03 Sep, 2019 at 10:30 pm #723Lena GriffinKeymaster
Author: Turid Rugaas, ¬©, 2013.
For species who live in packs it¬īs important to be able to¬†communicate with¬†its own kind. Both in order to cooperate when they hunt, to¬†bring up their¬†offspring, and perhaps most importantly: to live in peace with¬†each other.¬†Conflicts are dangerous – they cause physical injuries and¬†a¬†weakened pack,¬†which is something that no pack can afford – it will cause them¬†to og¬†extinct.
Dogs live in a world of sensory input: visual, olfactory,¬†auditory perceptions. They easily perceive tiny details – a quick signal, a¬†slight change in another¬īs behavior, the expression in our eyes√Č Pack animals¬†are so perceptive to signals that a horse can be trained to follow the¬†contraction in our pupils and a dog can be trained to answer your whispering¬†voice. There¬īs no need to shout commands, to make the tone of our voice deep and¬†angry – what Karen Pryor refers to as swatting flies with a¬†shovel.
The dogs have about 30 calming signals, perhaps even more. Some¬†of these signals are used by most dogs, while other dogs have an incredibly rich¬†¬īvocabulary¬ī. It varies from dog to dog.
Dogs use this communication system towards us humans, simply¬†because it¬īs the language they know and think everyone understands.
By failing to see your dog using calming signals on you, and¬†perhaps even punish the dog for using them, you risk causing serious harm to
your dog. Some may simply give up using the calming signals, including with¬†other dogs. Others may get so desperate and frustrated that they get aggressive,¬†nervous or stressed out as a result. Puppies and young dogs may actually go into¬†a state of shock.
Dad calls Prince and has learned in class that he needs to sound¬†strict and dominant so that Prince will understand who is in charge. Prince
finds dad¬īs voice to be aggressive, and being a dog he instantly give dad a¬†calming signal in order to make him stop being aggressive. Prince will perhaps¬†lick his own nose, yawn, turn away – which will result in dad becoming angry for¬†real, because dad perceieves Prince as being pig-headed, stubborn and¬†disobedient. Prince is punished for using his calming signals to calm dad. This¬†is a typical example of something that happens on an everyday basis with many¬†dog owners.
We need to learn to understand the language of dogs so that we can understand what our dogs are telling us. That is the secret of having a
good¬†life together.Read the rest here: http://en.turid-rugaas.no/calming-signals—the-art-of-survival.html
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