It has been said many times, often by me, that having a dog is like having a young child. One of the similarities is that often I simply do not understand what my dogs are trying to tell me. With a dog, just as with a nonverbal child, you are forced to interpret body language, often resorting to guess work or the simple process of elimination.
After having dogs for more than 14 years, I was confident that I was pretty good at interpreting my dogs body language. As such, I approached an online survey “How fluent are you in dog-speak?” presented by Mother Nature Network, with confidence. “I had this.” Living with four dogs had made me fluent. The resulting test score, 11 out of 19, was humbling. I often missed subtle clues such a softness in the eyes and facial features and the position of the head (held back or forward). Clues that would help me determine if a strange dog was fearful of me or my dogs.
If I am to take my dogs out into the world to interact with other dogs and other people I need to hear what dogs are trying to tell me. I need to become more fluent in dog-speak.
How about you? Do you dare put your dog-speak abilities to a test? If so click here.