A dog may not be able to verbally tell you that they are uncomfortable in a situation, but actions often speak louder than words. By being aware of the warning signs that dogs are giving, we can reduce the amount of dog bites that occur, saving both human and dog lives.
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The next set of results are just as confusing. Almost seventy-five percent of owners were able to determine whether their dogs had misbehaved, which was significantly more than would have been the result of random guessing. However, it is possible that owners were relying on their dogs' prior behavior to determine whether their dog misbehaved. Each dog had originally been presented with the food prior to the establishment of the social rule, and some of the dogs managed to eat the food before learning the rule. Perhaps, then, the owners were relying not on their dogs' greeting behaviors at all, but on the dogs' prior likelihood of eating the food! After removing those owners (who were aware that their dog had eaten the food before the rule was established) from the analysis, a different result emerged: owners were not successful in determining whether their dogs had misbehaved. They may as well have been guessing randomly.
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One way to differentiate play from aggression is to be aware of the way your dog communicates with other dogs. Dogs use signals designed to show other dogs when an action is being done in play. The is an example of this type of communication. Research by Marc Bekoff found that a dog is more likely to do a play bow — where the dog raises his rear end and drops his front end slightly — just before or after a play move that another dog might interpret as aggressive. The bow signals to the other dog that this is just a game.
Top 25 funny dog signs - Dogtime