There is so much to say about dog body language that there is a part two! Its an area that I think is very important to learn about, as important as your general training. If you can understand what your dog is communicating to you, then they are going to be a lot happier!

I am a Professional member of the brilliant organisation, Kids Around Dogs

 As a Professional trainer I am available to help and educate families to help the children be comfortable with dogs as well as teaching skills like reading a dog’s body language. The organisation is doing some great work and its mission is to help educate children from an early age as to how to be safe around dogs and read the signs if a dog is either happy or feeling uncomfortable. I

never had this when I was a child, and it would have been so useful growing up to have had access to information like this. When I first started out as a trainer, I did a lot of talks in schools, mainly with reception classes and Year ones. I had a lot of visuals and handouts, and it was a lot of fun as well as getting a message out about helping children to learn when a dog is happy or feeling uncomfortable. For me, one of the most difficult things I find hard to see are lots of posts on social media of children with their arms wrapped around dogs or lying on dogs and seeing the signals of discomfort that the dogs are giving off. If we can educate early, a child will have a better understanding of what is appropriate with a dog and what is not.

There are a couple of great visuals that I have included with this article which give you an insight as to what is useful to get to know about a dog’s body language for children and also adults. Just like humans, dogs can feel uncomfortable when put in certain situations and knowing that they are feeling uncomfortable enables us to move away, or take our hand off the dog if it isn’t comfortable with someone stroking it or cuddling it. (Not all dogs like cuddling, most will tolerate it but its not their favourite way of having contact) (

The best way to interact with a dog is to wait and see if it Wants to approach you and say hello. Never force an interaction and if the dog does come over to you, get down to them, side on, so you are not threatening and gently stroke them on their chest or under their chin. After a few seconds, remove your hand and see what the dog does, if it moves in for more fuss you know its ok to carry on stroking, or if it moves away, then you know the dog is finished with having a fuss

Learn to read what your dog is saying with its body language and you will have a happier dog!