“He’s Only Playing!”
Why? Because as a dog behavior specialist, this is one of Sarah’s LEAST favorite expressions!
“He’s Only Playing” is what people say when they have no clue what’s really going on with their dog when it meets another dog.
It covers the good, the bad and the downright inappropriate: a multitude of doggie sins and rudeness. Everything from one dog placing his paws on another dog without invitation, to another sniffing underneath just too intently.
And this can lead to problems… cross words between dogs, and owners, or embarrassing situations where one dog gets… how shall we say… over-excited – and then the humans are left trying to regain control.
The problem is that humans are not generally very good at reading dog body language:
· Most people think that tail wagging mean friendliness – but it often doesn’t
· Many people see their dog in a bow position and just assume that it means their dog wants to play – it may not
· And the vast majority of owners watch two dogs interacting and just hope that it’s going to work out OK with no real way of predicting what might happen between them…
Sarah Whitehead is one of the UK’s top specialists in canine body language. She has studied canine communication systems for over 25 years and this beautifully produced, picture-led booklet is designed to help everyone who owns or works with dogs become even more fluent in the subtleties of dog language.