Understanding Your Dog.

Understanding the how and whys of a dogs behavior can sometimes seem hard at best, or downright impossible. Owners have become so accustomed to their pets that we think they reason as we humans do. Many owners like to think that our dogs are on same level as us but if you take the time to investigate the behavior process of your best friend you will see differently.

Learning and knowing what and how your dog thinks is a huge part of being a pet owner. They don’t think they are human, they think you are a dog. We as owners need to relate to the dog as a dog, rather than a human! The most important part of this learning curve is to present yourself as the top dog in the pack. You are the alpha or top dog.

The main reasons why dogs make such good family members is the way they can communicate or talk with us. If you are a dog owner it sees you as part of its pack. Taking the right steps in being a leader your dog sees you as top dog in the pack and is fast to learn you behaviors, moods and intentions.

Learning to communicate with your dog makes living with one a lot easier and more enjoyable. As for dog training it makes it easier on the both of you. The fault occurs when most owners fail to recognize that their dog is communicating with them and not just in the audible sense.

Dogs communicate with their owners on a daily basis and many owners do not even realize they are doing it. Using a number of signals including body postures, facial expressions, audible sounds and scents. Dog owners who understand this use it to their advantage. By taking the time to learn, recognize and understand these body signals you should be able to work out who is alpha in any situation. You can also read your dog for signals such as I’m hungry, thirsty, I need to potty , I’m scared and numerous other things.

Being able to interpret these signs and language goes a long way in improving your relationship with rover.

Just as we convey body language so does your dog! A dog that is feeling confident or aggressive will try to give the impression of being a larger animal by standing tall with its ears and tail up. He might thrust his chest forward and may raise the hairs around the neck and along its back. It may also wave its tail slowly and growl.

A submissive dog will try to appear small, almost puppy-like because adult dogs will only chastise puppies – not attack them. When approaching a more dominant dog the submissive dog is likely come from the side, staying low to the ground with the tail and head held low and tail wagging enthusiastically. Some dogs try to lick the feet and face of the dominant dog or even roll over on their back to show submission.

Tail wagging is generally seen as a sign of pleasure and friendliness. However, the tail is also an indicator for other emotions as well. A tail waved slowly and stiffly, in line with the back expresses anger; a tail laid low over the rear or tucked between its back legs is a sign the dog is afraid or anxious; and nervous dog may stiffly wag their drooping tail as a sign of submission.

Observe your dogs facial expression under different circumstances. This will tell you a lot about his mood in different situations. The ears are pricked when he is alert or listening intently or focused on prey. Sometimes they are laid back onto the head when expressing pleasure, submission, or fear. Eye signals are an important part of communicating with your dog and allow you to assert your authority. In the wild, the alpha can maintain control simply by staring at a subordinate dog. Using eye contact can be a good way of disciplining your dog and reminding him that you are the boss. Regular gentle eye contact between you and your beloved companion is reassuring to your dog and will go a long way towards reinforcing your relationship.

Talk to your dog on a daily basis. Every human on earth likes to be acknowledged, so does your dog. Dogs understand human language more than we give them credit. Get your dog’s attention just as you would a person. Call them by name and when they look to you praise them. This puts a positive connotation with their name and also teaches them to focus on you when they hear their name called. Verbal communication with your dog, not just to correct but to express love, can go a long way in your relationship with your best friend.