Friday, August 31, 2012

Want the Truth? Ask your Dog!

Your dog loves it when you pet him, right? He loves the kids to pet and hug him too? Well maybe he does and maybe he doesn't. Maybe he likes some sorts of attention at some times and not at others. We have posted many times in our blog and on our Facebook page that dogs don't like hugs and kisses, especially from children. This has generated irate comments and even hate mail from people who are offended at the notion that dogs do not always just naturally love kids or love attention from their people.

If you want to know the truth about this from your dog's point of view, then ask him! Here is a great video that shows the difference between a dog who says "no" to petting and dog that says "yes". A dog that consistently says "no" and is ignored and forced to tolerate unwanted attention may eventually get to the point of growling or biting. A dog that invites attention and enjoys it is much less likely to bite.

Visit the Doggone Safe website to learn more about the signs that dogs give when they are uncomfortable.

Learn more  about dog body language with our online course, Basic Dog Body Language (qualifies for CEUs from major dog training certification organizations)

Be sure to visit the blog by Eileen, the author of the video for more insights!

Thanks to Jennifer Shryock of Family Paw Parent Education for bringing this video to our attention.


  1. Thanks for this excellent resource - I'll definitely be sharing :)
    Our older staffy will often lick your hand, or your leg (whatever she can reach) when you stop patting her until you start again. Is this also a sign she's enjoying the pat? It seems like she's repaying the favour. Thanks Judy

  2. Hi Judy, thanks for posting. If the context of the licking begins when you end the petting session then your older girly is likely enjoying the attention and wants more. Conversely, if your dog begins licking your hands while you are petting this could be a signal that she is uncomfortable with the attention at that time. The context in which the behavior is presented is our biggest clue as to what the behavior may mean. Paying very close attention to the other body parts of the dog can also give you very important clues as to how your dog feels when we are in their personal space. There is an excellent article we shared 'blog by Eileen' above, that goes into some specifics about this very question! Good for you that you are tuning into your dog and what she may be saying. I will take a video of two dogs, one who likes petting and another who doesn't. Eileen gave me a very good idea so I think I will follow through. Keep on eye out for the video's on our page! Thanks again for your post and great question.

  3. Thanks Teresa - I've just read the 'blog by Eileen' - very informative! And yes our old girl only starts licking when you stop patting her & stops the minute you start patting her again. She also pushes her head against your hand if she can get to it - so I think all the signs are good! :)