Read Body Language Agreement, Avoidance

Read dog’s body language to improve your communication with it. Too frequently I see people forcing dogs in uncomfortable situations. Generally, it is because people try to push their intentions onto the dog. For example, trying to force a timid or shy dog to receive being petted. Guys and gals not all dogs are social. Similar to people some are outgoing whereas others are a bit more shy. Dogs are the same way, being able to read a dog’s body language will better arm you with understanding if a dog is receptive to interacting. Here are two dog body language examples of shy dog cues (agreement and avoidance.) Please familiarize yourself with these examples so you can better read dog body language, they will thank you for it!

Agreement/Engagement : Myself, Ryan Matthews, the dog trainer specialist I often see people forcing their will upon dogs. in my opinion, it is good to consider if a canine is in agreement with one’s intentions. I understand there are times where it is non-negotiable and we must insist our dog have it our way. However, if at all possible, look for opportunities to interact when your dog is willing to participate. The body signs of agreement are similar to relaxation; the dog will demonstrate a loose relaxed tail and open mouth. In the example of petting a dog, it will lean into the handler. It will appear as though it can’t get enough of the attention.

Do not force your pet into doing something it is not ready for or is uncomfortable with, although there will be plenty of times that dogs will have to just work through the stress. As long as their health and safety aren’t at risk, some pressure and stress are okay. An example of this would be teaching a dog to swim. Not all canines are like labs and love the water. As long as the teaching is fair and simple to complex, if the dog is not giving agreement signs, in order to progress, he will have to work through his mental stress. A great characteristic of dogs is that, generally speaking, they recover well; as long as we don’t make things a big deal, neither will they.


Agreement: This is more of a lack of agreement. Trying to climb up the owner’s leg is clearly saying, “I do not agree with this other dog’s intentions.” The dog on the left is lacking in social skills. The owner should not pick the dog up to comfort it, but she could continue to move along.

Avoidance : A dog in avoidance is trying to communicate they are uncomfortable with the current situation. Some dogs have far more tolerance of difficult situations than others. To train extreme avoidance out of a dog, it takes tough love and thinking of the bigger picture. A typical time that a canine demonstrates avoidance is when fireworks go off. In order to help your pet grow, you cannot reinforce the avoidance, otherwise you are promoting it. Some of the ways a dog conveys its avoidance mind set are: looking away, hiding underneath furniture, ears pinned back, and a low tail/tucked tail.


Avoidance: The small white dog is well aware of the Husky in its area. It may appear that the little guy is ignoring the Husky, however, ignoring is considered a polite and acceptable behavior, the small dog is in avoidance. He is sitting in an effort to deter the Husky from sniffing him.

These two reading body language examples are important to be able to identify because these guys are shy. The last thing we would want to do is pressure a fearful or timid dog to feeling even more tense. Remember that you don’t want to force your interaction unto timid dogs. Allow the dog the opportunity to sniff you. After all, that is how dogs shake hands. Additionally, try to not talk too much it will only overwhelm the dog. Reading dog body language is a great skill for you to have. You will be able to speak canine language. As a reminder, dogs interact 80% non-verbal, therefore, most of their communication is done by offering various body language cues/signals.

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Before Ryan our dog was out of control. We could not stop the general lack of obedience. After the first lesson with Ryan our dog learned a lot and has improved leaps and bounds. We now take our dog off leash on trails, camping and the park. Thanks for all your help with Ollie.

By: Jeff and Sara G.

Just wanted to tell you how wonderful it is to have Bridey around since her training. We are amazed at how well she is behaving.

By: Adrienne C.

If you want a very happy well trained dog this program is the way to go. I have tried other trainers but they just did’nt work for us. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time yelling at your pet give Ryan a try. Work with
him and you and your pet will be happier.

By: Nita B.

When we brought Luna to training we didn’t know what to expect. Actually, we were a little doubtful even though we heard great things about the company. But, we have been to other trainers in the past without much success. We saw a total transformation in only two lessons. In did 4 lessons total and we now enjoy our Luna off leash at parks, she is behaved when visitors come over and she is just more enjoyable overall!

By: Denise and Richard Y.

My dog behaved well but only in our house without much distractions. Through training I learned my dog has a difficult time listening when other things has his interest. The trainer taught me how to get my dogs focus around distractions. Now, we pass other dogs on a walks and out in public without any issues. Our walks are now relaxing for the two of us and I find I want to take him with me more because he is so well behaved. I highly recommend you give Ryan and the Canine Connection a try, I promise you won’t regret it. They know there stuff, not only will they get you great results but you will learn know your dog thinks.

By: Carlos E.
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