Five Top Tips: Reading Your Dog’s Body Language

They say dogs are a man’s best friend and incredibly loyal animals, but do you know what’s really going on with your dog?
In theory, it can be hard to know what an animal is feeling or thinking, as they can’t communicate with speech, but in fact dogs reveal their emotions a lot more than you may think. As with humans, we can tell a lot from their body language.
Here, we put together a helpful list of signs that your dog may be using to show you just how they are feeling. When you know what your beloved pet is trying to say, it becomes a whole lot easier to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

Dogs

If Your Dog Is Happy
Happiness is probably one of the easiest emotions to decipher, and as we want our dogs to be as happy as possible, it’s one we’re sure you’ll endeavour to maintain. Once you know what makes your dog happy, it’ll be easier for you to replicate this feeling and keep your pooch content. It’s especially important to understand when your dog is happy because if you confuse this with another, less positive emotion, you could be causing more problems for your pup.

Some signs to look out for
– Happy expression
– Relaxed body
– Panting
– Lying with one paw tucked under
– Enthusiastic tail wag
– Playful bow
– Rolling over
– Inviting belly rubs

If Your Dog Is Aggressive
Behaviours associated with aggression are easily misconstrued, but as it’s one of the most difficult emotions to understand and explain, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for if your dog begins to turn aggressive. This can help you keep them under control and stop aggression leading to any kind of physical attack.

Signs include
– Freezes, suddenly becomes stiff
– Stands up with front legs splayed
– Head low
– Curls lip
– Shows teeth
– Gnarls
– Aggressive barking
– Biting
– Raised tail

If Your Dog Is Fearful or Stressed
Whilst stress is part and parcel of life, it’s not an emotion that any of us particularly enjoy experiencing, dogs included. Our canine friends can show stress and fear in a multitude of ways but it’s usually environmental influences that cause your dog to be afraid. When you understand how your dog is feeling, you can look to remove some of the factors causing this and alleviate the negative emotions.

Signs to look out for
– Barking or whimpering
– Running around or pacing
– Crouching
– Shaking
– Change in appetite
– Pinned ears
– Avoidance

If Your Dog Is Excited
Seeing a dog run around full of glee is a joy to watch and ensuring that your dog stays positive and enthusiastic is part of fostering their playful personality. Once you identify what makes them excited, it’s easier for you to ascertain that if they’re running around, wagging their tail and barking, it’s not in a negative or intimidating way.

Signs include
– Playful behaviour
– Ears forward
– Mouth open
– Tail high
– Fast tail wag

If Your Dog Is Sad
This is an emotion we’re sure you’d never want your dog to feel as most dog owners go out of their way to ensure their canine companion is as happy as can be. However, dogs can experience feeling down in the dumps just as humans can. It’s vital for you, as a dog owner, to recognise these signs in order for you to help your pooch feel happier again.

Signs to look out for
– Loss of appetite
– Lethargy
– Avoidance
– Changes in sleeping habits

Good communication can show a mutual sign of love, respect and trust, so keep your eyes peeled for the different types of body language your dog is showing – chances are they are trying to tell you something.

Created by Time for Paws, an online pet store for dogs and cats.

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Tips for Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Just like we humans have adapted to the changing lifestyles around us – longer workdays, smaller outdoor spaces – our furry friends also have had to adjust to the modern life. Gone are the days, where we could just leave our dogs outdoors to run in the fields, as most of us live in smaller apartments in the city.

Unfortunately, dogs can get anxious spending all of their day indoors alone. The good news is you can help your dog feel just a little less anxious at home with the below tips.

Leaving your dog at home

 

A trained dog feels more comfortable
Most dog owners are responsible for training dogs to do all sorts of tricks and behave well, but when it comes to training the dog to be alone, we aren’t always so good. It’s important to ensure your dog never has to adjust to a new situation unexpectedly, but has more time to get used to the situation.

This means you should slowly start training your dog to stay home alone. Dog training books often provide great tips on how to achieve this. The main thing to remember is to advance slowly and to reward good behaviour.

In addition, if your dog has ended up destroying furniture or leaving a mess while you were out, don’t punish the dog. To your dog, the punishment would relate to the thing they are doing at the time you punish them – a dog won’t understand you are punishing him for chewing your dogs four hours ago.

A tired dog is a sleepy dog
You’ve all been resting for the night, the alarm goes off and you rush through your morning routine, while your dog eats his breakfast. You are running a bit late and so the morning walk is just a minute-long brisk visit to outside.

Sounds familiar? It should also sound awfully boring, as your dog will be left at home, full of energy while you go to work. Energetic dogs in an empty home with not much to do equal certain chaos.

It’s essential you get your dog as tired as possible in the morning, to ensure they are happy to stay home alone with only a few things to occupy them. Depending on your dog’s breed and size, a long walk is a fantastic idea for the mornings.

dogs at home

A selection of things to do
If you had to sit in a relatively empty room for eight hours every day, you’d most likely end up going crazy. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog entertains himself by chewing the sofa while you are away.

Provide your dog with something fun to do, such as food-dispending toys, or other chewy toys. Dogs love foraging, so you can hide pieces of dry food around the home for the dog to search and find. There’s a wealth of great dog toys available at various pet stores like MedicAnimal, Zooplus, Pet Supermarket, and more at VoucherBin UK.

You could also experiment with things such as radio or TV. Most modern models can be timed to go on and off at a specific time and the dog might find these sounds soothing during a long day.

A friendly face to keep company
Finally, your dog isn’t required to spend the whole day on its own. You got a range of options available from a full doggie day care to a doggie walker to add a small change to the dog’s daily routine. The Good Dog Guide has a list of options around the UK for both day care and daily walks.

A sign of deeper trouble
Most dogs can present some naughty behaviour and signs of boredom after long days alone. But if your dog is extremely restless and whiny, as you begin to leave and you are constantly met with gnawed doors and items, the dog might be suffering from genuine separation anxiety.

If you suspect this is the case, it might be a good idea to film your dog a bit while he is home alone. If the dog behaves anxiously, talk to your vet about the issues. Separation anxiety can be treated with behavioural training and in some instances with medication.

Dog behaviours explained

In order to really understand what your dog is trying to tell you, it’s important to observe their body language and listen to the noises they make.

You may think you know exactly what your dog is saying by wagging its tail, for example. But were you aware that this can signify a number of feelings – from excited, playful or attentive, to apprehensive and even slightly nervous?

Our visual guide offers an overview of some common dog behaviours and expressions, to help you understand what exactly your dog is trying to communicate.

www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/dog-behaviours-explained.shtml

Dog behaviours explained

Top Training Tips for Your New Pet Pooch

When you get a new dog, it’s natural to want to spend most of your time playing with your pet pooch, but those first few weeks are crucial for training.

The behaviour your dog learns at an early age will stick, and it’s hard further down the line to get them out of any bad habits that they form. As a result, it’s vital that you stay on top of a dedicated training routine for your new dog in these early stages.

To help you out, here are five top training tips that you can follow to get you started.

Dog Training

1. Positive Reinforcement
Perhaps the most important training tip for a new dog is to use positive reinforcement.

This means that whenever your pet pooch follows an order that you make, you should reward them with affection or a treat so they know they’ve done the right thing.

Psychologically, the dog then learns to associate good behaviour with a treat or a reward, making them more likely to behave well in the future.

When training a new dog it’s easy to become overly focused on the bad things your animal does, but it’s just as important that you remember to show your pet that you appreciate their good behaviour too.

2. House Rules
Being consistent with the house rules you set is very important for your dog’s behaviour, so ideally you want to establish these before you bring your pet home for the first time.
As an example, you might want to keep your dog out of your bedroom, which means you’d need to start closing the door if you usually leave it open.

Dogs will naturally want to explore, so they will see an open door as an invitation, and if they have been to a particular part of the house before they will not understand why they are not allowed there again.

So that your new dog does not get overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to introduce them to your home slowly, perhaps by letting them into new rooms one at a time so they can gradually get used to their new surroundings.

Think about whether or not you mind your dog being on your furniture. If you want them to stay off your chairs and sofas, never encourage them on to your lap when you are sitting down.

If you can, you should give your dog their own private space which they can use for sleeping or whenever they need some time to themselves.

3. Mealtimes
Dogs like a firm routine, so if possible, feed them at the same time every day. This way they’ll know when they can expect food.

Remember to choose dog food that is suitable for your pet pooch. There is no point feeding them a type of food that is particularly high in protein if they are going to be shut inside for most of the day.

Your vet will be able to give you plenty of advice on the right type of dog food to give to your pet pooch. Do not underestimate how important dietary considerations are to the health of your four-legged friend.

Treats are okay, but remember to give them in moderation. Keep them hidden in a place where your pet pooch will not be able to get to them. Keep an eye on whether your pet is enjoying their food and treats, too; if not, you might need to switch to a different product or brand.

4. Body Language
Being able to read your pet’s body language is key, and there are a few signs to look out for when you are training your new dog.

The tail is one of the best indicators of your dog’s mood. Wagging typically indicates pleasure, of course, but a slow wag can instead mean they are angry. If the tail is held low it may mean your pet is scared or nervous.

Raising a paw is usually a sign that your dog is in the mood to play, while it is clear what they want to do if they bring one of their favourite toys to you.

Remember that your pet is learning from your own body language, too, so be aware of how you hold yourself when you are in your dog’s presence.

5. Consistency
Finally, it’s crucial that everyone in the house be consistent when training your dog.

It’s great if everyone joins in with training your new pet, but they need to use the same commands with the same tone of voice, or the animal may get confused.

Make sure everyone is sticking to the same house rules, as your dog will quickly learn what they can get away with from certain family members.

Over to You
Now that you’ve taken a look at these top tips, it’s time to put what you’ve learnt into action.
Remember to be calm and patient with your dog and work hard initially so that you can spend time in the company of a well-trained dog later on.

Author Bio
This post was written by GJW Titmuss, a leading online pet supplies, food and accessories store.

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How to avoid overfeeding while training your dog

Dogs are intelligent animals and they can be trained to perform a host of different actions. As a general rule, the sooner you start training your pooch, the easier and more successful the process will be.

By far the best way to train dogs is to use positive reinforcement. This means offering the creatures a reward each time they perform a behaviour you want. The only trouble is, owners often get carried away with handing out edible treats to their canine companions, and this can cause the animals to gain too much weight.

Here are some top tips to help ensure your dog doesn’t pile on the pounds as a result of your training sessions.

Training dog

Explore alternatives
It is really important to note that edible treats are not the only form of reward available to you when you are training your dog. In fact, some dogs prefer to be praised with affection or a game. If you discover this works for your pet, you can forget about handing over titbits.

Healthy treats
If your dog isn’t interested in learning new behaviours unless there’s the prospect of food as a reward, you should think carefully about the treats you offer. Some foods are much more calorific than others.

Particularly if you are handing out lots of treats, it’s vital that you choose foods that are low in calories. For example, rather than handing over meaty offerings such as pieces of sausage, perhaps you could provide small slices of carrot.

Try to be consistent in your use of treats too. If your dog is used to getting rich, indulgent treats, it will be harder to switch over to healthy versions.

Safety first
Whenever you’re choosing rewards for your dog, make sure they are safe to eat. Certain human foods are poisonous to dogs. For example, it is not a good idea to give your pet chocolate. If you are unsure about certain products, ask your vet or search for information from trusted sources online.

Reduce mealtime calorie intake
The commercial dog foods now available from firms such as Hill’s Pet Nutrition are complete, meaning there is no need to supplement them with anything else. Indeed, if you start adding to your dog’s diet by dispensing treats, you risk overfeeding it.
To ensure you don’t fall into this trap, make a mental note of the number of treats you give out during training sessions and adjust your pet’s food portions during mealtimes accordingly.

By putting less food in your dog’s bowl, you can help to prevent it from gaining excess weight.

Know when to stop
It’s also important to know when to stop giving out treats during the training process. Once your animal has learnt the relevant behaviour, there is no need to continue handing over rewards. All too often, owners carry on dispensing treats when it is no longer necessary.
By bearing this advice in mind, you should find that you’re able to train your dog without overfeeding it in the process.

How do you and your dog like to get your exercise?

How do you and your dog like to get your exercise? With one in three dogs being overweight, it is so important to keep your dog healthy. Sainsbury’s Bank have put together an infographic to showcase the weird and wonderful types of exercises for dogs. The activities range from canicross, disc dog, dog diving and even skijoring! Take a look at the infographic to see what you and your dog could get up to today.
dog-wellbeing-parkopolo-final-revision04-03.06.14-1

Dog collars and tags

store_logo
Good Dog
Dogs are popular pets the world over and with so many shapes, sizes, colours, breeds and temperaments to chose from it is easy to see why so many people find a dog to suit their needs. Dogs make fantastic pets for families as they are active and attention
seeking, needing frequent exercise and love which a doting family can usually provide in bucketloads.So if you are considering getting a pooch as a pet what sort of things do you need to ensure that you are set up adequately for when you bring him home for the first time.
Food & Drink Station
Dogs respond well to routine so it is important that food and drink is offered at the same time every day and in the same place. Often dog owners have specific feeding stations with bowls raised at the right height for the size of the animal to minimise the risk of neck strain. It is a sensible idea to have the feeding station away from human food so that the temptation for them to eat human food is away from them when they are hungry. It is also a good idea to make sure that your food station is on an easily
wipe able floor as spills do happen. An ideal location would be a utility room or similar.1

Identity
It is important that you are clear about your dogs identity from the start as changing names can cause massive confusion for the animal. Chose a name well in advance for your dog coming home and get a collar and tag made so that in those inevitable moments when your dog decides to run away across the field, you know he can be returned safely if someone else catches up to him first!
Toys
Dogs are active creatures and it is essential that you keep their minds and their bodies active as much as possible. If you do not stimulate your dog enough you run the risk of him becoming sullen, bad tempered and even depressed. If you leave your dog indoors whilst you are at work and they become bored, your furniture and carpet may not last very long.To avoid these situations make sure that you are getting appropriate toys for both indoor and outdoor play. There are many toys on the market so do make sure that it is an appropriate
size and construction for your particular breed, a poodle and a
bulldog play with quite different toys.

Celtic-K9 Trainer has the 4-1-1 on Dog Park Etiquette

etiquette is important for safety at the dog park
One of the most important things you must bring with you to your dog parks is a positive, calm, relaxed, and happy attitude. You must have a good strong leash (not a recoil leash as they are the worst type of leash for controlling your dog) and collar or harness. Never bring a dog to a dog park wearing a pinch collar. Also, remember to bring a good outdoor toy with which you and your dog love to play.
The first behavior I look for at a dog park is not the behavior of the dog but of the handler. I have noticed owners approaching a park all tense and rigid. This energy rubs off on their dog and in turn the dog enters the park all tense and defensive.  This energy transfers like a ripple in a pond. It can and has been the cause of many upsets in the park, usually resulting in some poor doggy having to leave too early.
I once watched a man stand alone in the middle of the dog park throwing a ball for his Shepherd mix. Every time he threw the ball, every dog in the park went crazy for the ball and charged after it. This big pack of dogs – all colors all breeds – charged together playing. The other dogs’ owners stood in a huddle together on the sidelines, pretty much ignoring their dogs. They were either too busy playing with the latest fad in technology or complaining about the world and its problems.
A short while later, a truck pulled into the car park and out jumped a short thin man with two of the most beautiful Bullies I have ever seen. They sat at the tail of the truck waiting for their leashes to be attached and to be led to the park to play. The man weighed approximately 150lbs and was leading approximately 180lbs of muscle. He led them with confidence and pride. As he entered the park, his two dogs sat and waited to be released.
As he started to release them, every handler in the park called their dog over and leashed them. As the owners became nervous and tense while trying to round up their dogs, three different fights broke out. The only dogs in the park not involved in the freeze of fear and stress were the two Pit Bulls and the Shepherd mix that had been chasing the ball.
What we need to learn from this situation is that sometimes (and I would argue that the majority of the time) it is the dog owner that causes the problems that we see in dogs. From the lack of understanding of the breed to their need to be exercised both physically and mentally, many dog owners fail to understand how their behavior directly affects their dog’s behavior.It is important to supervise your pet at the dog park

A lot of owners will bring their dogs to the park and release them to run in an unsupervised and unstructured environment. A dog running free in the park with no plan will create a game of his own which can be fun to watch but it can also encourage the dog to develop his own way of entertaining himself, which usually results in the development of a behavioral problem. Take a ball, a rope, or the good old trusty Kong-On-A-Rope to the park and play with your dog. Chase him and let him chase him you and reward him for playing. You cannot imagine the strong relationship that will develop simply by playing with your dog.
After all, what do you think your dog thinks you have been doing for the past eight hours while he has been protecting the house? So take him out and play and have fun with your dog – he’s earned it and so have you!

One of the most important things you must bring with you to your dog parks is a positive, calm, relaxed, and happy attitude. You must have a good strong leash (not a recoil leash as they are the worst type of leash for controlling your dog) and collar or harness. Never bring a dog to a dog park wearing a pinch collar. Also, remember to bring a good outdoor toy with which you and your dog love to play.

The first behavior I look for at a dog park is not the behavior of the dog but of the handler. I have noticed owners approaching a park all tense and rigid. This energy rubs off on their dog and in turn the dog enters the park all tense and defensive. This energy transfers like a ripple in a pond. It can and has been the cause of many upsets in the park, usually resulting in some poor doggy having to leave too early.

I once watched a man stand alone in the middle of the dog park throwing a ball for his Shepherd mix. Every time he threw the ball, every dog in the park went crazy for the ball and charged after it. This big pack of dogs – all colors all breeds – charged together playing. The other dogs’ owners stood in a huddle together on the sidelines, pretty much ignoring their dogs. They were either too busy playing with the latest fad in technology or complaining about the world and its problems.

A short while later, a truck pulled into the car park and out jumped a short thin man with two of the most beautiful Bullies I have ever seen. They sat at the tail of the truck waiting for their leashes to be attached and to be led to the park to play. The man weighed approximately 150lbs and was leading approximately 180lbs of muscle. He led them with confidence and pride. As he entered the park, his two dogs sat and waited to be released.

As he started to release them, every handler in the park called their dog over and leashed them. As the owners became nervous and tense while trying to round up their dogs, three different fights broke out. The only dogs in the park not involved in the freeze of fear and stress were the two Pit Bulls and the Shepherd mix that had been chasing the ball.

What we need to learn from this situation is that sometimes (and I would argue that the majority of the time) it is the dog owner that causes the problems that we see in dogs. From the lack of understanding of the breed to their need to be exercised both physically and mentally, many dog owners fail to understand how their behavior directly affects their dog’s behavior.

(alt text: It is important to supervise your pet at the dog park)

A lot of owners will bring their dogs to the park and release them to run in an unsupervised and unstructured environment. A dog running free in the park with no plan will create a game of his own which can be fun to watch but it can also encourage the dog to develop his own way of entertaining himself, which usually results in the development of a behavioral problem. Take a ball, a rope, or the good old trusty Kong-On-A-Rope to the park and play with your dog. Chase him and let him chase him you and reward him for playing. You cannot imagine the strong relationship that will develop simply by playing with your dog.

After all, what do you think your dog thinks you have been doing for the past eight hours while he has been protecting the house? So take him out and play and have fun with your dog – he’s earned it and so have you!

Blog post added by Celtic K9

Socialising Your Puppy

Behaviourist

Hi All, many (not all) dog on dog, dog on people problems and other fears and phobias are caused by or significantly affected by lack of socialisation of the dog when young and throughout their life. Where you get your dog from whether a pup or a juvenile/adult will already be having a lasting effect on the future behaviour of your dog. The process of socialisation really starts as soon as a pup starts to interact with the environment around it. By the end of week two the eyes and ears are open, sounds are being made and reflex actions with some locomotion is taking place. By the end of week three the eyes have responses to light and moving stimuli and the ears (and pup) are responsive to loud noise. So really from end of week three onwards the pup is open to stimuli be they good or indeed bad (scary) and the later, especially noise related can have lifelong bad effect.

Breeders/Owners.

Where you get your dog from will have a major effect on your future dogs behaviour and so care must be taken. A good breeder or private owner will hopefully have already put your new best friend on the right road by raising them in a calm, safe and neutering environment. Mum and other litter mates want to be there as much is learnt from interaction between them, this time is of the utmost importance, more can be read about this on my website. Good breeders/owners should already have exposed your prospective pup to some of the novel non scary stimulus found in the following list. If they have not then the work you do on it will be paramount, but take it steady and calmly. You will be taking your new pup at weeks 8-9, definitely not earlier as they will lose out on learning from mum and litter mates. Once you get them home it’s up to you.

Dont Scare Them!

Throughout the socialisation process this should be top of your list. What we need to be doing is exposing your pup to some novel non scary stimulus in a safe and neutering environment. If you scare a pup badly not only may they become scared of what actually scared them in the first place they may also associate the same feelings to something in the environment in which it happened.

For instance, a pup is walking along the street and a car backfires right next to them, as it happened they were looking at a man in a hat, from that day on that dog is scared of not only bangs but also people with hats on, obviously this is only an example but it shows how pups/dogs can develop fear/nervous issues to something not connected to the initial scary stimulus through association.

ocialising Your Puppy

Exposing your pup to novel non scary stimulus does not involve firing a starting pistol next to them (obviously), what it does involve is exposure to:-

Friendly calm people both adults and children.

Other friendly dogs both male and female of different ages (family and friends dogs and other well known dogs, after their inoculations though).

Exposure to other friendly animals like cats.

Feeding your pup on different surfaces like carpet, wood, vinyl, concrete etc (will help them deal with new things later in life).

Taking them to different safe environments after their inoculations (places like the pet shop, family and friends houses, the vets for a jolly etc.)

Take them to some well run puppy socialisation classes, by well run I mean run by a person knowledgeable in canine behaviour with no huge older pups/juveniles that will give a bad association to the whole affair, these classes can be attended after your pups second inoculation. Classes carried out at the vets to give a good association to the vets would be advantageous. Book them well in advance (speak to your chosen vet).

Exposure to different looking things like people with hats on, disabled people if appropriate, large animals like cows and horses, vehicles etc.

Exposure to daily household noises and practices. If possible try to expose them to things at a lower level to start with, like the vacuum on a low level and at the other side of the room. Try not to expose your pup to full on close up scary noises for fear of issues developing.

The more non scary stimulus a pup is exposed to the more sound adult dog you should end up with but do not make it an all consuming mission on your part, do it gradually over several weeks and calmly.

If something does scare your pup the first thing they will probably do is look to you the owner for your reaction. Personally I think it is OK to very quickly reassure them with say a calming stroke to the head but do not go over the top with lots of reassurance as this may well tell them that what just happened was indeed very scary and something to be very worried about and may well sow the seeds for future problems.

Throughout the socialisation process always have a calm slightly jolly mood about yourself and do not push your pup into doing something that is obviously worrying them.

I hope this has given you an insight into the socialisation of your pup and the encouragement to find out more. Much more detailed information and advice about this and other subjects can be found on my website, please take a look, it’s free.

Blog by dogways.info

dogways to help with dog behavioural problems

How Dogs Communicate

Behaviourist

Hello all, in this blog we will take a look at how dogs communicate and hopefully give you some idea about how good (in their own way) they are at it.

Dogs communicate in four ways, those being Olfactory (smells), Auditory (hearing), Visual and Tactile (touch). I would not be able to cover all these in this one blog so we will have a look at arguably the most important (to a dog) of these, Olfactory communication. I will look at the other forms of canine communication in future blogs.

A dog has evolved to be an expert at Olfactory communication, the dogs nose is an incredible tool, lets have a few facts about that nose first.

A dogs nose can have a Olfactory epithelium (internal nose area) of between 20-200 sq cm depending on breed, we as humans have 2-4 sq cm.

They can have up to 250 Mio (million) scent receptor cells, we have 5 Mio.

Dogs noses are 1-100 Mio more sensitive to Butyric acid (in sweat), so good for tracking, it is estimated that the sweat left in a shoe print is 1 Mio more than threshold.

The area of a dogs brain used to analyse smells is 40 times larger than ours.

So with a nose like this it is somewhat obvious that olfactory communication is very important to the dog.

The dog also has several glands around its body that secrete scents and pheromone messages for others to find.

You will most probably have seen your dog stopping to sniff something when out and about followed closely by some salivating and then their behaviour becomes more intense sometimes to the extent of squealing and rushing around. What has just happened is your dog has found an interesting message, sometimes a long term message, left by another dog, on closer inspection they have licked the scent to transport it to the vomeronasal organ (or Jacobsons organ) found in the roof of your dogs mouth. This organ contains chemo receptors that are connected to the limbic system which is connected to emotional responses, hence the excited behaviour at what they have found. They will lick what they have found, salivate and then become excited about what they have found. What they did indeed find is a chemical message left by another dog from scent or pheromones excreted by that dog.

Hows dogs communicate

Glands that excrete these messages are found throughout your dog, on the side of the head (why they rub their head on smelly things), at the base of the tail called the Supracaudal or violet gland, on either side of the anus (anal glands), on the perineum (between the dogs legs) and between the toes which is why some dogs will scrape the ground after urinating to leave an additional pheromone message from these glands and a visual one from the scraped up ground too (a three fold message).

A dogs urine carries with in it a wealth of information for another dog to find. It can tell a dog the sex, age, status, health, breeding cycle (bitches), nutrition (proteins etc) and most importantly and very accurately how long ago another dog was there and if recently may well give the dog doing the smelling advance warning of something good (female in season) or bad (high status known aggressive dog) in the area, which will provoke a response be it disappearing over the horizon in search of the dog in season or being on guard in case of a meeting with the aggressive dog.

When your dog moves through the environment they are continually scenting the ground and air to pick up on these messages left by others, some are better at it than others (bloodhound for instance), but all are experts at it compared to us, we do not have the tools to do it but to a dog it is a major part of their makeup and way of life and you should allow your dog to carry out these behaviours as it is in my opinion intrinsically linked to a dogs well being, if they want to have a sniff and a pee then let them (if safe of course), olfactory and the other forms of canine communication and the need to carry it out will help with the socialisation of your dog as through experience they will be better at communicating with others.

I hope this has given you a brief but informative look at one of the forms of canine communication, it’s importance to your dog and hopefully a desire to find out more. For a more in depth look at all canine communication have a look at my website, it’s free, have a good day !

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dogways to help with dog behavioural problems