So much about owning a dog is being able to accurately read them and understand what is going on inside their heads. As we have mentioned many times before, body language in dogs is so important as they are primarily visual communicators.
Many unwanted occurrences can be stopped or interrupted before they turn into problems if you are able to spot the signs that happen before the actual incident. For example: before a dog jumps up onto a person, they often lower their neck and body so they can jump up as high as possible. Recognizing this simple body cue is important because the goal of dog training is interrupting unwanted behaviors, not just recovering from them.
The photo above does a great job at capturing a conversation that these two dogs are having; aside from the speech bubbles, each dog is communicating. The dog on the left is showing interest in the frisbee and is looking at the dog on the right to gauge her interest in the item and indicating that he would like to take the frisbee. The dog on the right is strategically standing in a position that indicates her claim on the item.
If you can accurately read the dogs in the picture above, the picture below should come as no surprise. The dog on the left has indicated increased interest in the frisbee and has made an attempt to take it by lowering his head and moving closer to it. The dog on the right immediately increases her claim to the item by making a point of contact with the frisbee.
So why does this matter? It matters because as owners of dogs, especially those of us with a multiple dog household, it’s up to us to make sure little conversations like these do not turn into full-blown fights that could have been prevented. Resource guarding, leash reactivity, a trip to the dog park, and a causal afternoon in the living room all contain subtle signs of what is about to happen. It’s up to us to understand what we are looking at.
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