Recently and as a result of the KPA training I’ve been re-familiarizing myself with the stress signals that dogs show when they are uncomfortable with a situation that we put them into. We are so used to hugging and kissing our dogs, the human way of showing affection, that we rarely think about how the dog feels about it. Sure, they MAY get used to it if we do it to them ever since they are puppies but do they really like it? So I started observing my 9-year-old Hovawart, who has been my ‘teddy bear’ as long as I can remember. Well well well, interestingly, if I approach her from a certain angle to kiss her head or hug her, she shows me plenty of calming signals: lip licking, yawning, turning her head away. All these years she has been telling me that she actually does NOT like what I’m doing to her. What a patient dog! Even though I have studied canine postures, I had become completely blind to my own dog’s attempts to communicate with me.
I am happy to be a member of DogGoneSafe, a bite prevention program by Joan Orr and Teresa Lewin. Their website shows a very good illustration of a police dog puppy biting a reporter who does not understand what the dog is trying to tell him and the consequence is dramatic:
I very much recommend checking out Joan’s and Teresa’s website!