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Tip of the Month: Body Language

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Dog Looking at Owner
  • Body language is a dog’s primary means of communication. Your body movement/position may relay a different message than your voice command. If a double message is conveyed, body language takes priority.
    ~ Karen Campbell, Karen Campbell’s Pet Behavior Help Now!, Portland, ME

  • Good communication is the best way to get good behavior. Learn to read your dog’s postures, expressions, movements, and vocalizations. Observe ear and tail positions, general body posture (especially “fluid” and “curved” versus “stiff” and “angular”), and facial expressions. Be precise. (Write down “mouth open, panting slightly, tongue hanging out, eyes bright, facial muscles relaxed” rather than “looks happy.”) Study videos, books, photographs, and other people’s dogs. Notice your own body language and how it affects your dog. Your body says a lot and your dog notices!
    ~Ann Dupuis , CPDT-KA, Your Dream Dog, Randolph, MA

  • Body language gives a more realistic signal from your dog’s point of view. If you are disappointed in his behavior, decide on a body signal to let him know that. An example would be hands on hips with a turn of your head as you say “No cookies for you!” or a shrug of the shoulders as you say “Excuse me!” The words are not as important as the body language, but both used together will help get across your disappointment.
    ~ Gloria J. White , CPDT-KA, Pawsitive Waggers Training, Cincinnati, OH

Have a Tip for your fellow dog lovers? Share it below!

Excerpted from Top Tips from Top Trainers – 1001 Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training © 2010 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.
Website: http://www.petbookexpress.com

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