Things We Like: Turid Rugaas and Reading Your Dogs Body Language

My Dog Pulls, What Do I Do?

In her book My Dog Pulls. What Do I Do? animal behaviorist, Turid Rugaas (who hails from Norway) offers an easy peasy training plan that will stop your dog from dislocating your shoulder every time you take them outside to pee. You'll learn Turid's method to train your dog to walk calmly and quietly on a loose leash using the solid understanding of why dogs pull to overcome the problem. Spoiler alert: we are unintentionally reinforcing an unwanted behavior (pulling) when we follow the dog's pulling. Of course, there is a little more to it, and Turid's approach is enlightening and straightforward.

Turid also has a DVD about leash-pulling, here's the trailer which goes into a little detail about the technique:

On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals

There's one book we recommend to all clients, friends, relatives, and even strangers on the street and it's On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals — another fantastic life-altering read by animal behaviorist extraordinaire, Turid Rugaas. You'll never look at your dog the same way again. The power of understanding and reading your dogs body language cannot be underestimated. At only 78 pages, it's a quick straight-to-the-point easy read that details what our dogs are actually telling us and why they do the things they do. With Rugaas' incredible understanding of dogs body language, she translates signals they show us and tells you exactly what they mean so you can understand what your dog is trying to communicate. 

Here's some basic cartoons that illustrate some common calming signals:

Reading Turid Rugaas' books feels a little bit like therapy or a yoga class; there is an "everything is okay" feeling you get from these little gems. I can’t recommend them enough!