Thoughts of a Dog Therapist – The Trouble With Dogs Is…..

I’m absolutely loving the opportunities I’m getting to speak to different dog owners at the moment. I get to hear all about their dogs little quirks and habits and also about their behavioural issues.

But one thing I’ve noticed is that there seems to be a one size fits all when it comes to a dogs behaviour. All tail wagging dogs are happy. All dogs that shake must be worried or nervous. All dogs that lunge and bark at things must be aggressive. But this really isn’t true!

Our dogs have the same range of emotions that we do, so they can be happy, sad, scared, excited etc. When a dog feels a surge of emotion they then react a certain way to express how they’re feeling. They express their emotions in the following ways:

  • Barking
  • Growling
  • Whining/crying
  • Mouthing
  • Chewing
  • Biting
  • Licking
  • pawing
  • Digging
  • Sniffing

Basically all the behaviours that we don’t like! But as you can see, there aren’t many behaviours for them to choose from and depending on what type of dog you have and how they feel comfortable expressing themselves, you may find that the same behaviour is used for more than one emotion.

So when your dog is barking at your visitors and nipping at their ankles, they’re not necessarily being nasty they may just be excited to see them!

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