How Can I Communicate Better With My Dog?

This being Banned Books Week (September 25 – October 2) my mind has turned to one of the few banned books I have actually read – Alice In Wonderland.  It turns out that in 1931, Through A Looking Glass, which is the original title, was banned because animals are just not suppose to talk like humans. I wonder what the authorities in China would have said about Turid Rugaas‘ book “On Talking Terms With Dogs?

What Are Calming Signals?

Though I am not sure I agree with everything Turid Rugaas says, I do find it interesting. Essentialy the thought is that conflict is dangerous for all concerned. Therefore dogs use calming signals of which there are quite a few, ranging from the obvious play bow to the less obvious yawn.  This is your  dog’s language.  Since your dog’s language is non-verbal we often overlook their attempts to communicate both with their own species and ours. So learning what these signals look like is important to understanding your dog.  Even if you do not attempt to incorporate them into your own repertoire and use them to communicate with your dog it is good to be aware of them as they are often a clear indicator of what state your dog is in.

This video shows Emily Larlham, a clicker trainer,  demonstrating calming signals and then using them with dogs. I wonder what the Chinese authorities in 1931 would have to say about a human speaking  dog language?

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3 Responses to “How Can I Communicate Better With My Dog?”

  1. Ken Perry 01. Oct, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    what a great video! I love to learn about my dog and this one was special. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. Sage 01. Oct, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Interesting video. I’m going to try it out on Sage!

  3. Elizabeth Deitz 08. Oct, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Let me know what your experience was when you tried it out. My dog’s were oblivious!

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