I just need some space…

Dog Trainer Lisa Desatnik, writing for WCPO in Cincinnati, reports that we humans may be just a little too overbearing for some canines. She recommends petting a dog for no longer than 5 seconds, then waiting for the dog to give you some feedback as to whether or not he wants more interaction with you.

According to Desatnik, here are 12 signs your dog wants you to back off for now:

Looking away
Backing or walking away
Ducking his head away from your outstretched hand
Leaning his body away from you
Yawning or licking his lips
Scratching himself or lifting a paw
Tucking his tail beneath him
Tensing his facial muscles
Rolling over in a submissive way
Holding ears sideways
Ears back
Rapid breathing

On the other hand, if your dog wants MORE contact, he or she may:

initiate coming into your space
have loose facial and body muscles
flop down in front of you
have an open, relaxed mouth
solicit more scratches if you stop

Sounds like good advice, particularly when you are approaching an unknown dog.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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