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

What “Play” Between Dogs Means…

What "Play" Between Dogs Means...

Lots of interesting research is being done on dog behavior and one fascinating field of study is on play.   Play is thought to serve several functions. For dogs, coyotes, wolves and foxes, play is important for the development of social skills, for the formation and maintenance of social bonds, to provide exercise and to teach hand-eye coordination. Play fighting and other play behaviors can provide practice for the real thing (Bekoff & Pierce, 2009). To solicit play, dogs frequently offer a “play bow” (a pose where the animal crouches down on the forepaws and sticks their hindquarters in the … Continue reading