Dogs use "calming signals" to convey harmless intentions. They also use these as self calming techniques.
Dogs work diligently to avoid conflict. As a human, it's important to watch their various body language signals. Often humans don't interpret them correctly.
Calming Signals include:
Head turn (yep, your dog is not ignoring you but rather using a calming signal)
Scratch at collar or neck
Shaking it off
Aroused Dog Signals include:
Ears up, forward
Tail up, stiff wag
Stiff legged, weight over front legs
It's rude human behavior to do the following to dogs:
Approach a dog head on
Bend over a dog (including to put on a leash)
Making direct eye contact
Never punish a growling dog. The dog is warning us. It is a way for dogs to communicate stress and discomfort. If you punish the growl, you risk that they might escalate next time to biting without the warning of a growl.
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