Thoughts to Paws over…

imageIMG_1306IMG_0438Do you ever take note of your pooches ears as you walk?  Strange to say, but your dogs ears aren’t just listening, they are talking too!    The position of your pooches ears, truly is a great indicator of how they are feeling!  There are three types of positions to note with your dogs ears, Relaxed, Attentive and Alert.  When your dog is relaxed, his ears will be in a neutral position, meaning, they are not pasted to his head, pricked upwards or drooped down!  No matter what kind of dog, pure bred or mutt, if your canine friend is relaxed, those ears should be resting easy.  Most days, Lucas’ ears are loose and happy!  I love it when he is enjoying himself when we are out and about.  Those happy go lucky ears tell me he is enjoying himself.   Those ears can change in an instance though, not that your dog  isn’t still over joyed to be out strolling.  For example, Mattie and I were out today and she was having a marvelous time, we turned off the main drag and there was some men doing road work,  her ears went from a relaxed position into what would be labelled as Attentive ears.  She was processing the information as she was suddenly feeling unsure,  her tail went straight up in the air and she shut her mouth, she was on high alert.   Paying attention to what your dogs ears are saying as well as other dogs that you encounter while  you are out can help you determine whether your dog is in a good frame of mind to meet others.  One of the young men thought he would like to give her a pet, I knew that Mattie’s body language was saying it wasn’t a good idea, she was too nervous and was liable to nip.  When your dogs ears change they can be trying to tell us that they are feeling a bit concerned and making an effort to figure things out.   Mattie was attempting to decide how she felt about the current situation as there was noisy equipment and men in bright coloured clothing.   Her ears had underwent yet another change of positioning, they were now  pricked in an upwards position and became pinned to the side of her head, these are called Alert ears.  For example. if there is a weather event like high winds or rain, Lucas’ ears will be extremely taut and pinned tight  to his skull, his body will become hunched, and stiff. This is usually a sign that he is feeling rather stressed.  Another indicator that I will look to,  is his tail, which will slink low between his legs and his shoulders will turn inwards.  In some ways he looks sheepish or meek.   When this happens, I know my poor boy is having a tough time and it isn’t a good idea to have other dogs get in his space and I respect that he is feeling unsure.  The next time you are out and about, take note of how your dog’s ears react to noise and other goings on in their environment, unbeknownst to you, they are having a conversation with you!    Watching the positioning of your canine friend’s ears can speak volumes if you are just willing to pay attention!

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