This week we’re going to take a look at one of my favorite youtube trainers, Kristin Crestejo. She lives up in British Columbia in Canada and has a lovely youtube series on various dog topics. What I like most about her videos is that they include both some written/spoken descriptions of the behaviors as well as numerous videos and clips of dogs performing them. This is ideal because it is one thing for me to describe to you how a dog who licks his or he lips is showing a stress signal but another one entirely to be able to see it for yourself.
In part one of the dog series, Kristin Crestejo is going to go over the beginning signs of discomfort called “stress signals.” These are small little movements or behaviors that your dog begins to show when they are starting to feel uncomfortable in a situation. The ability to recognize these small signs has been priceless to me as a dog training and dog lover. I can see the moment in a training session when the dog starts to say “hey, you know, this is starting to be too much, I’d like a break” I can instantly ease up on whatever exercise we’re doing and see an immediate response in the dog. This type of two way communication between human and dog is what really solidifies the bond between the two diverse and unique species.
On the safety side of things, stress signals are the preliminary warning signs to a dog who bites or snaps at someone or something. They’re the “hey knock it off” signals that tell other dogs they’re uncomfortable. Most, well socialized, dogs can read this behavior instantly and respond. Most humans however cannot.
Videos like Kristin’s and blogs like this help to make humans become more aware of what their canine friends are trying to tell them. Watch part one of Kristin’s dog behavior blog below: