Canine Body Language Explained

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Head high: Your dog is interested in what he’s seeing and in what he’s doing.He’s enjoying all the new sounds and noises.

Head upright and neck arched- as in above photo: Your pooch is confident, showing signs of superiority over the other dog. Yet, in this case it looks like they’re just having lots of fun.

Head high, yet tilted to the side: Your pooch is interested in what’s going on around him.

Head and neck that is level with or lowered considerably with a stiff body that is possibly crouched beneath the other dog, or leaning back away from the other dog: Your dog is preparing to escape; and may possibly bite or snap at the other dog.

Head is lowered, and his body is twisted away from the other dog. He may possibly be turning the side of his face upwards. Your pooch is showing signs of appeasement ,and is trying to make friends.

Head and body lowered with cowering body movement: Your dog is scared and has no confidence. He is showing submissive deference.



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Why Do New Canine Behaviors Suddenly Appear?

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Unexpected and Suddenly Bad Behaviors

Sometimes, it may just suddenly happen, and your dog exhibits bad behavior-or is it really bad behavior? Many times your dog may have an underlying medical condition and needs to see the veterinarian.

New Behavioral Problems

  • Growling and snapping when anyone touches him. This could be due to pain in that part of his body, tooth problems, arthritis,hip dysplasia, paneosteitis, or other joint problems.
  • Aggression towards other people or pets- thyroid imbalance, or other hormonal imbalances.
  • Marking and urinating at home- urinary tract infection, bladder problems or kidney problems.
  • Destructive behavior and chewing up everything at home- teething or tooth problems ( If a puppy possibly boredom and lack of exercise and training)
  • Growling when you approach the food bowl- if this has never happened before , it could be due to being extremely hungry from a medical condition.

If your veterinarian finds your pooch healthy and free of dental problems, now will be the time to spay or neuter, if you already have not done so! Although most definitely not a substitute for positive dog training, it helps with curbing any unwanted behaviors like marking and urinating at home.


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What Are Play Activities For Dogs?

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All dogs thrive on play and activities related to play.It’s their way of developing friendships with other dogs.By allowing your dogs to play with other dogs, you’re allowing for your dog to discover his strengths and weaknesses.Play also teaches dogs how to manipulate and how to improve their social skills.


By allowing your dog to play off leash with other dogs, you’re allowing for him to test boundaries-how far can he actually go before aggression sets in with another dog.Play allows for your dogs to let- off steam and will help him form pack relationships through ritual play and dominance disputes. He’ll soon learn what he can and cannot do when playing with many different dogs at the park.Dogs should have access to free play throughout their lives even into their senior years.This form of activity should never be withheld from a dog as a form of punishment , since play releases anxiety ,and helps your furry best friend become more relaxed and friendly.Off leash play is very different from on leash play because this form of play provides your dog with exercise and an outlet for his energy.

Stages of Play

1.Scent- usually done at first meetings or as soon as your dog enters the dog park.

2.Tease-rolling over on their backs to deflect any possible signs of danger.Eye contact is maintained  to show friendliness.

3.Playful barking- dogs maintain eye contact and may jump up and paw each other.

4.Head to head play-Here direct eye contact is maintained, slight growling play sounds accompanies the head to head play.

5. Circle play-dogs runs around in tight circles, yet continue their play behavior.



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Increasing Exercise To Prevent Pet Obesity



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Check your dog’s weight  regularly, and feel his rib cage.If you cannot find his ribs, then he’s possibly a tad too heavy.Take a good look at him sideways; his stomach should be tucked in a little behind his rib cage.

Fun Ways To Exercise Your Dogs and Help Them Lose Weight

As with people. exercise and healthy eating habits help an overweight dog shed those extra pounds.If your dog is not exercising every day,start taking him for longer walks on the beach or at the dog park.For those of us that don’t feel like jogging every morning, bring along a great book and just hang out at the dog park while your dog plays with other dogs at the park. Start exercising slowly if you do take up jogging, or going for long hikes.If your dog gets tired quickly, let him rest, and slowly build up his endurance over  a few months.

Cutting Down on Food

Cut back slowly when reducing your dog’s food.Instead of cutting back, try feeding healthy treats like raw carrots and vegetables,  and switching to a healthier brand of dog food  that contains higher amounts of protein and vegetables.

Visit Your Veterinarian

Consult with your vet before putting your dog on any diet.Your veterinarian will most likely run a series of blood tests to check for low thyroid levels, which often can cause weight gain.When that’s ruled out, veterinarians can recommend a specially formulated diet that your dog would benefit from. Switching to a low- calorie, high fiber dog food, or possibly a prescription diet, or even cooking fresh whole foods for your dog each day will make your dog feel full and be much healthier.

Treats should be no more than 5% of his calorie intake each day.

Treats like cooked salmon,blueberries, carrots, green beans, cubed cheese and cooked sweet potatoes often become a favorite with dogs, nonetheless they may not enjoy them when first given.High protein treats like cubed hamburgers, or cooked chicken bits work well as training treats ,and have fewer calories than some of the other commercial treats.

If you’re still not sure how much you should be feeding your dog, take into consideration his age, how much exercise he gets each day, his general health, breed, weight, and the brand of  dog food that is currently being fed to him.Every dog’s needs are different, even within the same breed. Keep in mind the various food dispensing toys/puzzles that are out there.These are great to slow down the speedy eater. Lastly always use a standard measuring cup to measure out your dog’s feed and keep going to the dog park! Organize play dates with other dogs that have befriended your dog and meet at a specific time each day.Dogs thrive on meeting up with their canine companions each days.



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Understanding Your Dogs


How Your Dog Sees The Dog Park?


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Dogs and humans have a couple of important things in common.Both dogs and humans develop strong emotional attachments, and are genetically programmed to live in complex social groups.Dogs are incredibly good at reading the body language of  other dogs, and even that of humans.Given all this,it’s important that all human pet parents learn to understand subtle canine behavior.

Submissiveness at the Dog Park

  • Ears back flat against head.
  • Crouches down with a ‘grinning’ expression
  • Tail will be between his legs, possibly wagging a greeting.
  • Many times a submissive dog will lie on his back with his paws in the air .

Dominance at the Dog Park

  • Standing tall with raised head and tail when greeting other dogs
  • Ears perked forwards with interest looking into the eyes of the approaching dog
  • Sometimes mounting behavior is expressed
  • Growling and snapping

Aggression-Fear Biting

  • Snapping, snarling and biting
  • Perceived enemy
  • Not well socialized as pups, possibly abused
  • Cowering posture, tucked tail
  • Serious problem that needs to be worked out with a positive trainer.


  • Barking and snarling at strangers or new people that they meet.
  • Be sure to remove your dog from the area and reprimand him with a “No”
  • Don’t let this happen in your home to your friends or the postman


  • Play bow, canine body language that dogs use by dropping their front end to the ground with their back end stuck high up in the air.
  • Tail wags
  • High pitched bark
  • Bumping rear ends against the legs or body of the person or dog
  • Repeated tail thumping in the hopes of playing


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