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Reading Your Dog’s Body Language

A depressed dog may have a reduced appetite and lethargy.

How to Tell If a Dog Is Depressed

Depression in dogs typically involves a significant behavioral change. Often starting with a gradual loss of interest in once-loved games. It can also start with a bang with aggressive or destructive behaviors.
A woman introducing a cat to a dog, the cat is clearly upset.

How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog

There are millions of homes where cats and dogs live together in perfect harmony – mine included. How does that happen? Careful introductions of...
copyspace in the grass area between two dogs resting on the grass

Why Dogs Sneeze When They Play

When a dog sneezes due to an irritation in her nose, the sneeze is forceful and may include nasal discharge. A social sneeze is small and delicate with no nasal discharge and very little head movement.
Dog jumpimg over the fence or net. Dog exercise. Spring day

Do Dogs Have Periods?

Do female dogs have periods? No, dogs do not have periods. During one stage of the dog's reproductive cycle there is a bloody vaginal discharge that superficially resembles a period.
A black lab sits on its hind legs on an empty wooded trail with fallen autumn leaves, licking its tongue humorously.

Why Dogs Lick Excessively

Dogs may lick their lips in anticipation of food or a tasty treat. However, the behavior can indicate a variety of health issues when it isn't associated with food, a treat, or a reward.

Dog Kisses: Is Your Dog Really Kissing You?

You either love it or hate it: the wet, warm sensation of a dog licking your face. Many of us seek out this kind...

Do Dogs Smile?

A well-accepted theory among dog behavior experts is that dogs smile because they know that we humans love it. We see our dogs lounging on the rug with their mouths hanging open, lips pulled back, looking utterly satisfied with themselves, and we go ga-ga with praise and pets. Dogs probably also observe their humans smiling at them and among themselves; they know people smiles are inherently positive (at the very least, benign), and that they can communicate amicability by miming that behavior.

Is My Dog Depressed?

When a dog is suddenly no longer interested in their favorite activities, whether it's playing Frisbee in the park or chasing squirrels in the backyard, most animal behavior experts will tell you to look for a physical explanation, not a mental-health recommendation. Taking your four-legged friend to the vet for a physical exam should always be the first response to what seems like depression. A change in behavior can usually be attributed to underlying physical conditions like arthritis or pain.

How Can You Know What Your Dog is Feeling?

Dog body language can be quite difficult to read, so it's important to consider the context when interpreting behavior. Not only do you need to consider the environment (for example, dogs will pant when they're hot, but also when they're stressed), you also need to look at all of the body parts together. Although many people attempt to correlate each type of movement with a specific emotion, the easier approach is simply to compare the overall pictures of a distressed dog to a happy dog.

Teach Your Dog to Make Eye Contact

If your dog doesn't already know the value of eye contact with humans, you can easily teach her. This is an operant conditioning/positive reinforcement exercise – your dog learns her behavior can make good stuff happen. When your dog has come to realize the value of eye contact, she will sometimes offer the behavior without being cued. Be sure to reinforce offered eye contact as well as cued eye contact. To help her be comfortable with eye contact from other humans, ask your friends to play the Watch" game with her as well."

Canine Body Language Danger Signs

Dogs almost always give clear signals – though the signs may be subtle – before they bite. A bite without warning" is truly a rare occurrence. Most of the time the human just wasn't listening
Reading dog body language is an important part of training your dog.

Listening to Your Dog’s Body Signals

The dog training world has become exponentially more aware of the significance of dog body language communication over the past two decades. We know how critically important it is in keeping dogs and people safe, and in building relationships of mutual trust and respect that result in lifelong bonds between canines and their humans. And yet we still see training and behavior professionals as well as regular dog owners who utterly fail to understand what their dogs are desperately trying to say to them.

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