Dog Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently while cruising YouTube ran into two really great videos that actually 'show' what to look for in understanding certain behaviors in dogs ............very very informative to many who need to learn why their dogs are doing certain things!

'Understanding Dog Body Language / Learn how to read dogs behavior'

And......

'Understanding Dog Body Language Part 2'

Both are by Kristen Crestejo

Happy Viewing and learning!!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Watched a few minutes. Lots of misinformation. Yawning and flicks of the tongue etc. at many times is displacement behavior as well as calming signals not signals of "crystal clear" intent in a negative fashion where if ignored one might get bitten. Dogs display certain body language and gestures for a multitude of reasons dependent on the situation. To assume a particular gesture means the same thing in all situations is wrong and not very astute on her behalf.

One other thing I noticed, eye contact and her take on that made me laugh. I appreciate what she is trying to say and profess but many people I know including myself train their dogs to maintain and establish locked eye contact at times, it's called creating focus not creating anxiety.

Her advice might be sound for a strange dog but for one's own dog, it's not really good advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
I thought it was a pretty good crash course/introduction to dog body language for someone who wasn't familiar with it. It's not super advanced stuff and there are very small distinctions I may disagree with but ultimately I think it's a solid resource. I will admit I skipped over some of the large blocks of text/voiceover and mostly was interested in her talking about the videos of dog-dog and dog-person interactions and I don't think I'd really challenge much of what she said. Certainly from the view of saftey and a basic understanding of what was going on I agreed with what she was perceiving in the interactions.

Watched a few minutes. Lots of misinformation. Yawning and flicks of the tongue etc. at many times is displacement behavior as well as calming signals not signals of "crystal clear" intent in a negative fashion where if ignored one might get bitten. Dogs display certain body language and gestures for a multitude of reasons dependent on the situation. To assume a particular gesture means the same thing in all situations is wrong and not very astute on her behalf.
Yes, they can both be offered as an appeasement behavior as well as a sign of stress, but ultimately if I am approaching a dog that is not mine/I do not know well and it lip licks or yawns at me I'm still going to pause- either the dog is saying "I am uncomfortable with this" (sign of stress, may lash out negatively) or the dog is saying "I am not a threat" (appeasement) but either way it is feeling uncomfortable with the way or speed I am approaching it and I would want to stop an re-assess the situation.


One other thing I noticed, eye contact and her take on that made me laugh. I appreciate what she is trying to say and profess but many people I know including myself train their dogs to maintain and establish locked eye contact at times, it's called creating focus not creating anxiety.
Yes, a dog can 100% be trained to hold eye contact but there are plenty of dogs who are VERY uncomfortable with it and it has to be made a priority to desensitize them to it. Border Collies and Malinios are two breeds I've heard of this being common in. Once treats are introduced into the situation it is training focus, but that does not negate the fact that eye contact in dogs is sometimes perceived as a hard stare/threat. Like I said, this is more true of some dogs than others. Perhaps you've never met a dog that reacted strongly to eye contact but I assure you they are out there and it can be a very precarious situation to ignore that fact.

Her advice might be sound for a strange dog but for one's own dog, it's not really good advice.
She didn't say if you stick your face into a dog's face or make eye contact they will 100% bite you, she was demonstrating that often dogs do not like this. Obviously her Border Collie is a little more towards the naturally reactive end of the spectrum in terms of nerves/personality and did a very good job demonstrating avoidance behavior when presented with someone doing those things. Just because a dog isn't going to bite you for doing something doesn't mean you should do it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Moonstream,

I've met many a dog that reacts to eye contact in a negative fashion as it can create situations which could put the dog in a defensive, challenging or uncomfortable and unpredictable mindset. Therefore the advice given on the video has merit for dogs which we do not know well. My point is, our own dogs with which we have created a unique relationship with, is completely different than a strange dog in many instances regarding signals given by the dog. Do some signals hold true for both at times, yes of course but to assume they all hold true all the time is counterproductive. I'd bet there are numerous members in this forum where their dogs stare at them constantly in certain situations and it was neither taught nor a process of CC/DS and by no means is that dog uncomfortable or feeling any stress if you maintain eye contact with the dog. So, somebody not knowing any better watches a video like this and believes " Oh, eye contact is bad it stresses my dog" just got horrible advice via a video.

I have always taken objection with cookie cutter approaches to the dog-human relationship as both dogs and humans are unique entities as is the interaction and synergy. Some of this video, especially in the beginning makes sweeping generalizations which could confuse a new dog owner. It's like saying " If the dog is wagging its tail, it's happy".

One other thing the lady in the video does when she is shoving her face into the face of her dog to provoke the dog's avoidance behavior is she gives the dog a pet on the head which is another mistake too many people make. Reinforcing behavior based on fear, insecurity, lack of nerve etc. is the wrong way to go. Yes, I know it is a subtle gesture on her behalf but it does show a lacking. Essentially, the little pet of her dog's head said to the dog that your behavior is good and reinforced it. Indifference would have been a better route for her to take.

Anyway, I watch videos and appreciate the ones which emphasize that dogs are unique and even though many things hold true with some consistency, one needs to discover the uniqueness of their dog and proceed with that in mind.

Gotta go, my dog and I have been staring at each other for a bit while I was typing this. She's telling me it's time to train and play in the backyard.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top