From Santa’s Surprise Stocking: Puppy Language Decoders!

Wouldn’t that be awesome? To come downstairs on Christmas morning and find the newest tech sensation gadget, a shiny new Doggie Decoder 3.0! While a doggie decoder doesn’t exist-YET- we have the next best thing…the Doggie Body Language module on Habibi U. 

Reading your puppy’s body language is a wonderful skill to have when schedules or circumstances are altered and we need to keep in tune with how well puppy is rolling, or struggling with, the change. In our blog post TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO SPEAK DOG,  we list the many body signals given by your dog if they are uncomfortable or unsure. 

Here they are again, just for review: 

  • Stiff body
  • Ears low and/or back 
  • Half moon or “whale” eyed
  • Tense, closed mouth
  • Moving or furrowed eyebrows
  • Turning away with head 
  • Panting, licking, yawning or scratching. 

Any or perhaps all of these movements or behaviors are indicating that puppy is in need of a little rest and relaxation, perhaps in their own puppy condo. Just like toddlers, puppies are in need of decompression when their brand new little brains get overloaded with sensory stimuli. And boy oh boy! For puppies facing their first Christmas, there’s so many new smells, things to chew, new people and/or lots of commotion. 
Not all puppies respond with anxiety. Some puppies will try to manage their overstimulation with a rollicking “zoomie” session. Some zoomies are displays of pure joy, and fun to watch. But others may be an indicator of an inability to settle down. How can we tell between a stress zoomie and a happy zoomie? One major indicator is puppy developing temporary deafness, or “I-can’t-hear-you-calling-me-Mom” as they zip in madness around the yard or room. Puppies in this state also are extra nippy, mouthy, or “bitey” or get the “chompies” as we call them, clattering their teeth together in an excited fashion. Try this simple test: if you can manage to get puppy to come to you, ask for a “sit.”  If they can’t maintain a “sit” for a second or two, they are in need of a little private cocktail hour in their doggy condo. Break out a favorite chew toy and put them inside for a very short amount of time, as little as ten minutes should be fine. When they come out, you can also try attaching their leash to their collar to keep them calm and grounded.  

Make sure all of your guests are aware of your training protocol “Ignore the Puppy.” It is a perfect opportunity for enhanced training and socialization, for both you and puppy. We can hone puppy’s skills in being in a calm state and sitting nicely before any interaction with guests in our home. And don’t forget the training treats to reward your little super pup for a job well done! Your puppy will surely be on Santa’s Good Kid list if we help them along with making every day and everyday things a teachable training moment. It is our sincere wish, that every one of you in our Habibi Bear Tribe families, has a wonderful and magical Holiday season. Thank you for making and sharing our passion for dogs a dream come true.