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How to Communicate to your dog through Body Language

Dogs communicate to each other through a wide range of body postures that incorporate almost all areas of their bodies. They do this to communicate when it is time to play, when they are scared, when they are telling another dog to move away or move closer, and countless other emotions and desires.

Humans will never be able to replicate the full range of movements that dogs are capable of, but we can incorporate some basic maneuvers that dogs seem to naturally understand.

In the video above, you see me use two basic body movements to show the dog in the video that I want her to back away from me, stay in place for a few seconds, and then move toward me.

The three concepts I am attempting to teach Fraia (the pit bull in the video) are:

1) Back away from me

2) Stay away from me for a short period of time

4) Move toward me

All of these concepts can be taught by changing up your body posture at various times depending on what you want your dog to do. Once the dog understands these movements, you can add commands on top of these movements to begin communicating verbally with your dog.

Her are just a few commands these movements aid in teaching:

  • “Wait” or “Stay”
  • Release command “Okay”
  • Move away from you “Go” or “Back”
  • Move out of an area such as a kitchen “Out”
  • Come to you “Come”

Along with these commands, there are a number of concepts that they teach as well. Respecting your personal space, being calm in your personal space, not jumping on you, and respecting boundaries in the home are all concepts these body postures can communicate to your dog.

Published on Feb 17, 2015

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