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Calming signals are international and universal. All dogs all over the worlds have the same language. A dog from Japan would be understood by an elkhound who lives in an isolated valley in Norway. Unlike us humans, they will have no communication problems!

Dogs use this communication system towards us humans, simply because it’s the language they know and think everyone understands.  By failing to see your dog using calming signals on you, and perhaps even punish the dog for using them, you risk causing serious harm to your dog. 

Threatening signals (to walk straight at, reach for the dog, bending over the dog, staring into the dog’s eyes, fast movements, and so on) will always cause the dog to use a calming signal. To start improving your relationship TODAY, observe your dog and learn his language.

Some calming signals

Amongst others..

Lip-licking (as can be seen quite clearly in this photo)

Yawning

Lifting one paw (puppies will do this a lot)

Turning away (head or body)

Wagging his tail (not his whole body with overt pleasure)

Sniffing the ground

Moving away

Slowing down ..when being called

"curving" when coming


I am turning my head away .... I am uncomfortable

Example: A person is trying to teach his dog basic obedience. He states a command in loud and firm voice. The dog yawns and looks away. The dog just indicated he’s uncomfortable with the situation. Perhaps the vocal command is too aggressive-sounding to the dog. The man, in turn, mistakes the dog’s behaviour for disobedience or obstinence and repeats the command in a louder, angrier voice. The dog turns away now, more yawning, licking his lips. And on it goes. The breakdown in communication escalates to possible punishment for the dog who was just trying to communicate his feelings. (Please note that this is only given as an example of miscommunication not something for you to reproduce!)

You can acquire the book "Calming Signals" by Turid by contacting me, or going to FreeDogz.be or at  Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr and you can watch a short clip of her DVD by clicking here 

This is a short video (in French) made by Isabelle Charlet a swiss behaviourist on the dog's calming signals ... Please do watch it - it is well worth it.  There s a little test at the end of the video - she asks you to observe the dogs and see how many calming signals they give, count them ALL ...You will miss some .. It just goes to show it is not easy for us humans to see what our dogs are telling us... 

Take care when you CUDDLE your dog - are you sure he is happy with the idea? .. Observe him and read his body language!

Have a look at this 3 minute video - it was created by Eileenanddogs about whther your dogs wish to be stroked and cuddled

Watch a short video in french - "un chien parle aux enfants" created by Cathy Var.

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