Diary of a dog trainer: I don’t know about your dog…

So I don’t know about your dog, but my dog gets picked on by huskies a lot. Other breeds are fine with him. Kingsley loves peace and quiet and avoids chaos and conflict at all times. He does love to play rough but if a dog says  “No! Calm down” he does and plays with the dog on his or her level. If another dog isn’t understanding his body language cues when it comes to “please back off! I feel uncomfortable” he tries to run away, however if a dog is bullying him, he will let out a growl to tell him “I mean business. Please stop!”

I wanted to talk about dog body language when they want other dogs to back off.


Dogs tell you when they want you to back away or if they feel threatened. For example, dogs will show behaviours such as looking away, lip licking, avoiding eye contact, moving away, turning head away, rapid eye blinking, yawning, sniffing, stretching, panting (rapid breathing) and licking.


If a dog isn’t getting these signals, then more dramatic “BACK AWAY: signals will be demonstrated by the dog who wants space. The dog will start to  show agonistic pucker (kind of like we do when we get mad), arched back, stiff body language, whale eye, flared whiskers, dilated pupils,   sweaty paws, will start to shake, his tail might be tucked or high up and will growl, bark and even attempt to bite.

If your dog isn’t getting that he needs to back off, as the owner, it is your responsibility to teach your dog to back off. Many unwanted dog fights can be prevented if owners watched and knew what clues to watch for when it comes to body language in dogs.

Let’s all be responsible pet owners and ensure all our dogs have a good time without being picked on.





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