I got an email from a friend which included the comment, “Another thought about pets in general is that the more one pays attention to them the clearer their needs are transmitted. This is kind of obvious but we do tend to forget.”
I mulled over that “obvious” thought. How closely did I actually pay attention to my dogs? I work at home but when I concentrate on the computer, what else do I miss?
Sure, if LarryDog is out in the sunroom barking, I may tune the sound out if I’m working on the computer in my adjacent office. But I do notice pretty quickly, specially if it is the particular bark that means he wants to come in as opposed to his more common barking at the world outside.
When Lola gets her fixated look at our feisty cat Misty who loves to tantalize Lola by lolling on the sofa next to me when we are watching television, I usually watch the dog-and-cat show more closely than whatever might be on the screen.
But how attentive am I to the body language of my dogs? Not immensely. How much of what they say through their bodies do I miss? A lot, I’m sure. With these thoughts in mind, last year I bought a DVD called The Language of Dogs. The subtitle is Understanding Canine Body Language and Other Communication Signals.
I saw from the DVD how Yawning is typically a sign of stress in a dog… but if you yawn at your dog, he may yawn back. Sweaty palms and repetitive lick licking are also signs of stress. Hmm, I’ve seen LarryDog do that licking. Ears pinned back can also be stress, but it depends on the breed or breeds and the kind of ears the dog has for how evident this will be. Pacing is stress too.
I think that I will pay closer attention to the body language of the dogs I live with.
How much attention do you put on the body language of your dog or dogs?