The main reason dogs are not adopted from shelters is their lack of response to our play signals. Our body language is not always clear to dogs. New research just published in Scientific American shows that signals we think will excite our dogs don’t really want to make them play. It is sad to think that thousands of dogs are not adopted and possibly put to sleep every year because humans gave the wrong play sign.
Play Signs Dogs Like
Chase and running away movement
Signaling “UP” by tapping our chests
Grabbing or holding a dog’s paws
Play bow (on our hands and knees with arms out stretched and head bowed)
Play Signs Dogs Don’t Like
Patting the floor
Stamping our feet
Grabbing a dog’s scruff
Picking-up a dog and kissing it
I hope the results of this research help you and your dog “talk the same language.” Share this information with other pet parents. It will enrich their relationship with their dogs and help save the lives of adoptable dogs.
Dr. Ken Tudor,
THE DOG DIETITIAN