Describing Behavior




Describing your dog’s behaviour is very important when working with your trainer or vet to help resolve your dog’s over-reactivity. Labels such as stubborn, friendly, angry or happy can have very different meanings to different people which can affect how they interpret your dog’s behaviour. So it’s important that you learn how to describe your dog’s behaviour in terms of their body language, what they actually did, what the context was, and what happened as a result rather than simply assigning it a label.

Instead of saying your dog was “happy” think about describing what you see such as them wagging their tail loosely with an open mouth and a wiggly body.

Instead of using “stubborn” describe what your dog did. For example they stayed outside when you called them into the house.

Next time you want to use a label, think about what that label means to you and instead offer a detailed description. Describing behaviour with as many specifics as possible can help you and your trainer better understand your dog’s behaviour.

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