Dog talk? Canis Lupus Familiaris body language

The domestic dog, canis lupus familiaris.  Most people have one, two or more.  But what many people don't understand about dogs, is dogs.  What?  I mean that many people look at their dog through human eyes; which of course is unavoidable.  But what countless people see is human behaviors; instead of what is really going on in terms of dog behavior.  

Dogs throw signals out faster than we can see.  Another dog may have seen all or most body gestures and continue to read.  There are dogs that don't "get" other dogs that well but typically dogs read dogs.  They also read us and we often give all the wrong messages.  Elsa is a master reader; she is hyper sensitive to everything around her.  She is so aware that nothing gets passed her.

Watching Elsa watch is a fascinating thing.  If I see Elsa's neck turn into a giraffe neck, I am given a heads up.  Ears up, alert.  Ears forward, high level of interest.  And that tail, her tail is an entity all on it's own.  Watching dogs is fascinating; if you know what you are watching.  Watching and understanding are two entirely different things.  Seeing the signals and understanding them takes work; you must first, want to see them and next, learn what you are seeing.  Like I said, most humans see dog signals in human terms.  

Anthropomorphism - the attribution of human behavior to an animal.  

ie.  A dog who is left alone, decides to chew up the sofa.   The owner comes home and throws a fit because their beautiful sofa is now destroyed.  When they explain what happened they tell others that their dog was mad that they went out, so they chewed up the sofa as revenge.  Or a dog who pees or poops on the floor when you are gone; may be seen as spite.  Dog is mad that you are gone so pooped on the floor.  There take that, right?  Wrong.  This is anthropomorphism.

Dogs do not do spite and they do not do revenge.  The dog may have chewed the sofa because there was no one supervising or due to anxiety over the fact that you were missing.  They may have pooped on the floor due to anxiety that you were missing.  Dogs respond to anxiety with many different behaviors.  But they are not like us and respond out of spite.

It boggles my mind when I see people who should know dogs but don't.  Veterinarians, vet techs, groomers, breeders, doggie daycare workers etc. etc.  It is really amazing how many people really don't "get" dogs.  

Dogs are quite simple to "get."  Simple in that they don't lie like humans.  They don't put on masks or try to be someone they are not.  Once you learn dog behavior it is only then that you can realize how individual each one is.  Once you get passed the "simple" aspect you can see the depth of complication within each.  They are amazing creatures and definitively worth the time and effort to learn about.