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Dog Language – Understanding Dog Behavior on WomansDay.com



We love to talk to our dogs and attribute all kinds of emotions to them, but, truth be told, they are much simpler beings than humans. Dogs are motivated by the basics: food, activity and company. That said, they tend to behave differently with their owners than when they interact with other people or animals.

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Your dog’s behavior around you actually Is have meaning behind this, according to experts. From a desire to protect yourself to a hunch about your health and happiness, read on to find out what your dog would tell you if he could talk.

Why do dogs lie on your feet?

You might think your dog belongs to you, but you also belong to your dog. This means that your furry baby is going to claim you and protect you. “When he’s sitting on your foot, it’s a matter of property. If his [bottom] is on you, it marks your foot, ”says Jennifer Brent, animal advocate and external relations manager for the Los Angeles-based nonprofit animal welfare group Animals found.

“It’s not just that he wants to be near you, he says, ‘It’s mine, now it smells like me, stay away.’ He does this for three main reasons: to feel secure about his place in your life, to warn other dogs that you are being spoken to, and because he wants to protect you. ” To keep you safe, dogs will also bark at guests, growl at other dogs when they are outside, and pull on the leash when walking. “There’s a tendency to think of the dog as your scout. He sees himself as a member of the pack, and he wants to make sure everything is okay before you get there,” Brent says.

Your dog mimics your mood.

Whether it’s a stressful day at work or an argument with your partner, your dog will understand how you feel – and feel it too. “It goes without saying that when you are stressed they are more stressed; when you are happier they are happy. They match your moods better than a spouse or partner,” says Marty Becker, DVM, animal expert at Vetstreet.com. “They sit there and study you.” This relationship works the other way around, too: if you want your pooch to relax, you know how to pet him. “You can, like an accelerator pedal, change that dynamic with your dog,” says Dr. Becker. A little love goes a long way.

Your puppy acts like a madman when there is not enough play time.

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If he eliminates on the floor, nibbles on furniture, or walks in circles around the coffee table, your dog is probably trying to tell you that he needs more activity in his life. “This is where we see a lot of behavioral issues with dogs in households,” says Brent. This is especially true for active breeds, such as herding or hunting dogs. “The Dalmatian was trained to be a hunting dog. You cannot take an animal that is used to running 8 miles a day, put it in an apartment and expect it to be okay. If your dog destroys stuff, he says, ‘I’m bored, you have to give me something to do.’ “While exercise is important – dogs should be given 45 to 60 minutes of physical exercise and 15 minutes of exercise. behavioral training daily – Dr. Becker says you can also play mental games. to entertain your pooch. Make him play find and seek games for his food or even use food puzzles that she must resolve before her meal is distributed.

Dogs become destructive when they suffer from separation anxiety.

While most dogs will bark for a few minutes when you leave the house – just to let you know you’ve forgotten someone – some dogs have a much more serious reaction. “If you watch a video of a dog with separation anxiety it will tear your heart apart. It’s like the kid lost in the mall without his parents,” says Dr. Becker. “They are panicking. They think you won’t come back. They often attack the area where you are going; they will tear the doorframe apart, they are destructive. If you come home and they have had diarrhea or [are excessively] panting, their cortisol levels are high and you need to take action. ”

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Dr. Becker recommends speaking to a canine behaviorist to receive a training program and possibly a canine antidepressant. To help relieve the trauma associated with leaving, you can try interval training. First, put on your coat, grab your keys, and stay outside for 30 seconds. Come back, then go out for a minute, then five, and build from there. It is also helpful to give your dog a treat or a toy before leaving to distract him.

Some dogs alert you to a health problem.

It’s a difficult phenomenon to explain, but many dogs seem to be able to spot the disease in their owners. Research shows that some dogs can detect a wide range of serious conditions, including epileptic seizures. “We know there is a chemical marker that a few dogs detect, just as they can detect bedbugs, molds, peanuts, drugs and explosives,” says Dr. Becker. “They can smell ketones in a diabetic’s breath when their blood sugar is low. For people with epilepsy [about to have a seizure], they can alert their owner so they can take shelter. “Some dogs are even more naturally empathetic towards humans. Often times these dogs become therapy dogs, bringing affection to those in need, while detecting – and being able to respond – to health problems. “Some people just need a dog to stay still with them; others need a reason to get out of bed. It’s the strangest thing therapy dogs know when [move] near or far, ”says Dr Becker.

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Dogs act differently when they are sick.

It is important to pay attention to your pooch’s behavior, because if something goes wrong, he is probably not feeling well. “You want to catch things as early as possible to avoid unnecessary pain or worse,” says Dr. Becker. “I call her ‘Dog-ter Mom’ because 80% of people who care for animals are women. You just have to pay attention to her intuition.” It means noticing behavior that is out of the norm. If he’s not as playful as usual, acts aggressively, has trouble getting up, or isn’t eating properly, he could be sick. “You have to pay special attention to eating habits,” says Dr. Becker. “Food is their motto. If he isn’t eating enough or too much, if he drinks more water or needs to eliminate more, or if you have a dog that is losing weight, then something is wrong. ”

Your dog is following a routine.

Routines help dogs anticipate what will happen in their day, such as when it’s time to eat, go to the bathroom, and sleep. “Knowing what to expect is really, really important, otherwise they just don’t know how to react,” Brent says. A general routine is best, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything at the same time every day. In fact, varying the weather will help in the long run, says Dr. Becker. Otherwise, your dog will start running the show. “You don’t want them forcing the clock to work,” he says. If they do, chances are your dog will “insist that he eat at 5 a.m. on a Sunday when you want to sleep until 8 a.m.” If you control their food, you control them – in a good way ”.

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Dogs respond to tone.

Correcting your dog is important for good behavior, and the way you do it is essential for him to listen to you. Avoid explaining your dog’s behavior or using a calm voice when scolding. Take a firm tone and be direct. “Dogs respond to tone. If you say “No! “While a bad deed is happening, you’ll get a much better response than if you say it in a soft voice or wait to say it after,” Brent says. To guarantee results, it must be said at the moment of action, and in the same way every time. “If you want to teach your dog to be calm when he sees another dog, you can’t wait until that dog has passed by to give him a treat because he’s nice. You can’t wait to get home. home, ”Brent says. “That said letting go of the leash means a treat, instead of action [you’re trying to reinforce]. “

Dogs learn differently from humans.

There is no doubt that your dog is part of the family, but that doesn’t mean he should be treated like a person. “Thinking that your dog has a person’s motivation is the number one problem I see,” says Gina Spadafori, pet columnist and editor of the magazine PetConnection.com. Whether your dog is eliminating in the house or biting the remote, the cause has nothing to do with revenge. “It’s not an emotional or rational response. It’s either a lack of training, an illness or a stress response that can be triggered by a change in the house,” says Spadafori. So if your dog is taking action, start by trying to find the root cause. Is she sick, poorly trained or has there been a recent change in routine? Once you locate the cause, it will be much easier to understand and correct its behavior.

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