I just read On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals. Its core is a list of about thirty different signs that dogs do when trying to calm themselves or each other dog. Some of which make sense in retrospect, like not walking straight at a dog if you don’t wan tto make it nervous (arc around it instead), but some of which I never would have realized (yawning, licking your nose).

Apparently the signals work on dogs when humans do them, too. (At least some of them; it’s kind of hard for humans to lick their noses.) Which is the main reason I got the book: Yosha was barking quite a lot a few months ago (he’s gotten somewhat better recently, mercifully), and I’m willing to try things to calm him down. I’ll be quite impressed if the techniques work on him, though: he is quite the bundle of nerves.

Even if they don’t, though, it’s an interesting way to look at dog behavior. If nothing else, I’ll spend the next few weeks paying more attention to when my dogs lick their noses.

(Not available from Amazon, for some reason, but you can get it here.)

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