Dog Trainer & People Educator

"Dogs are meant to compliment our lives, not complicate them."

Learning to Speak ‘Dog’ for Harmonious Human-Canine Relationships

People need to learn to speak dog for many reasons, especially given their prevalence in our lives today.

 

Dogs in Modern Life

The world we live in today has dogs everywhere. If your neighbor doesn’t have one, someone across the road likely has five. Dogs, being a completely different species, communicate differently than humans. Their body language is not like ours and interpreting it incorrectly due to our uneducated assumptions can lead to misunderstandings or even injuries.

 

The Need for Harmonious Living

Dogs must learn to live with us humans in harmony. Our love, compassion, and longing to spend time with our furry companions put us in a precarious position. Often, we presume to know what they’re thinking, what they need, and what they want, instead of seeking the knowledge to truly understand them. This ignorance can prevent them from living a life that is both comfortable and free from fear.

Human and Dog Communication Methods

Humans express emotions through verbal language and gestures, conveying love, affection, aggravation, or aggression. In contrast, dogs rely heavily on body language to communicate. Let’s examine a few common scenarios where misunderstandings can occur:

 

Misinterpreting Puppy Behavior

  • Scenario: People generally adore dogs, especially puppies, and often act based on their own desires when encountering them.

  • Example: A young puppy going through a fear period might need extra time to adjust to new people and situations. However, an overly enthusiastic human might invade the puppy’s personal space out of admiration, not realizing that this isn’t what the puppy needs for positive development.

 

Consequences of Miscommunication

  • Owner’s Intervention: When an owner tries to protect the puppy by asking an overly affectionate person to keep distance, the request is often ignored. The ensuing interaction can lead to a negative experience for the puppy, which might react out of fear or defense.
  • Outcome: Depending on its disposition, the puppy might flee in fear or react defensively, possibly with a quick snap. The person, feeling offended, might blame the owner, leading to a judgmental and tense situation.

 

Education as a Solution

The right education on dog body language, behavior, and safety could prevent negative encounters and promote positive interactions. For instance, if a person had better knowledge of how to approach and interact with puppies, both the puppy and the human could enjoy a stress-free encounter. This emphasizes the importance of education and respect for the animal’s space and comfort.

 

The Importance of Knowledge in Doggie Body Language

Everyone, particularly those who frequently encounter dogs in their daily activities or workplaces, should have a fundamental understanding of dog body language. This knowledge is essential for safe interactions and is often overlooked, yet it should be a prerequisite for professionals like health workers, emergency responders, and tradespeople who might enter a dog’s home.

Understanding dog body language, “speaking dog”, can significantly enhance our interactions with them and allow for a mutual relationship marked by respect and love. If you or someone you know could benefit from learning more about this topic, consider attending a workshop on dog behavior and safety.

 

Contact me for more information.