Naughty or misunderstood?

A play date, nice. 
Yogi's Mom grabbed his harness; preparing him to leave, when Elsa kicked into action.  "Oh no, you aren't leaving" Elsa's body language said.  She knew exactly what the harness meant and she was not okay with him leaving.  She did her cat routine; wrapping her body around Yogi's, enticing him to stay.  I had to smile, she is so freaking smart. 

That said, if I didn't see and understand what she was doing, I might think that she was just being annoying and in the way.  A common issue with canines and humans.  Dogs are so much smarter than humans think they are; because we lack the ability to understand their minute communications.  Dogs are in a constant state of communicating; but we tend to miss much of it.  "Did you see that?" Is a question I am often asking canine guardians.  Do you see the things that your dog says? 

As a watcher and canine behavior specialist, I see a lot of canine communications.  But as a human I still miss much of what is said.  Canines communicate at lightning speed; they are masters of body language; which tends to leave us mere humans at a loss much of the time.  We look at our dogs and shrug, not knowing what the heck they are doing. 

Their movements are slight but their communications clear; that is if you are paying attention and understand.  From the outside looking in we become confused and misread intention.  Learning about dogs and how they communicate takes time, patience and desire.  Humans tend to slap a leash on and go, knowing little about what our dogs are saying or how they say it. 

There are so many different levels of canine communication.  From the tiniest eye movement all the way up to the full blown big displays.  A simple movement holds a plethora of information with regards to canine communication.  We can read body language, both in dogs and humans.  But, as humans we tend to rely on verbal communications and have lost much of our ability to see.  Even when it comes to communicating verbally for us, there is a lack of it and understanding the small things said.  We are inferior in the communication department compared to our canine companions.

When we communicate with other humans; there is often a misunderstanding, a mix message issue between two.  That lack of communication ability is even more prominent when we communicate with our dogs.  Learning all you can about your dog and how they communicate may let you better understand them as a whole.  But you must watch, see and hear.