Natural methods of training use activities that are more natural for dogs to solve behavioural problems. Natural methods [10] of training use simple tools like Nosework, activating the cerebral cortex of a dog via his natural curiosity and using his natural social skills to develop in neural networks. Natural methods of training focus a lot on understanding dog communication and being able to communicate back with the dog. Towards this end, Rugass observed and documented several signals that the dogs use as part of their repertoire. She called these Calming Signals. Rugaas has helped mentor several projects that help understand dogs better in their natural environment.

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The dogs have about 30 calming signals, perhaps even more. It varies from dog to dog. Prince is punished for using his calming signals to calm dad. There are about 30 different calming signals, so even when many dogs will yawn, other dogs may use another calming signal. All dog knows all the signals. The signals are international and universal.

A dog from Japan would be understood by an elkhound who lives in an isolated valley in Norway. They will have no communication problems! Licking Licking is another signal that is used often. But other dogs see it, understand it and respond to it.

Any signal is always returned with a signal. When you bend over a dog to stroke him, he will turn his head away from you. When you make your training sessions too long or too difficult, he will turn his head away from you. When the dog is taken by surprise or take someone by surprise, he will turn away quickly. The same happens when someone is staring or acting in a threatening way. In most cases, this signal will make the other dog calm down.

In the end he would dare to approach the others. Is someone approaching you on the pavement? Did he drop the nose down toward the ground, even slightly? Did he turn his side to the one approaching and sniff the side of the road? So pay attention to when and in which situations the sniffing occur!

Sniffing the ground is a frequently used signal. This is partly a hunting behavior and is triggered by the sight of a running human or dog. A dog who is insecure will move slowly.

Is your dog coming very slowly when you call him? That may be enough for him to want to calm you down by walking slowly. Take a look at your dog the next time you call him. Does he give you any calming signals when coming? If he moves slowly, you may need to do something different in the way you act.

We can often see this when dogs are chasing cats. Very often a dog will stop and remain calm when someone is approaching. If your dog wants to stop or move slowly in a situation like that, then let him. Dogs may sit down with their backs turned against the owner when he or she sounds too strict or angry. And we get a dog who is barking and lunging at other dogs, and eventually we have an aggressive dog.

Let the dog walk in a curve around a meeting dog! If you keep the leash loose and let the dog decide, you will often see that the dog chooses to walk away instead of getting hysterical. The more anxious or aggressive the dog is, the wider you make the curve. There are around 30 of them, and many have yet to be described. Urinating on himself. For instance, a dog may urinate at the same time as he is turning his back to something.

Prince sits down, and looks away by turning his head far to one side. Start observing and you will see for yourself. It is incredibly exciting, as well as educational.

If you want to learn more about calming signals I recommend you to look at this: DVD about calming signals. My bestseller: book about calming signals. Translated to more than 25 languages! An illustrated conference on canine communication.


Turid Rugaas






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