As hard as it is to find time to read, I do carve out some quiet time for my favorite topic, dogs!
There are many books I could share but there is one book I find myself referring to clients on a consistent basis, and that is The Other End of the Leash by Dr. Patricia McConnell.
This book should be in any dog lovers library since it’s content is science based and yet easy to understand. It addresses what the title conveys, equal understanding from each end of the leash.
Let’s face it most of us are too quick to say that our dogs behavior, be it acceptable or not seems to ‘come out of the blue’. Yet in most cases, simply knowing the difference between dog communication and our own, can help bridge the gap of the understanding between us.
Our vocal tones and body movements are by far on the top of the list. Differences in human to human greetings are not perceived the same to our dogs.
-We make eye contact, extend our arms for a friendly handshake or even an exuberant bear hug embrace. Very natural in our world right? Yet these top three normal human greetings can be a scary threat to some dogs, especially shy or under socialized ones.
-Another helpful communication tool is our voice. It has the ability to speed a dog up, slow it down even stop on a dime when applied in the appropriate context.
As with anything in life knowledge and timing are key components to success. This is such a brief peak into the full scope The Other End of the Leash has to offer. It’s well worth reading and it’s contents invaluable. Once you’ve read it, come back here and let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you.
Kat Cunningham, CPDT-KA
Certified Trainer, K-9 Coach