Tag: Lea

The doggie language course continues!

Another delightful insight from Lea.

On the 6th September last I offered a guest post from Lea of the blog Paws Give Me Purpose that carried the title More Doggie Language. It was well-received by all of you.

So it was easy for me to say “Yes” to Lea offering an update. Here it is.

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September 1, 2017, by Lea

Doggie Language Continued

Lately, I have seen many articles written on dog language and what your dog may be telling you. I published my own post entitled “Doggie Language” back on June 25th, the link can be found here:

http://www.pawsgivemepurpose.com/doggie-language/

There are just so many ways our dogs speak to us that one post will never be enough. Even when you think you have it all covered you suddenly think of something else, see your dog do something new, or read something else from another individual’s perspective. That is why today I am writing about this subject once again.

So here’s an interesting question that I have been asked a few times, and it makes me laugh every time I see someone on Facebook, or another site posting a joke or photo about it. Why do dogs follow you into the bathroom?

(image courtesy of Pinterest.com)

Having a loyal dog in your household ensures an incredible amount of love between you and your pup. Understanding your dog can be easy and it’s not hard to understand that your pup wants to give you some love with kisses, however your pup may often behave in more subtle manners as well.

Now, most of us aren’t mentalists or even Dr. Doolittle, so here are some things your dog may do and what they are trying to say to you:

  • Puppy dog eyes – puppy dog eyes are often used by young children whenever they really want something. Your pup may use them to show love and it enforces a greater trust between you both.
  • Following you around – you must agree that it is absolutely adorable when your pup follows you all over the house. According to some Veterinarians, following behavior is a dog’s instinct, to always do things with their pack/family.
  • Giving you gifts – I have had my dogs bring me dead birds, squirrels, and even once a live baby squirrel into the house. The gift is not always as interesting or gross, sometimes it’s a ball to play fetch or a stuffed toy, but turns out that our pups simply want to share their joy with us and there’s no better person to share it with!
  • Cuddle time after dinner – most of us are used to our dogs cuddling at bedtime or on the couch when we watch tv, but cuddling with you after their bellies are filled with a hearty meal shows that your pup is truly comfortable around you.
  • Licking your face and body – there are some people who love it, others find it gross, but all dogs like giving licks once in a while. Licking is actually a submissive behavior and it actually helps your pup ease their stress level as well as of course being a sign of loving you.
  • Going “crazy” when you come home – the second your dog hears you coming back home, chaos ensues. I know at my house it starts the minute I pull into the driveway, I can hear them even before I put my key in the lock.. Your pup is just happy you’re home, happy to see you! This enthusiastic response is just their way of saying “I missed you”.
  • Knowing when something is wrong – Your pet doesn’t need to be able to actually talk to you to sense that something is wrong or if you’re feeling sad. They read your body language and use their senses to detect if something is wrong. They are also more than willing to help you feel better.
  • Crawling into your bed – not everyone sleeps with their dogs, it’s a personal preference. Perhaps once every so often, your pup will join you in your bed, they won’t just sit there, they keep you close. Often they will cuddle you, they lay on you. When you’re not home and away for work, they may just want to smell you so they climb in the bed because they miss you.
  • Raising a single paw or tapping you with a paw – raising one of two paws usually means your dog is in the mood for some playtime or wants attention. Sometimes, they’ll do this when they see something interesting in their environment, they will sit with one paw raised like a statue.
  • Leaning against you – if your dog is actively leaning against you, it means he or she is looking for some extra love, hugs, pets from you. Dogs always love to have your undivided attention!
  • Try to get your opinion – have you ever had the feeling that your dog was looking for your approval? Your pup actually really appreciates and values your opinion. A little love and affection go a long way!
(image courtesy of Pinterest.com)

Whether you have a new dog or you and your pup have been together for a while, it’s helpful to know the meaning of their communication signals so that you can adjust your own behavior as needed and also you know how your pup is feeling.

Dogs make vocalizations and gestures using their face and body just as us humans do in order to express their feelings. While some of these gestures can appear similar to ours, they can have very different meanings. It is my hope that my original post on the subject and in this follow up, I have helped you learn a little more about how to interpret your dog’s various actions and that you’ve learned something new about how to communicate more effectively with your own pup!

Sources and further reading:

http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/how-read-your-dogs-body-language/415

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-body-language

http://stories.barkpost.com/dog-body-language-charts/

When I was reading this I was struck by Lea reminding me, and all other dog lovers, that the role of the gestures and faces of our dogs so closely matches how we humans communicate non-verbally. No wonder the bond between dog and human can be so close and wonderful.

More doggie language.

Preceded by some human language!

Sorry to be a little obtuse with my sub-heading.

But I wanted to inform all you wonderful readers that for the next 6 days I am going to be rather distracted by a book event. I have prepared posts through to the 12th, my first clear day ‘back at my desk’ but if in the meantime you wonder why I am being unresponsive that’s the reason.

I saw the following not too long ago and asked if I might have permission to republish it here. Lea said “Of course”. Thus I am delighted to republish what appeared on Paws Give Me Purpose blog earlier this year.

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Doggie Language

By Lea

Most dog owners wish their pup could speak to them and tell them exactly what they want, how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. I honestly believe dogs can talk, but only to those who know how to listen. Their body language and behaviors are the language they use to speak to you. Do you ever wonder if your dog loves their life? If they’re happy?

This is a picture of Phoebe, a Maltese that was rescued by Yorkie911 Rescue Inc. This was her first day in my home, look at that smile! She knew she was safe and was expressing her happiness.

Here are some ways to know your pup is relaxed and happy:

  • Your dog gets excited! Excited to see you, to play, to eat, to go for walks. If for some reason your dog doesn’t get excited for these things your pup may be telling you they are not be feeling well.
  • Your dog sleeps well. A happy relaxed dog sleeps well. A stressed dog, or if your dog is not feeling well, will be restless and change spots often trying to get comfortable during the night.
  • A healthy dog is a happy dog 🙂 Obviously if your pup isn’t feeling well the signs of happiness won’t show.
  • Pay attention to your dog’s eyes, when your pup is happy his eyes are bright and are their “regular” shape. If your dog is uncomfortable or in pain his eyes will tell you, he may squint.
  • When your dog is happy and relaxed their mouth will be closed or slightly opened with a relaxed tongue hanging out. A panting dog could be hot or stressed, so pay attention to this body language.
  • A destructive dog is a bored dog 🙁 If your dog is content they will play with their toys and bones rather than eat your shoes or anything else.
  • If your dog’s body language is relaxed he/she is happy. Relaxed posture, not tense or stiff. When a dog places it’s head in your lap it’s a relaxed happiness being with his/her person.
  • When your dog is relaxed he/she will carry their tail in its natural position. When they are happy they will wag it from side to side. They may even wiggle their entire body with joy! A tail that is held low or between the legs signals a lack of confidence, nervousness, or fear. (A dog’s tail can tell you a great deal about their moods. A wagging tail does not always mean they are happy, don’t assume that’s always the case. Pay attention to the rest of the dog’s body and actions. Believe me, just the tail itself can be a full post on its own).
  • Happy dogs are active. They love to play with you, with their toys, chew on their bones, explore, and solicit attention from you. They may play bow or initiate physical contact with you by rolling over for a belly rub, this also shows trust. A happy dog wants to hang out with his/her people!
  • A happy dog likes to eat. Some dogs, like one of mine, can be picky eaters when it comes to meals, but in general when they are happy, he/she will enjoy eating. What dog can resist a cookie.
  • Some dogs rarely bark, but those that do have a higher-pitched bark when they’re happy than they usually do. Sometimes it’s even a high pitched howl in this house.
Spirit, a Doberman I rescued from a backyard breeder myself, smiling as she eats some doggie ice cream. Look at her joyful expression!

While you obviously know your dog best, these are the ways I see my dogs express their relaxed and happy mood. Having a rescue dog in my home that was labeled “aggressive” has taught me a great deal about my pups body language and what they are trying to tell me. There really is a great deal we can learn from our furry friends body language and we can understand what they are saying by simply watching closely.

Further reading:

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/what-is-your-dog-telling_you

http://www.aspcapro.org/resource/7-tips-canine-body-language

http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/understanding-your-dog/is-your-dog-happy

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The world would be a much, much sorrier place without our gorgeous dogs.

Thanks Lea.