Body language says a lot about a person. It shows a person’s intentions, mood and level of comfort. Our dogs on the other hand, interpret our body language in a completely different way from humans. The affectionate gestures you may show a loved one may be seen as aggressive to our beloved furry friends. Here are a couple of tips to follow when communicating with your pet:
1.Don’t pat them on the head; they don’t enjoy it. Although most family pets have gotten used to pats on the head, most dogs find this to be a threat. A scratch behind the ear or chest and maybe a good belly rub would be more enjoyable.
2.Don’t stare into their eyes. Looking someone on the eyes when you communicate with them is usually a sign of respect but when it comes to your pet or someone else’s, it is considered a challenge.
3.Look away to decrease tension. Just as staring into a dogs eyes cause aggression, looking away can aid in easing a tense situation. When a dominant dog is being bothered for attention by a less dominant dog, the alpha dog will turn his/her head to the side to show that’s they’re not interested.
4.Head on approach is not recommended. Walking straight up to a dog can cause them to feel uncomfortable with you. More socialized dogs can accept the forward approach but its better to walk up to less dominant dogs sideways so that they don’t feel threatened.
5.Get down to their level. Standing tall over a dog can be perceived as us showing higher rank resulting in a growl with dominant dogs and in submissive dogs they would cower or roll over. The best way to approach a dog your meeting for the first time is walking up to them sideways, getting down to their level and letting them approach and smell you before you can pet them.