Understanding the Many Moods of Your Puppy

Dogs are wonderful; just ask any one of the millions of canine owners world-wide. They make terrific companions, are loving, loyal, protective, entertaining, and obedient. Well, most of the time anyway.


It is important for new dog owners to understand the differences between dogs and humans. Recognizing the differences will help owners balance expectations and keep them realistic.


Some behaviour is ingrained; inborn and common to the canine population. Their ways are not our ways. We cannot punish a dog for being a dog. It would be unrealistic, for instance, to expect a dog not to be inquisitive; not to sniff, not to defend its territory, or not to explore and “cut loose” in an open field. People who cannot accept normal dog behaviour should not own a dog.


Other behaviours in dogs are learned – due either to past experience, or neglect on the human’s part. Case in point: a mother dog does not hesitate to teach her puppies acceptable social skills and proper manners. She will correct and discipline a pup when they need it.

We humans, however, take a puppy away from its disciplinarian – its mother – and adopt it into our home. When the puppy bites, nips at our hands, or chews on things that they shouldn’t, we hesitate to discipline him. Either because we think he is too small for discipline, or else too darn cute!  It is only after the puppy gets older and a bad behaviour pattern has set in that we decide something must be done.


Arrange your puppy training to be easier and more enjoyable by comprehending that your puppy is making an effort to connect with you in further ways than barking or wiggling his tail. Keep in mind, your puppy also tries to communicate with his ears, paws, tail, mouth and more and your puppy teaching and day to day life with your dog will be to a large extent more enjoyable.


Here are a few guidelines to some fundamental body language of your dog and its meaning:


Dominant – You will come across that a dominant dog will have the ears directly up or frontward, its mouth a little open or closed, its eyes wide open or looking intently, its body standing rigid and tall with hackles perhaps lifted up, and its tail out from the body rigid or plumped up. A low down and aggressive bark can frequently be anticipated.


Friendly - A friendly dog has upraised ears, open and watchful eyes, a calm mouth, the whole rear end or tail wagging, and perhaps whining, yelping or giving out small barking sounds.


Playful - A bended over pose with the tail wagging implies, “come, let us play.”


Submissive - A dog with its ears firmly back, eyes closed and paw lifted up is presenting excessive submission. The dog is not in high spirits but shows it will not assault.


Aggressive - An aggressive dog has its ears packed down behind touching its head, its eyes tapering or testing, body on edge, mouth open to show teeth and tail held out from the body and ruffled up if possible. Growls or howls are usual.


Worried - Quick barks along with howling, ears compressed and neck hairs lifted up means "I'm worried" or "something is wrong."


Fear - A dog shows fear with a lowered posture, tail down or put underside, an curved back, looking or turning head even as showing the whites of their whites of eyes and enlarged pupils. Dogs frequently bark out of fear, in particular if they are in a tight spot, cooped up, or on a restraint.


Stressed - A dog under stress will frequently have its ears down and back, mouth wide open, and the lips being drawn backwards with fast breathing. Also tail put down, shoulders lowered, bent frontward, nervousness in attitude and it will almost certainly be shaking.


Now that you know more about what your puppy is making any effort to say to you about how he senses or the frame of mind he is in, try to put up this in your puppy training and day to day life.


In a puppy training sitting your dog should be showing that he is in a responsive or mischievous mood. If he shows he is commanding then you can make out that he may not be taking you sincerely or may well be being obstinate and you most likely have to be more forceful.


A little submissive conduct is not a bad thing as it means that that he knows that you are in command.


If your puppy turns out to be hassled, terrified, troubled or even hostile, you have got to stop your teaching and comfort your dog right away. If you have been teaching for more than 15 minutes, discontinue and take a breather. When you come back take things more leisurely or commence things in a different way.


Use your awareness in day to day life too. Watch your puppy in different circumstances and you will soon find out what he is fond of and hates or what his state of mind is. You can then take action to give him more of what he takes pleasure in and more encouragement, assurance and teaching in circumstances he finds more complex.