Category Archives: Dog body language

What is Summer Saying? Observing a Bark

When I filmed Summer barking using the slow motion function of my video camera, I was mostly curious in an analytical sort of way. What could I see when I slowed everything down? I didn’t realize that I would find the … Continue reading

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Posted in Aggression, Dog body language | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Ground Scratching: Why Does My Dog Do It?

Why do some dogs scratch with their paws after they eliminate? I recently read a discussion on Facebook about the meaning of this dog behavior. Some people’s speculations about the reasons for the behavior included: Avoiding something or another behavior (displacement) Expressing … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog behavior, Dog body language, Elimination | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

How My Dogs Play

Here’s an “Almost Wordless Wednesday” for you. Just a short movie showing Clara and Zani playing. Even wholesome dog playing can be scary to people who aren’t familiar with it. Dogs growl, snarl, and mouth each other so fast and … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

See My Successes; See My Failures

I wrote in my first post that one of the things I have to offer the world is a window into my mistakes as a beginner trainer. Last week I posted an update on the smashing success of my feral dog … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog body language, Handling and Husbandry | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Socializing a Formerly Feral Dog

When I started this blog, I assumed that I would write a lot about Clara’s training. Clara burst into my life as a 10 week old feral puppy [see note at bottom about feral dogs], and her socialization window was in … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

You’re Too Close! Dogs and Body Pressure

So you are standing at a party, or in your office, or on your front lawn. Someone you know only vaguely walks up to you. He walks up very close, face to face, close enough that you can see up his … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings, Human body language, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Is That “Smiling” Dog Happy?

Maybe, but maybe not! We humans tend to get warm and fuzzy feelings when we see dogs “smile.” It’s true that some dogs’ mouths open in a cute smile when they are relaxed and happy. But a dog with his mouth … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Bark Busters: Promoting Facts or Myths?

A friend recently shared a flyer from Bark Busters, a dog training franchise business. It is called “Barking: The Facts” and can be seen at this link.  The flyer made me interested so I set out to investigate the methods … Continue reading

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Posted in Human and dog misunderstandings, Punishment, Punishment culture, Reactivity, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , , , | 90 Comments

What Happened to Summer’s Thunderstorm Phobia?

Is it weird to write a post saying that something really shouldn’t have worked, but look, it kind of did? Is it irresponsible even? I keep pondering why I feel the need to explain all the strikes I had against me … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' hearing, Fear, Sound sensitivity, Stress Signals | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Thresholds: The Movie

I have made a movie about thresholds in dog training. It gives a quick overview of the work that I presented in my webinar for the Pet Professional Guild. (Click here for a script of the movie; there is a lot of … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' perceptions, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Stress Signals, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments