Assistant Dog Training
Dog Behavior Paper 287
Working at a dog daycare, I observe different body languages and ways of communication through dogs every day. I work at a facility called Paw Beach Pet Resort where daycare is available daily for 20+ dogs in a large yard. One of the main things I have observed while watching all the dogs is that they have emotions. Every day they are communicating how they believe they feel to one another and everyone around them. Dogs use certain movements of their bodies and body parts along with different vocalizations to express their emotions. These are movements of the ears, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, head, tail, and entire body, as well as barks, growls, whines and whimpers, and howls. While most often dogs are perceived to behave not only according to their breed, but also by their gender, their body language signals, and understanding the way dogs communicate and interact with one another. While standing in the yard watching the dogs, an observation I made was the various breed-specific factors that influenced the dog’s temperaments and behaviors. For example, how much exercise a dog requires varies greatly from dog to dog, but some breeds are most certainly more active and lively than others. Dogs such as Australian Shepard’s, Huskies and Labrador Retrievers are full of life, hard to tire out, and constantly ready for action. Although, when the owners of these particularly active dogs do not provide enough stimulation and exercise for them, I find myself struggling to control the dogs that may begin to act out, try to escape the yard, or become hard to control when on a leash. Another observation I made was the different intelligence levels of dogs that vary significantly between breeds. I could tell which dogs were considered highly intelligent by their responsiveness to training and learning a wider range of skills and tricks.
The intelligent dogs also tend to become easily bored and require a lot of stimulation, interaction and variety in order to keep them happy and relaxed. If the intelligent dogs do not have enough entertainment or stimulation this causes them to try and find ways to fill that gap. For example, there are a lot of Labrador Retrievers that constantly need to burn energy. When they have no one to play with or can’t find something to do, they tend to either chew on the objects we have in the yard or scratch at the turf. The less intelligent dogs tend to have a lot of energy and never want to stop running around. They don’t get bored as often and it doesn’t take much to entertain them. After more observations I started to notice a dog’s gender influence on their behavior and how they act in a certain environment. Since a dog’s behavior has a lot to do with their individual personality factors that are unique to that dog, males and female’s differ greatly. For instance, I noticed the dogs have a tendency to get along better with dogs of the opposite sex. Females do not always get along with other females and males can sometimes become aggressive with other males. I believe this has to do with dominance and leadership that correspond with their gender. Dogs operate in a pack mentality and will sometimes challenge other dogs for that status. In addition, I noticed the male dogs tend to have more stamina and energy and can be more territorial than females. As I continue to observe, I see that “Dogs are very expressive animals. They communicate to us whether they’re feeling happy, sad, nervous, fearful and angry, and they use their faces and bodies to convey much of this information. Dog body language is an elaborate and sophisticated system of nonverbal communication that, fortunately, humans can learn to recognize and interpret. (Canine Body Language)” Knowing the different body languages of a dog can help you avoid fearful situations and aggressive behavior,...
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