If you watch puppies at play, you’ll discover they interact with one another in a number of different ways their body language is quite remarkable to observe.
There’s no mistaking the adorable ‘play-bow’ position that dogs and puppies adopt when wanting to play but do you recognise any of their other many poses and their vast array of noises? It helps if you can as this is an insight in to your puppy’s little world.
Fear is generally an easy emotion to recognise usually accompanied by flat ears and tail held very low and sometimes held between the back legs, if your puppy is especially scared, the posture may happen at the same time as your puppy whining. Now the very worst thing you can do in this situation is to scoop your puppy up in your arms. This action works two ways really; the first is that your puppy will assume that he/she does indeed have a reason to be scared, as you’ve just confirmed that information by your reassurance. Secondly, your puppy is now going to expect you to always do the same, even when said small puppy is a great big adult dog, not so easy to scoop one of those up in your arms!
So unless your puppy is in imminent danger, leave well alone. Most puppies will dive behind their owner’s legs when out in the early stages and a dog approaches them to say ‘hello’ this is quite normal. Again just ignore it though, unless of course the approaching dog looks nasty or unfriendly, you’ll see that in the end your pup will come out of hiding and say ‘hello’ back.
Now many people assume that a dog’s hackles rising up is always a sign of aggression actually it can mean the complete opposite, it can mean your puppy or dog’s excited. Obviously the given situation will allow you to see what the case is. If your puppy’s playing then it’s probably excitement but if your puppy is meeting another dog it doesn’t like or another animal then it could well be aggression. If you think it might well be the second one then cool the situation down by removing the problem, and if that happens to be your pup then remove them.
A lot of the time puppies don’t always comprehend all their emotions, just like children, and they have to learn and have certain boundaries pointed out to them. Having a puppy is all about learning and growing together, that’s what makes your bond so strong for many years to come.
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