What’s your dog trying to tell you?

Our beloved canine companions speak to us in many ways without ever using words. Maybe you’re one of the many who prefer communicating with dogs over humans because of that. We’re not judging, don’t worry. Since dogs can’t say words to us, they find other ways to communicate and barking is a small fraction of how they let us know what’s going on. 

Body language is the most significant way dogs communicate with each other and with us. You can learn a lot from watching your dog’s body. However, one particular movement or posture might not tell the whole story. It’s important to watch the entire dog and to also consider the situation and context. Over time, you’ll learn what your dog means with each gesture. 

Some of the most common body language gestures to notice: 

  • Tail Wagging 
  • Tail Tucking
  • Raised Heckles 
  • Posture
  • Facial Expressions

Tail wagging is generally understood as the universal sign of a dog’s happiness. To be fair it can often mean just that, but not always. What it does mean is that a dog’s feeling emotions, that excitement could be related to happiness, but it could be related to frustration or even aggression as well. This is one of those times when context is very important as well as any other body language cues. 

 

 

Alternatively when a dog’s tail is pointed down or between their legs it means they are stressed and probably scared. 

Raised heckles, when the fur on a dog’s back is standing up means a dog is aroused and likely on high alert. It doesn’t always mean aggression but indicates a dog is very interested in something. 

Posture is how a dog holds their weight and says a lot about how a dog is feeling. A cowering dog who is hunched down is stressed and probably very afraid, it’s an attempt to make them appear smaller and pose less of a threat so as to not provoke whatever it is they are scared of. 

However, a dog shifting their weight forward in a sort of lunge like fashion shows a dog trying to get closer to something, a position we often see depicted of dogs hunting and showing their owner where the prey is. It can also be a sign of aggression as it make the dog appear larger and more fearsome to any perceived opponent. 

Another posture is the play bow or the downward dog as it’s called in yoga when a dog puts their chest on the ground and their rump in the air. This means they want to play. 

Paw raises or the “shake” gesture can be misunderstood. In certain situations it can indicate where there is nearby prey, but most of the time it means a dog is unsure about what’s happening or feels insecure. 

 

 

 

Just like with people, facial expressions allow dogs to communicate to others how they are feeling. Except their expressions don’t always mean the same thing ours do. Dogs might yawn when they are stressed rather than tired like us. Yawning can help them calm down. Like people dogs can also “catch” a yawn too, so if they seemed stressed, yawn so they will too and it might help calm them. 

Dogs also lick their lips after a meal like we humans do, however, they also lick their lips when they are feeling anxious. 

Dogs also smile, though it can look quite unsettling when they do because it looks a lot like when they barr their teeth which is a warning to back off or they will attack. Usually barring teeth into a snarl comes with growling and teeth on full display. The rest of the dog’s posture will be tight. When a dog is smiling teeth will be showing but not on full display usually and the rest of the dog’s posture will be loose and even wiggly. 

 

 

Dogs are amazing creatures who tell us so much if we are willing to pay attention to their behavior and body language. Getting to know your pup’s personality and common behaviors will lead to a lifetime of love in one of the most rewarding relationships you’ll ever have. 

We offer great training programs to both help you learn your dog’s body language and how to train them so that you both can live your best life together. Check out our programs here

 

 

Stuck at home? Make the most of it!

Recently, many of us have found ourselves spending a lot more time at home thanks to a certain health crisis we won’t bother naming again here. There’s a lot of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety for many reasons. 

You know one of the best ways to conquer anxiety? Spending time with a dog. It’s more than an opinion, science proves this as well

Though the situation isn’t ideal, our dogs are the real winners, they get to have their owners home with them so much more. With all the worry and uncertainty, let’s take that small token as a gift in all of the craziness. 

 

 

Now that you’re home with your dog, what can you do? Sit on the couch and watch Netflix? There’s certainly that, but when you and your dog are ready to stretch your legs and get some healthy movement, take a walk together, or better yet, tackle some training. 

Build training time and exercise into your day while you’re at home. Teaching basic commands and practicing them is a great way to make the most of the time while deepening your bond with your dog and giving them (and you!) some valuable playtime. Go for a walk and enjoy each other and find the little things to be grateful for. 

Getting in some playtime is especially important if you’re working from home. Regular breaks will help keep you healthy and focused and help fight anxiety. Your dog will be calmer because you are too. It’s a win-win. 

 

 

Not sure how to train at home? We’ve got you covered. 

Take a look at our training guides available here. Some of the best commands are the simplest ones though, we recommend practicing the following until you and your dog can execute them perfectly together. 

  1. Sit 
  2. Down 
  3. Come 

If you happen to be working from home during this time and need your dog out of your hair, perhaps consider our board & train program. You drop off your dog and we get training started while your dog stays with us. Then, we work with you and your dog together to further training so your furry friend’s newfound skills can continue to be used and expanded with you at home. 

In addition to getting in training time with your dog, we recommend taking this health crisis as a reminder to take care of you and your dog’s health by increasing your supplements to make sure you both are getting all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. 

 

 

Not sure where to get safe supplements for your dog? We recommend Nupro supplements, available in our shop. While you’re there browse some of our items for awesome toys for your dog, like the Indestructibone, which is always popular among dogs and owners alike. There’s also great gear available for you to wear and more. 

 

 

This might be a stressful time for everyone, but there’s always a silver lining, we’re sure your dog views this time with you home as a great thing, and we hope that can help ease some of the stress. 

We have several items in our shop to help with training, and we’re always available to answer all of your training questions at [email protected]

Stay safe and be healthy out there! 

Good Dog Training Doesn’t Just Happen

Luck. We all want to be lucky whenever possible, but we don’t recommend leaving your dog’s training to luck. When it comes to your relationship with your furry companion, there’s no replacement for good dog training, not even if you’re lucky.

We’ve all heard someone say how they were so lucky to have gotten such a good dog, how their dog listens and they didn’t even train them. Some dog parents think how in the world did that happen? And why couldn’t it have happened to them?

 

All dogs have the capacity to be good, obedient dogs. The fact that some are with little effort isn’t luck. It usually has to do with the breed, but more so, it has to do with training that took place without the owner realizing it was happening. 

There is no getting lucky, you can’t replace good dog training with hope and a prayer. When owners believe they didn’t train their dog and that they are just naturally well-behaved, usually they have been training their dog without realizing it. This leads to potentially stressful situations in the future as deliberate training with specific commands never took place so the owner actually has no idea what commands the dog follows or why. That makes it tough to replicate the command out of a specific context. 

Dogs are smart and they learn what we want them to do in certain situations. But if a dog always sits before being fed, they don’t actually know the sit command, they know to sit to be fed. Then later when the owner tells them to sit without food, the dog has no idea what they are talking about. 

 

There is no replacement for good dog training. We believe every dog and every owner deserves the benefits of great training. We use positive reinforcement for our training programs, which not only brings the benefits of obedience training, but it also makes training fun and deepens your relationship with your four-legged best friend. 

When you think about it though, we’re all pretty lucky because we have dogs in our lives to love us. Who else is going to be that excited when you walk into a room? Exactly. 

 

Treat yourself and your dog to one of our training programs to celebrate your companionship. 

Learn more about our programs here: https://www.bluelinek-9.com/programs/ 

There’s a reason why they call it puppy love.

Puppies are amazing. Cute, soft and full of silly antics, there are few people who don’t melt at the sight of a puppy, even the hardest of hearts can cave when a tiny warm tongue licks their cheek. 

However, puppies don’t stay sweet, cute, fluffy puppies for very long. Soon they are awkwardly bigger and unaware of their size and into E V E R Y T H I N G and likely chewing on whatever they can find, including your favorite pair of shoes. Housetraining can feel like a nightmare where your house smells like dog urine all the time. 

 

This rather quick transformation is often the culprit for why many dogs are rehomed. 

Don’t be a victim of puppy love, turn those early cuddle-filled days into a lifetime of beautiful companionship with the right training for you and your sweet pup.

Like any relationship, the one you have with your dog has a honeymoon period and then for it to remain fulfilling and healthy, it takes work and communication. The trouble is, dogs don’t speak human and well, we don’t exactly speak dog. That doesn’t mean we can’t understand each other though. It simply means we have to put a method of communication into place and that is done through positive, consistent training. 

 

 

The good news is puppies learn fast and love it! Training is playtime and what could be better than play for a young puppy?  Training your puppy early means less frustration for both of you and more fun. 

There are many options out there for training, ranging from stay and train programs to hands-on collaboration courses, to do-it-yourself guides. There are advantages to each, but in the end, you’ll have to take an active role in training. After all your puppy is your companion and loves you the most. 

We offer many training programs and firmly believe you never stop training. It’s better to think of training as a means of communication and play with your dog and you never want to stop doing either of those. 

Don’t let puppy love get the best of you and your new pup. Put the time and effort into a real, thriving relationship from the very beginning and invest in puppy training. 

 

 

Check out our Introductory and Puppy Programs here: https://www.bluelinek-9.com/programs/introductory-and-puppy-programs/ 

Check out our Puppy Training Made Easy guide here: https://www.bluelinek-9.com/store/