==> Dog Language is not just wordless but quiet!
Dog Language Translation Made Easy
German Shepherd Communication Secrets
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Communication with our GSDs is two-way: We want our dog to understand us, and we want to understand our dog.
In this MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL we are going to look at both these areas, to see if you can improve the two-way communication between you and your dog.
Can you relate to a situation like the following?
You sit down to relax after a long work day, and your GSD is coming to join you. You are saying a few things to your dog, and you expect that (s)he understands you. You see and hear your dog's reaction, and you believe (s)he understood what you said.
Of course it does. This is an ordinary situation when you have a dog.
It's always easier to learn from an example, so let's assume the following:
- You just changed into your house shoes and sat down in your favourite chair, opening up the newspaper while saying "Good dog!"
- Your GSD is coming after you and sits down about a meter away, eyes aiming to meet your eyes, while saying nothing.
Regardless what you are saying, and regardless what you intend to say, this is what your German Shepherd is likely to understand in that moment:
And this is what your German Shepherd replies:
Closely studying ordinary situations like the above, as well as more unusual situations, allows to gain incredible insight into dog language, communication between dog and human, and dog communication secrets:
Puuh! This is probably something to savour (or to chew on, depending on the amount of outright agreement).
In future PERIODICALS we will come back to many of these insights. Once discussed, you will probably agree that our dogs understand us much better than we understand our dogs!
The common view which we learn everywhere is that we shall use short dog commands of one or two words only, because presumably:
Yes, trained dogs DO react to a short dog command or a gesture with the hand or finger, BUT this doesn't mean that they don't understand much more.
Likewise, the fact that dogs BARK in order to tell about their feelings doesn't mean that they don't communicate much more.
When your German Shepherd barks, (s)he uses verbal communication, (s)he 'talks'. Barking is DOG TALK. But at other times, when your German Shepherd does NOT bark, (s)he may nonetheless be communicating with you, either through non-verbal sounds like whining or growling, or through eye contact, or most likely through body language!
My favorite dog body language expert, Brenda Aloff, has compiled a wonderful photographic guide on canine body language - the one every other book is judged by. If ever you want to learn canine body language, I suggest you get this photographic guide first. Another great book that taught me a lot is Jan Fennell's The Dog Listener.
Indeed, if the above long list of insights into dog communication secrets bears any truth then the common view of what dogs understand and what dogs communicate couldn't be further from the truth!
I'd claim that, in general, dogs understand much more (and communicate much more) than most dog owners and dog experts can imagine. This is all the more the case for dogs with a genetic heritage to LEAD, to ORGANIZE, and to MANAGE: German Shepherd Dogs.
Your relationship with your GSD grows and improves, all because of two-way COMMUNICATION. The more you learn to communicate with your dog, the healthier your relationship and the better the bonding between you two will be.
All this, and much more, is part of dog language! The more of this we understand, the better we will understand our dog. Dogs are telling us an entire 'story' if we can just listen! Ahem, LOOK.
==> Next edition: German Shepherd Traveling <==