Dog language and the signs of calm
Learning to communicate with our puppy is essential to promote a balanced and positive coexistence with him. In addition, it allows us to know what he feels in each moment and improves our relationship with him. Often, poor communication between the dog and the human being can lead to the appearance of unwanted behaviors, mainly due to ignorance regarding non-verbal communication, that is, body communication.
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In this article by YourCatCareguide, we will help you to understand in a general way how the dog’s language is and the signs of calm that it transmits to us. Keep reading to learn how to communicate better with your dog and understand what he tells you:
How do dogs communicate with each other?
The beginning of the dog’s communication learning starts from his birth of life and lasts approximately until three months of life. In this period, the dog learns a language that will accompany him throughout his life. It begins with his mother and siblings , who teach him to orient himself correctly.
The most important period for learning is the socialization of the puppy dog , which usually lasts between three weeks of life and three months. The early separation of the litter Dog can bring serious consequence, such as the lack of standards of social behavior . In addition, there may be many other consequences, such as biting, fear, stress, among others.
Thus, not all dogs are able to recognize and interpret the signals we are going to show. More punctual cases, such as the case of puppies abandoned and separated prematurely from the litter, are the typical ones that may not understand this language.
How to talk to your dog?
Before we start talking about the body language of dogs, it is crucial to know what our communication with the dog should be like, take note:
- Always use a high pitched tone and low volume so the dog does not confuse his words with a punishment. They do not need to raise your voice to hear you, as they have very sensitive ears.
- Always try to relate words with concrete physical signs . This way, your puppy will better understand what you want and it will be easier to communicate with him in noisier environments.
- Use positive reinforcement to communicate with the dog. There are countless studies that show that dogs understand much better when we avoid punishment.
- Whenever you communicate with your puppy, make sure you have clear eye contact.
- Always respect the dog. If you find that he is annoyed or upset, change the situation or use a stronger reinforcement to motivate him.
- Do not use punishment to communicate with your dog. If he does not understand, change his position and repeat.
Signs of calm in dogs
The yawn, as a sign of calm, is usually accompanied by other signs, such as ears back, head turning or sidelong. This sign usually indicates that the dog is either bothered or does not understand what you are asking for.
Attention: We should not confuse this signal with a yawn on awakening, for example.
Except when they finish drinking water, licking the muzzle is another of the more usual signs of calm. It usually indicates that the dog “does not look for problems” and may be accompanied by a headache or tilt head to the side. The dog is asking for space or a break in dressage.
3. Lick a person
We usually associate the licks with the affection and affection of the dog by us humans, and on some occasions it may mean that, especially if we reinforce this behavior in a positive way. Despite this, an excited lick may indicate that the dog is stressed and tries to relieve the tension by licking the tutor , something he knows we like.
When he licks someone out of nervousness, not out of affection, he often accompanies with other signs of calm, such as ears back, head spinning and nervous movements.
4. Turn the head
Often, when you approach your dog to give it a kiss or to put something next to it, the dog turns its head. This attitude means that he is annoyed and is telling us to respect his personal space. In this case, he may show other signs like sighing, putting his ears back or licking himself. The dog can also use this signal with other dogs to imply that he is calm and is not looking for problems .
5. Pushing with the snout
This is a very positive sign that tells us that our dog is seeking our attention or care . This behavior originated in the stage where the dog was still a puppy and sought the mother’s breasts, pushing with the muzzle.
6. Eyes Closed
This sign of calm usually indicates well-being and security of the dog . His origin also comes from the stage where he was a puppy, when he was with his mother and felt very comfortable. That’s a good sign.
7. Smell the soil
If your dog smells the ground before introducing himself to another dog , you should be very happy, as this is a sign of calm and an educated dog. He is trying to communicate that he does not seek trouble or invade the personal space of the other dog.
8. Walking in circles
When the dogs walk and then sniff at each other as they walk in circles, it is a very positive sign of calm between them. They are greeting each other in a cordial and positive way .
This posture can have different meanings:
- It is customary to observe a dog in this position when asking another dog to play . In this case it will act in a cheerful and positive way, making smooth movements with the tail. That is, it is a very cordial dog
- On the other hand, if we observe our dog to stretch himself while using other signs of calmness , such as licking his nose, moving his tail energetically and turning his head, this is a dog who asks politely to give him space and let us leave him alone.
10. Be still
Usually happens when we take our dog to a new park and he does not know the dogs that frequent him. It adopts a still posture and allows others to smell it without problem. It is a sign and calm that indicates that the newcomer is educated and allows others to know him .
Remember that when a dog is totally quiet because we are screaming or punishing, he is not being submissive. This posture means that he is helpless, since he does not know what to do or where to hide for the punishment to end. Do not forget that this attitude is very negative and that we should not scold with our dogs, let alone in a violent or aggressive way.
This sign indicates that the dog is very stressed and is trying to release the tension by shaking it completely. Usually, after this attitude, the dog is gone.
12. Belly up
In this case, the lying dog shows submission to the other dog, whether for fear or for any other reason. It’s a cordial posture , the dog is not looking for trouble.
On the other hand, when the dog shows us the belly, it is not a sign of submission, but a sign of calmness. In this case the dog tries to convey to us that he feels full confidence in us and asks us to caress him in the belly.
Urinar is undoubtedly a sign of marking territory, but can also use with other dogs to make themselves known . He wants the other dogs to know his identity and urine so they can smell him later.
Other signs of calm
It is important to note that there are multiple signs of calm in dogs that sometimes go completely unnoticed. Some of them are:
- Raise the front leg
- Raise the hind leg
- Looking Away
- To lay
- Look at the floor
- Move away
- Turn the back
- Mouth relaxed
- Mouth slightly open
- Relaxed tail
- Tail between legs
- Soft Tail Movements
Posture of fear and aggression by fear
It is very important to know how to identify fear behavior in our dog. This will help us to interpret his emotions so that we can act in the right way. These are some of the postures that demonstrate that the dog is afraid:
- In the first figure we can see a dog very afraid . Hide the tail between the legs, lick the muzzle, put the ears back and maintain a curved posture.
- In the second figure we can see a dog, also fearful, but with a defensive attitude : it shows the teeth, it has the rigid ends and the bristling one. We must be very careful because a dog with defensive aggressiveness can react disproportionately, causing great damage. This can happen in situations where the dog feels trapped. You can perform multiple beats in a row, without pause, as an alert. It can also growl, moan and cry.
Posture of security and aggressive aggression
Now let’s show you the body positions of a confident dog on his own , very different from the ones we mentioned earlier:
- In the first figure, we can observe a confident and stable dog . The tail is relaxed, the ears are in the normal position, and the body posture shows no fear.
- In the second figure, we observe a dog with aggressive offense . Through these warning signs, try to ward off the dog, person or object that is causing this reaction. We can see the bristly hair, the wrinkled muzzle, the teeth and the very stiff and tense extremities. The tail is normally turned upwards. Usually they let out a short bark in a high tone that reveals that they are upset with the situation.
Stereotype or compulsive behavior
It can be defined as a repetitive and for no apparent reason that the dog performs without a concrete stimulus, usually to relieve stress. It is like a ritual, repetitive and prolonged in time. If not corrected, this type of behavior tends to become chronic and becomes very difficult to treat. It may be due to an illness, a behavioral problem, or both. Usually we usually observe dogs that pursue the tail compulsively, but there are many other stereotypies in dogs.
If you want to read more articles matching the language of the dog and the signs of calm , we recommend that you enter our Basic Education section .