We hear it every day, “My dog is unpredictable”; “If I could only tell when he’s going to bite”; and “It happened out of the blue.” Dog bites never happen out of the blue, but people frequently can’t tell when their dog is telling them he or she is uncomfortable. And you know us, we aim to please.
So, we hired Stephanie Murray of L’il Dog Arts and Press (Web and Facebook here) to help us make a body language poster that shows the clear but subtle signs a dog is uncomfortable. Remember, behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Sometimes a yawn is a tired dog. Sometimes a dog shakes off because he’s wet. But when you see these signs in response to a stimulus (like a child approaching), you should know what to do. Consult a certified professional trainer or behaviorist to help you determine the safest way to manage your dog and help its discomfort through training. (Hint: we know some good trainers).
Please feel free to share, print, copy, and distribute this art, attributing authorship and copyright where it’s due!
APD – Know the signs (PDF)
If you're overwhelmed and have tried everything, know that you are not alone. Forgive yourself for trying anything one can to help a beloved dog and instead try our gentle, science-based approach. Our dogs teach us skill, empathy, gratitude, and excellence — and at A Pleasant Dog, we're proud to share these lessons with you.
A Pleasant Dog acknowledges and honors the land on which we teach, which belongs to the Odawa and Peoria peoples. We encourage our students to also honor these lands and the Odawa and Peoria communities by learning about and contributing to the preservation of their culture. The Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians in particular has been petitioning for Federal recognition of their status for over 30 years. We encourage you to support their efforts here: Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians