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dog talk

Q: What is My Dog Trying to Tell Me??

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A. I'll bet your dog - and mine does this, too - looks right at me when I'm talking to him, tilts his head, and seems to completely comprehend whatever I tell him.

Dogs are experts at reading our body language because they are pros at using their OWN bodies as a way of communicating with us. When you think about it, its really the only way (besides barking) that they do "talk" to us, and to other dogs, too. 

Does your dog nudge your hand sometimes? Its a pretty good guess that he is asking you to pet him. When he drops a ball next to you and then looks from the ball to you, you probably figure that he wants to play. These are just two examples of how dogs communicate with their bodies.friendly.jpg

Your dog watches you all the time. Does he get excited when you put on an old pair of running shoes? He's watched you put them on before taking him for a walk many times, so he knows what happens next. He probably gets excited and wags his tail. Now YOU know what he is saying "Let's Go!"

You can learn your own dog's language by watching him. After awhile, you'll start to know what he is thinking, and what he will most likely do next. So next time when he looks at your sofa, then walks over to the sofa, then sniffs the sofa, you might guess (correctly) that he is about to jump up on it. If you don't want him on the sofa, you can stop him BEFORE he gets on it.

After awhile, you'll be (almost) as good at reading your dog's body language as he is at reading yours!

For fun, try taking a dog body language quiz by clicking HERE.

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Rachel Baum,CPDT-KA

RACHEL BAUM, CPDT-KA is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Red Cross Certified in Pet First Aid. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association of Canine Professionals, and is recommended by local veterinarians and rescue groups, including Forever Home Greyhounds and the Capital District Humane Association. Rachel does Pre-Pet Counseling (assistance with choosing the right dog for your family), Welcome Puppy (in-home instruction on housebreaking, obedience, problem prevention, crate training) and Behavior Consultation (any dog, any age, any problem). Using dog-friendly techniques, Rachel can help owners establish a relationship with their dog based on love, trust and guidance. She can find solutions to potentially embarrassing problems like jumping up on people, nuisance barking, and pulling on the leash, as well as aggression, separation anxiety, housebreaking, and destructive behavior. Clients (or dogs) with special needs are welcome! Rachel is also available to speak to organizations, schools, or businesses about dog safety and dog behavior. She can be reached at 518-248-1781 or

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