to remove dangerous objects from their mouths and listen to us when we ask them to leave the furniture,” Ulbrich said. “We should be able to easily take away food and toys. Just like a child shouldn’t be mad at you for taking his dinner plate away, your dog shouldn’t mind you taking his bowl away.”

But all too often, people don’t respond appropriately to signs of conservation, especially in households with two dogs. For example, if two dogs compete for a bowl, the owner will start feeding them separately. If they fought over the hides, the masters would take the hides away.

“You’re removing barriers, not solving problems,” Ulbrich said.

It is important to address the problem as soon as possible, before it escalates into aggression.

“Once a dog realizes that a growl or a snap can stop people and other dogs from taking her prized possession, it’s downhill from there,” Ulbrich said. “People and other dogs back off, and the dog becomes more assertive, and it’s her role and responsibility to protect what’s hers.”

the bottom line

Problem behaviors don’t just go away — they get worse if left unaddressed. To prevent your dog from starting a fight — or give him the ability to defend himself from another dog’s attack — it’s important to learn his subtle communication cues. The most important thing is not to dismiss these actions as usual.

“Owners don’t always miss the sign, but they don’t think it’s a big deal,” Ulbrich said. “They didn’t think the dog’s behavior made any sense, they didn’t understand how far or how quickly it could escalate.”

*Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for professional advice.please ask for help Qualified, certified dog trainer If you feel your dog exhibits these behaviors.

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