Prompting with your Body

09/02/2022

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PROMPTING WITH YOUR BODY

Your dog is very aware of where you are in relation to them. They can see, hear, smell and feel how close you are, where you are located and how you are moving.

When your dog is aware of another dog or human they are concerned about, your movement reminds your dog that you are there and can make them feel safer.

You can also use your body position to influence your dog’s behaviour for the better!

Opening up space for your dog to move away can really support them. Take a step in any direction as long as it’s not towards the scary thing, as this will often prompt your dog to move with you.

Leading your dog towards something they are unsure about may add to their concern. Even if you know it’s safe, giving your dog the choice of whether or not to get closer will help to ensure the best outcome.

Your dog can sense you making smooth and easy moves with your body even if you don’t take any steps. Try shifting your weight, rolling your shoulders, twisting your torso or bending your knees and see how your dog responds.

Looking softly at your dog, nodding your head or smiling will show them you are engaged with them. Sometimes, just taking a deep, relaxed breath will cause your dog to do the same.

Your dog has a much wider field of vision than we do. They can see 240 degrees around them so they can see you when you are in line with their shoulder. Getting in their face isn’t necessary, all you need to do is move into their peripheral vision.

We often think of our voice as the main tool to get our dog’s attention, but remember our body speaks just as loudly.

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