So often we interpret dog behavior through our human thoughts and experiences. But dogs do not communicate using our language. Canine language consists of a large variety of signals using body, face, ears, tail, sounds, movement, and complex expression. If we study the signals dogs use with each other, we increase our ability to communicate with, and understand dogs.
This picture is an excellent example of a dog that is stressed and very uncomfortable. How can we tell? Well, the dog is displaying at least 4 very important behaviors:
1. Licking lips
2. Showing the whites of eyes
3. Panting when not overheated
4. Turning head away
I would even dare to say that the dog might be thinking something along the lines of, “I am not enjoying this! Please make it stop!”.
It’s not just enough to make sure your dog is never left alone with a child; as the dog’s guardian, you must be able to recognize when the dog is uncomfortable or stressed and remove the dog from the child’s presence. This is how we can be a conscious companion.
Please educate others by sharing this with your friends and family! You can learn more about how to understand dog language here.