Thursday, 7 June 2012

Understanding your Dog - Canine Communication

The dog has essentially 4 behavioural responses to tell us that they feel worried by something. 

It may be that they are worried about something that we are doing to them, grooming them or taking them to the vets for example; it may be that a certain object in the home is causing then anxiety; or it may be even that they are worried by something that we cannot even see! The problem is that if we misunderstand or misinterpret the early signs that our dog feels under threat, we can all too easily risk setting up a dangerous situation.

Take a look at the above image, if you notice that your dog is showing any of these signs, it is important to identify what it is that is causing this. This way you can take action to ensure that no behavioural problems develop over time. If you feel that your dog is displaying any signs of FIGHT behaviour, it is vital that you (a) immediately remove yourself and others from danger, and (b) assess the situation for the long term. 

Immediate action: 
Stop the activity that you are doing with the dog 
Give the dog the chance to take ‘flight’ - putting space between you and the dog. This may mean you moving away from the dog’s space. Have a confident, calm, positive approach 

DO NOT in any way punish the dog, the dog is behaving this way as it is feeling threatened, therefore any form of punishment will cause a more dangerous situation to occur.

Long term action: 
Seek veterinary advice, to check for medical causes of aggression, obtaining a referral to a qualified behaviour specialist where necessary. 

I hope you find this useful, as always, feel free to get in touch at if you have any questions at all. 

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