Dogs are a social species Live somewhat harmoniously in groups WOLF PACKS, VILLAGE DOGS & OUR PETS Wide range of communications TO LIVE IN GROUPS and PACKS SUCCESSFULLY Language primarily of body postures w/ some vocalizations
“Normal” communication skill development“ Need mom & litter until 7 weeks Scott and Fuller’s Bar Harbor study
Why dogs lack communication skills Poor or lack of early socialization Removed from litter too young Singleton’s Bad experiences with other dogs Isolated from dogs after human adoption They are dogs… and have apparently lost communication skills via artificial selection
Behavior problems can occur if The dog does not know how to communicate properly with other dogs or understand them The human does not understand “dog” andreacts inappropriately to a dogs’ communication to the human
Learning to understand “Dog” Develop observation skills Prevent and modify behavior issues with a better knowledge of how dogs communicate – see it before it happens….
Postures and body changes to watch for: Head Position: High Level Low Ear position: Prick ears are the most obvious in their positions but all types of ears change. Forward Sideways and up Side and low Back and a little lower than normal Back and flat
Eyes: (Size ) Normal Wide open with whites showing Squinting or partially closed Closed Gaze: Fixed forward Looking away Moving back and forth
Mouth Positions: Closed Lip licking Submissive grin or Agonistic pucker (warning) both have the lips raised so the front incisors and the canines are exposed, rest of body will tell the whole story Fear grin has lips raised and sides drawn back revealing premolars and molars, Pant (heat vs stress) Yawn
Tail Carriage: High as it can go Above back level Level or slightly below Low towards ground Tucked between hind legs Tail Movement: No Movement Wagging in circles Wagging short fast movement Wagging slow wide sweep Whole dog wagging
Body changes: Balanced front rear relaxed Balanced front rear tense Weight on front Weight on Rear Front end crouched back end up Front end crouched back end down and on side ranging to the whole dog on its back Pilo Erection: Hair on back raised
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WHAT’S MY DOG SAYING? GIMME! NO WAY!