In the last weeks we’ve gone, in detail, over the major aspects of body language: tail, spine, and facial expression. Today we’re going to look at a few photos in detail and examine all three, putting them together to figure out what that dog is saying in detail.
Note that if you’re on the street and have to make a quick judgement, I look for the following:
1. Is the tail high and stiff? If so, that’s aggression and I need to act accordingly. If not, it doesn’t matter.
2. Is the dog hard staring? Nose down, ears forward, wrinkles in forehead, no panting. Dog looks “locked onto target.” If so, that’s aggression, and I need to act accordingly.
Anything else I can take my time and decide what the dog is doing, and whether or not I should approach.
Got it? Okay! Here are the photos. Make your own guesses, then hover over them to see what I said!
Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Holy moly! This is subtle stuff!” Yup, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg of body language. Study the photos, study your own dogs, look at videos and see if you can spot it, check out the dogs in the dog park. We want to become experts at learning body language, so that you know what it is your dog is communicating!
This finishes up our series. I’ll keep posting dog body language things as I can (and have time; these are time intensive!), along with anything else I feel like posting! We’re back to our normal schedule next week!