Dr Gary Landsberg debunked some common behaviour myths
in dogs at the AustralianVeterinary Association (AVA) Annual
Conference 25-30 May in Perth.
“It’s important that owners learn to read dog communication
including body language, facial expressions, vocalisations and
conflict behaviours such as lip licking and yawning that indicate
the dog wants to be left alone,” Dr Landsberg said.
One of the behaviour myths that he will be discussing is the
belief that dogs don’t mind being approached when they are
resting or sleeping.
“While some dogs might tolerate and seem to enjoy human
contact when resting, many dogs can become irritable or
aggressive if disturbed while resting.
“Contrary to popular belief, when a dog turns onto its back
to expose the belly it might mean the dog wants to disengage.
“If a pet is sleeping or approached too quickly, they can become
aggressive. This is especially true if the owner tries to move a
dog when resting or sleeping.
“Young children are more vulnerable as they are less able to
read body language or control their approach. In one study,
dog bites of young children were more likely to be from familiar
dogs that were indoors and lying still at the time,” he said.
“A dog should be provided with a safe haven where it’s neither
forced to leave or forced to interact. Consider crate housing, a
closed room or baby gates for the safety of the family
and visitors and for the welfare of the dog.
“When approaching a resting dog, use a soft or upbeat verbal
cue to get the dog’s attention and encourage a desirable outcome
and leave the dog alone if it wants to rest and be on its own.”
Source: Pet Industry News