Do you know what your dog is saying?
We have all been in the situation where we are walking with our dog, approaching another dog and think everything seems fine, then WHAM! …out of nowhere one of the dogs reacts in a way no one expected.
What if we could reliably predict just by simple cues how a situation like this is going to end? Whether we want to believe it or not, the ending to this story is well within our control.
The first thing we need to realize is … Dogs are not good liars.
As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say, they are incapable of lying. They don’t know how to play the game that we humans have developed to deal with situations we don’t like. Dogs tell it like it is and react the only way they know how. Since dogs cannot talk, we as their parents need to learn their cues by watching their body language. This will in turn help us to help them when they are in a situation that is not safe.
Will Bruner recently gave a great presentation on this topic of “dog-park do’s & don’ts”. He gives some useful points on how you can learn your dog’s body language and help avert an unwanted situation.
This can come in very handy in a dog park setting, but you must be diligent. You need to vigilantly watch your dog and the dogs around for clues as to how your dog is going to act or react. From this you can turn any situation into a good one. But you must be a good parent and be prepared to grab your dog, spray water on the dogs in the mix-up or even leave the park altogether if you have to.
You are the parent, it’s your job to protect your pup!
So watch and learn. Watch your dog, that is!