How to decode your dog’s body language?

It is wrong to believe that dogs cannot communicate with humans. They have their own language of expressing enthusiasm, surprise, but also discomfort and anxiety. Thanks to some basic ideas, you can decode the speech of dogs to better interact with them and thus avoid a bad incident *.

• Also read: How to get back to working with a worried animal?

Salut Bonjour presents the series on the web In the service of animals!

The Association of Veterinary Physicians of Quebec paints a sad picture: in Quebec alone, children have been bitten 45,000 times by a dog in a year. Faced with these sad statistics, it’s easy to blame the dog for being anonymous. But nearly half of these dog bites occur in a family dog ​​that has previously been in contact with the child.

Why is the dog bite so high? Although the answer is complicated, it seems that people have their share of responsibility. Most incidents occur because the latter is unable to interpret the distress signals sent by the animal during an interaction.

For a better life with a child and a dog, smoke educators at the Montreal SPCA encourage parents, but also children, to learn the language of dogs.

What are the dog’s warning signs?

Even if the dog doesn’t speak, he does talk. To learn how to communicate better with your dog, but also with others, you need to be attentive to his body language and movements. In most cases of biting, the dog communicates his discomfort before moving.

You may be wrong to think that the only warning signs to watch for are the dog barking and growling. Yet a dog uses a wide variety of cues to signal discomfort. It is important that he use his muzzle, his tail, his ears or his claws to express an emotion.

Learn how a dog can express fear, stress or pain:

  • A barking dog
  • A dog licked his mouth
  • A hyperventilation dog
  • A dog curling up
  • A dog that seems hypervigilant
  • A dog walking away
  • A dog barking or looking away
  • A dog that refuses to eat
  • A dog that moves too fast or too slowly

How to teach canine language to a child?

While learning smoke language can be difficult for adults, the same is true for children. Whenever a child under 10 is having fun with a dog, it is imperative that a parent stay nearby to detect possible signs of discomfort.

Naturally, the child wants to play with the animal. It could happen that he pulled his tail, walked on his foot, shouted in his ears, took the toy away from him or hugged him without being accepted.

These traits, which do not seem to harm humans, can shock the animal. Depending on the age of the child, it is possible to gradually teach him or her the main signs of discomfort that you already know.

It is also important for the child to understand that he or she should never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, scratching a bone, withdrawing from his crate or a dog that does not want to be forced. He should not disturb a dog he does not know without the permission of an adult.

The Montreal SPCA reminds us that no matter what the type and size of the dog, there is zero risk of biting.

*The Salut Bonjour team would like to thank Montreal SPCA for his contribution to the editorial content of this article!

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