Learning Your Dog’s Language

Learning Your Dog's Language

Dogs use their whole bodies to communicate how they are feeling. Groups of signals indicate whether a dog needs more space from something (distance increasing signals) or would like less space (distance decreasing signals). Sometimes a dog will display a mix of these signals when they feel conflicted or ambivalent in a situation. Groups of signals can also tell us when a dog is feeling stressed or playful. These behavioral signals can be limited by whether or not the dog has a coat that allows him to raise his hackles or whether he has surgically cropped ears or a docked … Continue reading

Resource Guarding or Space Invasion? Reasons for Aggressive Outburts in Dogs

Aggressive Outburts: Understanding Your Dogs Further

Labels like Resource Guarding can blind us to other possible explanations to aggressive outbursts by our companion dog.   The common understanding of resource guarding is that your dog may show the following behaviors: tense, stiff, give you a non-wavering gaze, lip retraction to show teeth, growling, snapping, and/or biting when a person or other animal approaches. This behavior usually occurs only when a person or other animal approaches your dog while: meal preparation, eating, sleeping, has a toy, by a “favorite” place or there might be a “new” item brought into the house, food/treats/vomit, anything related to meals – … Continue reading