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Last week I talked about staff training and how there were three books that are foundational in how we understand and work with the dogs. Last week I talked about ‘Don’t Shoot the Dog’, by Karen Pryor. Today, I want to talk about another remarkable book, 'On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals' by Turid Rugaas, and explore why its wisdom is absolutely vital for our play yard attendants, as well as a valuable read for all dog lovers.

Turid Rugaas is an internationally renowned dog trainer and behaviorist. In 'On Talking Terms with Dogs’, she explains canine communication, particularly the subtle signs and signals dogs use to convey their feelings and intentions.

Rugaas introduces the concept of "calming signals" – a language of gestures and behaviors that dogs use to de-escalate situations, ease tension, and communicate their emotional state. These signals include yawning, lip-licking, turning away, and many more.

Understanding these calming signals is absolutely vital for our play yard attendants as they take care of groups of dogs. These signals serve as a silent, universal language that helps our attendants gauge the emotional state of the dogs in their care. By recognizing these signals, our staff can:

Prevent Conflict: Early recognition of calming signals can avert potential conflicts between dogs, promoting a peaceful and harmonious environment.

Reduce Stress: By identifying signs of stress or anxiety, attendants can take appropriate action to comfort and reassure the dogs, ensuring their emotional well-being.

Improve Social Interactions: Recognizing calming signals allows attendants to facilitate positive interactions and play within the group.

Enhance Safety: Attendants can intervene when necessary to maintain a safe and enjoyable play yard experience for all dogs.

While 'Calming Signals' is an essential guide for our staff, it's also a remarkable read for the general public. Many dog lovers often miss the intricate signals dogs send us. By learning to recognize and respect these signals, we can improve our communication with our furry friends, build stronger bonds, and provide them with a happier, more comfortable life.

At A Walk in the Park, we are dedicated to incorporating the latest knowledge and insights into our practices to offer the best possible care. Our commitment to your dogs' welfare remains unwavering, and we look forward to sharing more exciting developments with you in the future.

If you have any questions or would like further information on this book or our services, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you and your beloved pets.

Warmest paws,

Dirk and the Team at A Walk in the Park

Dirk Broersma