Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Art of Reading Canine Body Language

Melissa said...

I am thinking Bonita is going to make a move towards Snow. Probably while keeping her eyes on her mother. I am also thinking Blonde is not going to allow it.

jen said...

I think that Bonita is going to try and maybe push her luck with getting some kibble. To me she's thinking that "if Snow can have some, then I should too."

The little red girl is in stalk position. Her ears are forward in concentration. Notice how her head position minimizes neck exposure. The front of her body is all about how she feels about Snow White. Wouldn’t she just like to like to kick Snow’s butt. Snow White has not only been invited to eat, but has received kindness from Blondie that Bonita has not. Don’t tell me that dogs don’t notice unfair treatment.

Her tail position tells us that Bonita will not risk the wrath of mommy. She is a picture of conflict. That tail tells us quite a bit. If she were solidly into retaliation or taking kibble, the tail would be straight or up. Her tail or good sense holds her back from what she would clearly like to do. Remember that Blondie had Bonita so terrorized that she wouldn’t move towards food when she was starving. Blondie’s authority is almost absolute. I’ve had to work hard to install the almost in the absolute.

Your reading of Bonita’s posture is great. We will get into reading conflicting signals. Good work, Melissa and Jen!

Snow White has been invited to dinner; what else matters?

Blondie is watching Snow’s latest leading man amble up the driveway.

Now that you know what Blondie is looking at, does Blondie’s body language give a clue what she’s thinking about Toby, the big rugged looking male heading her way?


  1. To me Blondie looks excited. I think she likes what she sees with Toby.

  2. Spot on, Jen, she does like him. What in her posture her posture told you that?