"I just wish you could talk!"
That's a real sentence I said to my 6-month-old puppy, Hugo. Turns out he had a nasty bout of gastroenteritis, but he was telling me how he was feeling.
...Just not in a way I understood.
Dogs communicate differently to humans. They use their body to give us signs that say "I'm scared" or "I'm happy."
And as responsible dog owners, it's our jobs to pick up on them—and give our furry friends what they need before things escalate.
Picking up on these behaviors could save your dog's life.
It sounds extreme, but it's true.
Dogs give off subtle body language cues before they react more intensely.
Take a dog that's greeting a new person, for example. They're feeling nervous (and use their body language to show their owner that they're unsure about the situation.)
But you and the new person ignore it. Your dog gets more worked up, and ends up biting them in frustration.
They simply don't want to be petted anymore, but you didn't pick up on the pre-reaction signs that your dog thought were crystal clear.
This happened to me and my puppy.
A few months after his illness, we did our daily trip to the park where I introduced him to another dog.
The owner explained her dog was friendly, but it lunged at Hugo and bit his nose, refusing to let go.
The experience was traumatic all-round. An expensive vet trip later and lots of cuddles, Hugo was on the mend. But my mind wasn't.
I went on a mission to learn about a dog's body language.
This book is the result.
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