What an informative article I just read about things we do that dogs dislike. Jaymi Heimbuch‘s article in Mother Nature Network is invaluable. I highly recommend it for those who have had a dog for a long time, who just got a dog, or who like to be around dogs.
Some of the points Jaymi raised include:
- use body language rather than words
- how to greet a strange dog politely (in dog language)
- how to include regular walks just for smelling the roses
- how to honor your dog’s preference to not interact with certain people or dogs
- how to communicate your relaxed state through the way you hold the leash
Here’s an excerpt from Jaymi’s article:
If you want to say hello to a new dog in a way that is comfortable for both of you, approach with your body angled slightly (not with your shoulders squared toward the dog), your eyes slightly averted, and speak quietly with a gentle voice. All these body language cues of friendship will help a dog understand you mean no harm. The dog might still want nothing to do with you, but at least you didn’t approach in a scary way that could cause a defensive or aggressive reaction.
Dogs see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell as we humans place on our sense of vision for interpreting the world around us. It’s probably safe to say that dogs appreciate the smell of a tree trunk the way we appreciate a beautiful sunset.
Do your dog a favor and dedicate one of your daily walks to having a “smell walk” — going slow and letting your dog take in the world with her nose. Go somewhere entirely new, explore a different neighborhood or trail, let your dog sniff at a spot until she gets her fill, even if it’s for minutes at a time before moving forward.
You can read the entire article here.
Article source: Jaymi Heimbuch of Mother Nature Network
Image source: KaCey97078 on Flickr.com