Calming Signals

Click here for a video describing calming signals.

Nanci Creedon, who made the video, is Irish, so you may hear her say what sounds like 'camming' but she is saying 'calming'.

Calming signals, also known as social signals, appeasement signals or conflict signals, are the language dogs use in various way to communicate.  The reason I would like you to start looking for your dog's language is to start to become more aware about what sorts of things start him/her feeling stressed. This info will help in building a strategy for helping him/her manage better.  There will be other pieces of information as well that we will consider, but for now just start to observe your pet's signaling - what was going on, what signals did s/he use.  And, when you start to recognize them, consider changing what you are doing or what is going on when you see them.  For example, if you are touching him/her somewhere and s/he flicks his/her tongue, just change what you are doing - stop and/or move to a different part of his/her body - without making any big deal of it - just quietly observe, and respond to what you notice.

If you are interested in learning more about calming signals, the woman who first identified this is Turid Rugaas, and her book is called On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals.  Read more.