Dog emotions and body language

Below is a great articled I borrowed from spirit dog, okay I stole it….but the point is why rewrite something that is already so ‘aptly put’

I love the study of an animals body language I find it utterly fascinating. Your animal can truly communicate with you if you only learn what he is trying to tell you.

Dog emotions and body language

Reading dog emotions and body language is key to a better understanding of our dogs.

Our dogs emotions although complex, are on par with a one year old child’s emotions. The particular emotions that are being displayed by our dog at any given time is devoid of any intelligent reasoning. Which simply means, a dogs emotion is an immediate response to an external stimulus.

Example A ;

We come home and find that our dog has chewed something up, or has gone to the bathroom in our home. We often misinterpret the submissive behavior as guilt, shame, regret, remorse, disgrace, a guilty conscience and so forth. A dogs mind can no more understand the definitions of those words, than a one year old child can. Never the less the concept of what those words mean.

A contributing factor or more to the point, main factor in our dogs behavior in this matter can be us. This usually happens once our dog has chewed something up in the past. Because we are anticipating some sort of destruction when we come home. Instead of walking in the door with a smile on our face, we walk in looking to see what got chewed up. Our dog reads this body language as anger, and we mistake his submissive body posture as guilt.

Example B ;

Often in a home that has multiple dogs, when one dog passes on. We can mistake our dogs initial confusion and unsureness that is related to the change in pack structure, as a feeling of sorrow and loss. What happens most often in this scenario is, we project our feelings and emotions onto our dog. In this case our dogs emotions, are an appropriate response to our body language, which is displaying sadness, sorrow and loss. We can help our dog in this situation, by us not showing him our sadness.

Example C ; If our dog does something we do not like, and we lose our composure while yelling at him to stop it. He will process this information based on our body language and emotions. And since our body language and emotions are out of control at that time, our dog responds accordingly. That’s to say, our dog will act more crazy because that’s how we are acting. Again, we will mistake his excitable behavior as being defiant or as challenging us.

For some of us this reality about a dogs brain can be very disheartening, and it shouldn’t be. That would be like us loving our one year old baby less because he doesn’t understand words. Yet we are easily able to communicate with our child by using our emotions. Our dog is no different, emotions are our dogs language.

The Spirit Dog

Need to be a better alpha, practice your acting skills

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