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Thread: Calming Signals

  1. #1
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    Default Calming Signals

    Turid Rugaas discusses calming signals dogs use in communication with each other, and that we, as their humans, can use to better our relationships with our dogs.

    I use these as second nature now, and probably don't even realize that I do them! For those of you interested here's a link:

    http://www.canis.no/rugaas/onearticle.php?artid=1
    ~not knowing how near the truth is,
    we seek it far away~

  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting this, it's excellent. I'm getting the book today!
    Jen, Abbey (Tri Cavalier) & Gus (White Min. Schnauzer)

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    Thanks for that great link; I didn't know she had a website. All these things are so true! People end up punishing the dog for doing things that are polite in dog language. Since I learned about the appeasement signs from Tara, Lisa and US trainer Dee (www.deesdogs.com) it has really been so helpful in reading what they are thinking.

    I collected a rescue dog today that I had been told was bold and aggressive. It was easy to read from his body language that he was a mostly happy, confident dog who could just be a bit anxious and might be a bit reactive as a result -- should be easy to rectify. He conveyed all this pretty clearly. He has also clearly been punished by his previous owner who couldn't read when he was getting frustrated or scared. And I believe also by a trainer who 'worked with him'. he gave off all sorts of these appeasement signals when meeting me and other people and several dogs. And was quite eager and happy and playful.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
    In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby

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    That was an excellent read! Thanks for posting it.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  5. #5
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    What a great article. This is the first time I heard of these things. Thank you!
    Charleen and Cav's: Pippin (ruby male), Merry (b&t female), Luke (blenheim male) & Jolly (tri male puppy)

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    My trainer gave me information about calming signals back in 2001. She's "into" all sorts of animal communication. She's great.... rather a hippie, very natural and honest and the most wonderful woman.

    I'm so glad all of you have enjoyed reading about these signals. They truly do help a human understand where their dogs are coming from a bit better.
    ~not knowing how near the truth is,
    we seek it far away~

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    That was excellent! Thank you for sharing it.
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

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    This trainer of mine shows a video to go along with her talk on calming signals. After speaking, she asks us to count the instances we notice of calming signals being offered by the dog in the video. Afterward she re-runs it in slo mo and points them out. This reallly helped illustrate just how often dogs are offering these communication skills. It helped me learn to watch the tiny nuances in their behavior.

    For example, right now I have a nice cup of coffee and a yummy piece of banana nut bread, and Bentley on my lap eyeing it. He really wants them, and knows he can't have them which creates a dilemma for him. He is faced slightly away from me, and shifts his eyes toward me and licks his lips. All communication signals about how much he wants this food and his nervousness over that. He's asking me to stay calm, but to please give him some!
    ~not knowing how near the truth is,
    we seek it far away~

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    Boy do I feel dumb now!! I missed all the signs!! My dog is telling me things and I was giving him heck for it!! Shame on me!

    But on the bright side, now I can start to understand what he is telling me. THanks!!!!

  10. #10
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    I picked up the Turid Rugaas book a few weeks ago. Boy, what a difference it makes. When we're out walking and the dog's agitated because we see another dog, I sit down next to her (yes, mother taught me not to sit on the street, but this is my dog's happiness we're talking about) and she calms right down. When she comes flying at me, and I mean flying, to lick my face I turn my head or yawn, and all four paws hit the floor without making contact with me first. When she then sits down in front of me and turns to the side, she's saying "no harm meant".

    It's great fun to watch other dogs and interpret what they're saying.

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