What if you didn’t have the ability to speak? How would you function in this world? It would be different, but you would be able to use sign language. Well, that is how your dogs communicate with each other and us humans. They use body language called “calming signals”. Norwegian dog trainer, Turid Rugaas wrote a very educational book “On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals in Dogs” .
Turid studied dogs and the way they used their entire bodies, nose, tails, ears, eyes, sounds, and any movement. Dogs are very deliberate with their movement and are always giving some kind of calming signal. This helps dog professionals and owners alike to understand dogs better, and it helps in the training and interactions with them as well. Dogs will use these signals if they are scared, angry, avoidant, or even before they bite. Sometimes when people claim a pet’s behavior changed without warning, it may well be that the people failed to notice a clear signal given by the dog.
I think every dog owner should learn more about calming signals because it will open up a new understanding between you and your dog. I know it has made the bond between me and my dogs much tighter. It has made me look at dogs in a completely different light, and I am very grateful to this book and Turid. It’s a quick read and available for purchase at Dogwise.