Dog Behaviors

What Are The Most Common Dog Calming Signals?

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by Amie Taylor

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Dogs use different signals to cooperate when they are on a hunt, raise their offspring, and, most significantly, live peacefully and happily with their kind and their owners and other humans around them.

Conflicts can be hazardous, and they can be the reason for physical injury.

What are dog calming signals?

The Dog Calming Signal is a term that a Norwegian dog trainer refers to as the signals used by dogs to communicate and get in touch with dogs and humans around them.

There are said to be at least 30 calming signals. The kind of signals used by a dog mainly depends on the dog. These signals, however, are said universal, and almost all dogs have to understand them even though the dogs are not using them.

Dogs often use these signals with humans and other dogs to interact and express their thoughts and feelings. Dogs mainly survive in a universe of sensory input that can include visual, olfactory, and auditory perceptions.

They can simply perceive little details like a quick signal, a little change in someone else’s behavior, the expression in the eyes of the people.

Animals are very perspective to the signals, and they can be trained to follow the instruction they are given. The dog owners don’t need to bark commands to the dogs, and you don’t have to make your voice loud or angry.

The dogs have more than thirty Dog Calming Signals and even more than that. Many dogs use most of these signals, varying from dog to dog.

Dog Calming Signals

Dogs mostly use the communication system towards the human race, and this is because this is their sign language, and they believe that this is the language that everyone understands.

You may find your dogs using the calming dog signals and may even punish their dogs without knowing and realizing the reason behind their actions.

This can cause the dog a lot of distress and can even cause the dog serious trouble. Some people even simply give up using the calming signals with their dogs and other dogs. This can even get them to become and act desperate, frustrated, and even aggressive sometimes.

Dog owners should learn to know the dogs’ language to understand what the dogs are trying to tell their owners and the people around them. 

Dog Calming Signals can help your relationship with your dog become better.

1. Dog Yawning

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When a person bends over the dog, the dog can yawn when any person sounds angry, when there is extreme shouting or yelling in the background or if the dog is at the vet’s office.

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The dog may also yawn if someone is walking towards them directly or when some other dog is excited with happiness and anticipation.

The dog can also yawn if they are happy or excited. If there is a knock at the door, are you talking your dog out for a walk?

When the training sessions are longer, making the dog tired, you will have to say no for doing something you disapprove of. Sometimes dogs can also yawn due to the threatening signals when they feel attacked or threatened.

All dogs know of all of these signals. When the dog yawns or turns its head to the side, it may lick its nose or back and do something unusual. 

2. Dog Licking

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Licking is another one of Dogs Calming Signals that the dogs often use. Especially the dogs do a lot of licking of their hair around their faces.

When they see dogs of different breeds or colors, the dogs may also do that. They can use this signal as a sigh of showing apprehension or tension, or mere curiosity.

Sometimes it can be nothing more than a quick lick when the tip of the dog’s tongue is merely visible out of their mouth. This happens only for a short second. This is something that the other dogs may see and understand and also respond to it.

This kind of signal is returned with the same kind of signal.

3. Turning away and turning off the head

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The dog may turn their head to one side, or they might turn their head completely over to their side, or turn entirely around. In this kind of position, the dog’s back and tail face the person calling the dog.

This is one of the Dog Claiming Signals you may have noticed in plenty of dogs. When someone approaches the dog in front, then the dog may turn away like the ways mentioned above.

When the dogs see their owners or a person angry, aggressive, or threatening, you may witness slight signal variations. When someone bends over a dog so that you can stroke him, the dog might turn the head away.

If the owners make the training sessions very long or the training sessions are too difficult, the dog will turn his head away.

If the dog is suddenly taken by surprise, it will quickly turn away from that person. If someone is constantly staring at them or acting threateningly, the dog may do the same.

This signal can also help calm the other dog down in some cases. It is a fantastic way to solve and resolve conflicts.

A lot of all dogs can use it. You should allow your dog to do this as these dog calming signals can help them cope and be used as a coping mechanism.

4. Dog Play bow

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When the dog goes down their front legs in a bowing position, this can be indicated as an invitation to play.

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If the dog is also moving their legs from side to side, that is almost like a playful manner, and then also it can be that the dog wants to play with you. Dog’s Calming Signals suggest that they want to or not want to do something.

This type of signal can have double meanings, and it can be used in many different ways. It can even be used in some dangerous situations.

If you notice two dogs approach each other in an abrupt motion or manner, you will see that they go in a play bow.

5. Dog Sniffing

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Sniffing can also be a frequently used and popular signal in dogs. You must have observed this, especially when you take your dog out for a walk or approach the dog.

This also happens in noisy places and unusual settings, and places where the dog can feel curious or intimidated.

Sniffing the ground can also indicate anything from moving the nose down to the ground and then back up again. This can even last for several minutes.

Dogs sniff a lot to enjoy themselves. Dogs use very pre-programmed noses, and sniffing is considered their favorite activity. This technique can often be calming, entirely depending on the situation.

You should pay attention to your dog when you notice your dog sniffing to indicate the reason that could be the cause of this activity and behavior.

6. Dog Walking slowly

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High speed can often be seen as a threatening sign to many dogs, leading them to stop moving altogether and stop the one who is running.

This kind of hunting behavior that any of the lightest runnings can trigger by a human or any other dig or animal.

If you run towards a dog at a fast speed, and the dog stops or walks slow, this can be a defensive mechanism. Sometimes Dog Calming Signals can also tell a lot about the dog’s personality. An insecure dog will move slowly.

If you want to make a dog feel secure and safe, you should move slowly and effortlessly. You should look at your dog the next time you call him. You should study their behavior to understand the cause and effect and the reason behind their slow walk.

Is it your behavior, or is it their personality to behave in such a manner? If you see your dog walking slowly, you should change how you react to the dog.

7. Freezing in dogs

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Freezing indicates that the dog is stopping suddenly and going completely still. This can happen in sitting or lying positions and standing positions.

This behavior is also believed to do something with hunting behavior. For example, if the prey is running, the dog attacks that moment.

If the prey stops, the dog will also stop. You will often see this in the case when the dogs are chasing cats. This behavior can be used in many different situations.

When you get aggressive or if you appear threatening, the dog may often freeze so that you can behave with him in a good and polite manner again.

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The dog might walk slowly, freeze, and move slowly again in some other cases. Many owners think that some of the most obedient dogs can also be completely still.

This can also be an indication of calmness when someone is approaching them. If the dog wishes to stop and move slowly in a situation like that, you must let him. 

8. Dog Sitting Down

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Sitting down can be an even stronger signal to indicate how the dog is feeling. When the dogs sit down with their back turned towards a person, then they are experiencing a very calming effect.

It is often seen when the dog wants to make sure to calm another dog or a person who is approaching them too quickly. Dogs sit down with their backs turned when a person sounds strict or angry.

9. Walking in curve motions

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This walking in curve motions signal is often used as a calming signal.

This signal is often given when the dogs are being forced to react or meet someone or are forced to do something else like walking or eating.

The instincts of the dogs tell them that it could be the wrong thing to do, so they walk in curve motion. The dog could also get anxious or defensive if they behave in such a manner.

You can allow your dog to do when they are with you. Some dogs require large curves while walking, while others need to walk a little curved.

Allow your dog to decide what is right and safe, and then let your dog do it when they feel like it. 

10. Other Dog calming signals

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Other than the dog calming signals discussed, there are many more signals that can occur in dogs.

Some may include smiling, wagging the tail, urinating, laying on the belly on the ground, hugging, pulling the leash, and much more.

Wagging tails is the most common signal when the dog wants to tell the owner that they feel anxious and stressed. This calming signal can also indicate happiness of extreme kind and excitement over something.

This can be used to express happiness, joy, and contentment. A dog that is cowering or crawling to its owner when he is wetting himself or waving his tail shows three major and clear calming signals.

Fear can be a major signal. When the dog lies on its belly, this move has nothing to do with submission, and it can be a calming sign.

There are plenty of more calming signals that can be used with others. For example, a dog might urinate, and at the same time, he might wag his tail. This is a simple sign of calming if the dog is annoyed.

Some dogs can even act like puppies, and they jump around and behave in a silly manner if they feel fearful of a nearby dog.

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