Does your dog seem a little happier and more confident when she masters a new trick or training command? Recent research on dog body language during training proves that you’re not just imagining that your dog is proud to have learned a new task…your dog really is satisfied with herself!
Researchers from Japan’s Azabu University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted a study on 46 dogs who had never undergone any sort of obedience training. The dogs were taught a simple sit command using hand signals and treat rewards.
Analysis of video of the dogs’ training sessions showed differences between the dogs who mastered the training and dogs who didn’t. Dogs comfortable with their learning were more likely to keep their mouths closed, point their ears forward, and look with wide eyes at the trainer. The better learners also held their tails high, but without significant wagging.
All of these body language signs indicate focused attention and dominance, although dog behavior experts argue that confidence is probably a more appropriate word than dominance. The good learners were confident that they understood the task and pleased the trainer. They also were confident that they solved the riddle of how to earn a treat!
Click HERE to learn more about the study.