See Dogs files
Learning to communicate with our dog is essential to achieve a balanced and positive coexistence, as well as to improve the bond with him and understand what he is trying to tell us at all times. On many occasions, a bad communication between dog and man It can lead to the appearance of unwanted behaviors, mainly due to a lack of understanding in non-verbal communication, that is, corporal.
In this AnimalWised article we will help you to understand in a general way what it is like the language of dogs and the signs of calm that they transmit to us. Read on to learn how to communicate better with your dog and to understand what he's trying to tell you:You may also be interested in: Training Guide - Basic Level Index
- Do all dogs know the language and the signs of calm?
- How should we communicate with our dog?
- Signs of calm in the dog
- Other signs of calm
- Posture of fear and aggressiveness out of fear
- Posture of security and offensive aggressiveness
- Stereotypy or compulsive behavior
Do all dogs know the language and signs of calm?
The learning start of dog communication begins from birth and lasts approximately up to three months of life. In this period, the dog learns a language that will accompany him throughout his life and it starts with his mother and brothers, who teach and guide you correctly.
The most important period for the recognition of language is the socialization of the puppy, which is between three weeks of life and three months. The prompt separation of the puppy can have serious consequences, such as the lack of patterns of social behavior. However, many more consequences may appear, such as lack of inhibition of the bite, fear or stress among many others.
Therefore, not all dogs are capable of interpreting and recognizing the signs that we are going to show below, although these are specific cases in which we observe premature weaning or isolation of the puppy, common in shelter dogs..
How should we communicate with our dog?
Before getting started in the language of dogs and the signs of calm, it is essential to know how communication should be between us and the dog, take note:
- Always use a high tone and low volume so that the dog does not mistake your words for punishment. Also, you have to remember that their ears are very sensitive, so they don't need you to raise the pitch to hear yourself..
- Always try to match the words with concrete physical signs, this way your dog will understand you better and it will be easier to communicate with him in noisy environments.
- Use positive reinforcement to communicate with him, various studies show that he understands you much better when you avoid punishment.
- Whenever you communicate with your dog make sure there is clear eye contact.
- Respect the dog at all times, especially if you notice that he is uncomfortable or overwhelmed, changes his situation or uses a higher reinforcement to motivate him.
- Do not use punishment to communicate with your dog, if he does not understand you, move and repeat.
Signs of calm in the dog
Yawning, as a sign of calm, is usually accompanied by other signs, such as ears back, head turns or glance sideways. This sign usually indicates discomfort or that they do not understand what we are asking them.
We should not confuse this signal with a yawn when waking up, for example.
Except when they have just finished drinking water, licking their lips is another of the most common signs of calm. It usually tells us that the dog "does not look for problems" and may be accompanied by a low head or head to the side. The dog is asking us for space or a break in training.
3. Lick a person
We generally associate licking humans with the affection and affection of the dog and, on occasions, this is usually the case, especially if we reinforce this behavior in a positive way. However, an excited lick may indicate that the dog is stressed and try to ease the tension that may exist licking us, something that knows that we like.
When he licks us out of nervousness, not affection, it is usually accompanied by other signs of calm such as ears back, head turns, and nervous movements..
4. Head turns
It is likely that when you approach your dog, sometimes to give him a kiss, or try to place something right in front of him, the dog will turn his head. It usually means discomfort and you are telling us to respect your personal space. In this case, it may show other signs, such as panting, ears back, or licking. You can also use this signal with other dogs to imply that he is calm and does not look for problems.
5. Push with the muzzle
This is a very positive sign and tells us that our dog seek our attention or affection. This behavior has its origins in its puppy stage, when the dog looks for its mother's breasts by pushing with its muzzle.
6. Eyes narrowed
This calm signal usually indicates welfare and safety in the dog. His origins are also in his puppy stage, when he was with his mother and felt very comfortable. It's a very good sign.
7. Sniff the ground
If your dog makes you see that you sniff the ground before you go to introduce yourself to another dog, you should be very happy, since it is a sign of calm from a well-mannered dog. You are trying to communicate that you are not looking for trouble or invading your personal space.
8. Walk in circles
When two dogs walk and subsequently sniff each other in circles, it is usually a very positive sign of calm between them. I know greet in a cordial and positive way.
9. Stretch out
This position can have different meanings:
- It is common to observe a dog in this position when is asking another dog to play. In this case, it will act in a cheerful and positive way, making gentle tail movements. In this case it is a friendly dog.
- However, if we observe our dog stretching while using other calming signals, such as licking his lips, wagging his tail energetically and turning his head, we have in front of a dog that politely asks for space, that we leave him alone.
10. Stay still
It usually happens when we take our dog to a new pipi-can, in which he does not know the dogs that are there. Adopt an immobile posture and allows others to sniff it without problems. It is a sign of calm that indicates that the newcomer is polite and let others know you.
Remember that, when a dog stays completely still because we are yelling or punishing him, he is not showing submissive, he is performing a defenseless posture, since he does not know what to do or where to hide so that we end the punishment. Do not forget that reaching this point is very negative and that we must not scold to our dogs, much less violently or surly.
11. It shakes
This signal indicates that the dog is quite stressed and is looking release your tension shaking off completely. Flight and other signs of calm generally follow.
12. Belly up
In this case the dog that is lying is submissive towards the other dog, either out of fear or other reasons. Is about a posture of cordiality, the dog does not look for problems.
Remember that when the dog shows its belly to us, it is not a sign of submission, but it is a sign of calm. In this case, the dog tries to convey to us that he feels full confidence in us and that we also please scratch his belly.
Urinating is undoubtedly a marking signal, but they also use it together with other dogs to get known. He wants the other dogs to know his identity and urine so that they can smell it later.
Other signs of calm
It is important to highlight that there are many signs of calm in dogs that, on occasions, go completely unnoticed. Here are some more:
- Raise the front leg
- Raise the hind leg
- Look askance at
- Lie down (along with more signs of calm)
- Ears back
- Look at the ground
- Walk away
- Turn your back
- Look away
- Relaxed mouth
- Mouth slightly open
- Relaxed tail
- Tail between the legs
- Smooth tail movements
Posture of fear and aggressiveness out of fear
It is very important to know how to identify fearful behavior on our dog. This will help us to interpret your emotions in order to act correctly in all cases. Here are two postures that denote fear in the dog:
- In the first figure we can see a dog very scared. Hides tail between legs, licks his lips, shows his ears back, and maintains a hunched posture.
- In the second figure we see a dog, also fearful, but with a defensive attitudeHe shows his teeth, his limbs are stiff and his hair stands on end. We have to be very careful because a dog with defensive aggressiveness can react disproportionately, causing a lot of damage. This usually happens in situations where the dog feels cornered. It can make alert barks, in a row, fast and without pause. He will also growl, gasp, whimper, and cry.
Posture of security and offensive aggressiveness
Now we will show the body positions of a dog self-confident, very different from those mentioned above:
- In the first figure we see a dog self-confident and stable. It has a relaxed tail, its ears in a normal position and its body posture does not indicate fear.
- In this second figure we observe a dog with offensive aggressiveness. Through these red flags try to zoom out the dog, person or object that is causing the reaction. We can see the bristly hair, the wrinkled muzzle, the teeth and the very rigid and stiff limbs. The tail is usually upward. Usually makes a short, high-pitched bark, which expresses annoyance at the situation they are experiencing.
Stereotypy or compulsive behavior
It is a repetitive movement and no apparent function performed by the dog when faced with a specific stimulus, usually to relieve stress It is ritualized, repetitive and extends over time. If left untreated, these types of behaviors tend to become chronic and very difficult to treat. It can be due to an illness, a behavior problem, or both. Generally we tend to observe dogs that are compulsively chasing each other's tail, but there are many other stereotypies in dogs.