Dog Body Language Posts and Videos

I have grouped all my posts and videos that deal with dog body language on this page. Some of the topics include dogs being petted, resource guarding, dog relaxation, and stress and fear signals.

Clara guards the sprinkler

Clara guards the sprinkler (from the post Dog/Dog Resource Guarding in Slow Motion)

Blog Posts with Videos or Photos

Does Your Dog REALLY Want to Be Petted?  Discussion of dog body language that indicates whether or not a dog is enjoying being petted. Includes a video showing two dogs being petted, one of whom is enjoying it and the other of whom is not. Discusses the concept of a Consent Test, a way to tell if a dog is really enjoying something or just putting up with it.

Dogs Who Like to Be Petted or Touched Video resources showing dogs who are enjoying being petted. Includes puppy Clara at 6 and 14 months, and YouTube videos of many different dogs.

Dog Facial Expressions: Stress Labeled photos of Clara, my feral dog, at a vet visit. One of my top viewed posts ever. These photos may be used for educational demonstrations. I like it when you tell me about it.

The Right Words, Revealed  How still photos of dog body language can be misleading.

Is My Dog a Drama Queen? Photos of Zani looking moderately stressed–is it real or not?

The Look of Fear A video and short discussion of an episode where Zani clearly showed fear of Summer, who was in her crate. I missed the incident but recorded the fallout.

Lip Licks! A comparison of two types of lip licks by dogs. One type is apparently stress related, but the other type probably isn’t.

Dog/Dog Resource Guarding in Slow Motion Slow motion footage of my dogs resource guarding against each other without declining into actual violence.

Which Dog is Resource Guarding? A comparison of two photos, both of which show guarding behaviors. One dog is playing, however. Can you tell which one?

Who was Resource Guarding? The answer to the question posed in the previous post, along with a discussion of why we need to take resource guarding seriously.

Shock Training Session Video Analysis  A second by second analysis of the body language of a dog being trained with the use of a shock collar. (very hard to watch)

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Body Language Study A brief interaction regarding custody of a ball by two of my dogs, and some lively comments.

Contest! The Faces of Summer A whole butt-load of photos of Summer comprising an impossible “match the situation to the photo” contest. Summer’s face is extremely expressive, though.

Contest Results and the Curse of Knowledge A much more useful rendition of the photos that shows their context and describes the situation of each one.

How Can She Possibly be Eating?  A video and discussion of the fact that Clara can still take treats while very stressed and over threshold.

Shut Down Dogs (Part 1) Regarding the cultural confusion that says that dogs who are frozen or shut down from pain or fear are actually calm. Includes a video of my dog Zani during a fear episode.

Shut Down Dogs (Part 2) Continuing the discussion about the confusion between shut down, apathetic dogs and calm and relaxed ones. Has two videos: one a compilation of many YouTube clips of miserable dogs being called “calm” and “relaxed,” (difficult to watch) and the other a compilation of dogs being trained truly to relax with positive reinforcement.

YouTubeVideos (without blog commentary)

Clara Relaxes A video of an ad hoc training session where I reinforce gradually more and more relaxed behaviors from puppy Clara.

Negative vs Positive Reinforcement A video of my dogs’ very different responses to being taught to perform a behavior with both negative and positive reinforcement.


Dogs and Dementia: What You Need to Know This article has a lot of pictures and videos of canine cognitive dysfunction behaviors. Also lists typical symptoms and has some hints for living with a dog with dementia.

11 Responses to Dog Body Language Posts and Videos

  1. Pingback: Dog Facial Expressions: Stress | eileenanddogs

  2. jan says:

    Love your video on dogs not liking to be petted. I have a black lab (yes a LAB) who does not enjoy being petted. She was fine as a puppy. But once the hormones kicked in she became more independent and backs away when anyone wants to pet her. Can you teach them to like it? Or at least tolerate it and not move their head or body away? She likes her butt scratched and bell rubbed but of course most people reach for her head first.

    • Hi jan,
      Sorry for the delay in answering. The answer is yes, you can teach them to like handling and petting. You can use classical conditioning. Here is an article about classical conditioning that explains the concept. You have to make an account on the site to read the article, but the account is free. And here in Sue Ailsby’s Training Levels, (scroll down to Handling), she specifically talks about teaching a dog to enjoy being handled. I do a whole lot of this with my feral dog, Clara. Be sure and do like Sue says, and start with a part of her body where she likes being touched, like you say, her butt. If you start right off with her head, it probably won’t work. Good for you for wanting to help your dog with this.Lots and lots of dogs don’t like strangers or even their own people reaching for their heads.

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