On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals
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On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  725 ratings  ·  62 reviews
One of our all time best selling books is now in its second edition with three additional chapters, color photos and descriptive captions. Turid Rugaas is a noted expert on canine body language, notably "calming signals" which are signals dogs give to other dogs and humans to denote stress and to attempt defuse situations that otherwise might result in fights or aggression...more
Paperback, 78 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Dogwise Publishing (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Lauren
Wow! Turid Rugaas brings a whole new perspective to dog rehabilitation. This is a must-read for EVERY dog owner. I purchased this book along with the DVD. The DVD sure helps Turid solidify her points. I have an "ambassador" dog much like Turid's that helps me rehab the rescue dogs I foster. Much of what he does she talks about in this book, and here I was thinking I was crazy (well, that's what people tell me, anyway.) If you do rescue work, you are doing a disservice to the dogs you foster (and...more
Amelia
Short and sweet, this booklet should be required reading for anyone who interacts with dogs (that's a lot of people). A big paradigm shift occurs when you start noticing the many, many times that your dog says "that makes me feel uncomfortable" or "could you please stop doing that". It's a shift away from "don't worry, he's fine" to "hey there buddy, are you okay"? We expect an awful lot of dogs, but aren't the best at listening to them and respecting their actual needs.

Though the content is ve...more
Margarat
Jan 27, 2013 Margarat rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: dogs
Everyone should read this book. Whether you own a dog or not, in our culture today you interact with them in either case. Having everyone learn dog calming signals would go a long way toward solving the problems that arise from people completely misunderstanding dogs, in particular reducing stress that leads to bites (which usually lead to the punishment or death of the dog). Turid Rugaas offers truly groundbreaking information and allows us a window on dog social behavior as well as the epiphan...more
Lisagarden
I found this book so helpful for my "reactive dog". Instead of barking constantly she slowly began to look to me more to "check in"& I was able to tap into my canine self and communicate. Fun -especially when using the "yawn" technique. Try it out! Author has a good online site with basic info. I got the DVD which is helpful. Now I look for cues & have a new way to observe & interact with dogs. Woof! There is an interesting explination about Pitbulls, how the common language of dog c...more
Sara
This is a very informative little book. Turid Rugaas really knows dogs and what their bodies are telling us and other dogs. I highly recommend this to anyone who owns a dog, or who is around dogs. It really opened my eyes to some behaviors that I've noticed but never gone the next step to understand what they really mean.
Adding her other books to my list!!
Nicholas
Clever and insightful book on the body language of dogs and the subtle signals they send to each other. I have an Aussie mix who's sensitive to loud noises, including raised voices, and a Husky mix that is leash aggressive. In both cases, I can see the anxiety in their behavior when thrust into situations they do not like. Unfortunately, those situations are unavoidable and I picked up this book to try and help soothe their distress and help them live longer more relaxed lives.

Rugaas has a lifet...more
Gwen Nicodemus
Our leader talked about calm signals, stressed signals, and calming signals from dogs. I wanted this magical information to sink in more, so I did some searching and found On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals.

My biggest problem with the book is that it's Topaz at Amazon and I couldn't crack the DRM. I almost returned it. I have a general rule of returning any books I can't crack the DRM on. If I pay ten bucks for a book, I should be able to read it on my nook, ipad, phone, sony, computer,...more
Brenda
Turrid Rugaas is very insightful!

This book can be a lifesaver, it definitely helped me better understand a dog's simple body language I would often take in as non significant. It is a must read for anyone who is getting a dog, has one already our works with dogs, it will definitely make a difference in how you interact with dogs, in a much more appreciative way of their calming signals.
Adam Frizzell
A great read for what it is (at 78 pages, I'll call it a "booklet"). The author does a great job at highlighting the various body language cues our dogs convey to other dogs and even us. The author invites the reader to understand these signals and "let your dog know you understand." Looking forward to watching my dog and having a better understanding of what she is feeling.
Kelly
I finished this book in one night, as I found it very accessible and enlightening. I haven't tried out the calming techniques much on Stotinki yet, so I only gave this book four stars. I am jazzed to connect more deeply with my dog and hopefully, minimize her stress and anxiety. Maybe one day we can even play peacefully at the dog park.
Cherise
While this book is not a dog training book , it takes an entirely different approach to communicating with dog's than say Ceasar Millan's philosophy . However They both recognize the importance of humans needing to learn the body language and facial expressions of their canine companions .
This is more of a human training book on how to have non verbal conversations with the dogs you encounter .

I'm excited to try the techniques demonstrated in this short book and see if I notice any difference...more
Babble
A short snappy book that makes a lasting impression; we're not communicating very well with our puppies, not at all. We don't understand their language or even notice they're speaking, and we don't even try to read their signals. Our dogs are speaking to us all the time, letting us know when they are overwhelmed or uncomfortable, trying to keep us calm - showing us how to have polite dog / human interactions.

People as the dominant species we are, seem to think everything should speak our langua...more
LizG
This book offers great insight into reading canine body language. I'd never heard of "calming signals" before or noticed them for what they are, until I read this book. Excellent information and another valuable piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding dog behaviour.
Caralee
The premise of this book is that dogs use certain body language to calm themselves, other dogs, and their owners down in periods of high stress. After reading this book, I found some of the information valuable. I've watched my dog at times I could tell she was stressed and lo and behold, there were calming signals. Unfortunately, what I wanted was to learn some calming signals to convey to her when I know she's scared or stressed. The book offers suggestions, but does not make it clear how the...more
Tim Carter
The shelf "read" is a bit exaggerative for this book, as there isn't that much to read. But that isn't the purpose of a book on calming signals, the purpose is to show them, and this the book does well (and I actively recommend it on our site for this purpose).
However, I can't give it 5 stars because it's missing a LOT of info, not least on calming signals that we humans can use towards dogs, and about the fact that calming signals are just a subset of Sedatives - many of which are not a signal...more
Tanya
Aug 15, 2011 Tanya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All dog owners.
Recommended to Tanya by: Wagmore Canine Enrichment, Lawrence, KS
An illuminating look into how dogs communicate with one another. A quick read with great photographs, canine trainer/behaviorist Turid Rugaas explains canine body language and teaches you how to observe a dog's movements and reactions as a predictor for subsequent behavior. In this particular volume the reader learns that tail wagging isn't always friendly, depending on what the rest of the body is doing. The reader also learns about what it means means when a dog turns his head or licks his lip...more
Daniel
This book changed my outlook on communicating with dogs and confirmed something I always had a suspicion of. This was a wonderful, short book on how to understand dogs in such a way that you can have a real relationship with them. There is no excuse for scaring a dog, or being aggressive or threatening towards it. Owning a dog is not a leader-slave relationship, it is a parent-dog relationship. Learn how to be a supportive, friendly parent to your dog, not an overbearing ruler. By learning what...more
Madhulika
Dogs are unbelievably gentle and calm in reality. To be a dog, completely under the power of a human means a privilege for the human. It is truly lovely to start to read dog signals and in turn give signals to the dog, as my niece Meghna (who arrived 10 days ago) has shown with such success. Roshni and I employ them too, (mostly needed with each other, pup and dog that we are!)
This book is an eye-opener. Anyway, anyone having anything to do with dogs (or animals), must read.
Katina
Quick and easy. Also totally forgot that I read this back in 2004 when I was volunteering for HSBV
Tanya
In this very short and highly readable book I learned so much about the physical signals dogs give us and each other to diffuse potentially stressful situations. I can't wait to observe my dog to see how she communicates in various situations. It's such a relief to see how far our relationships with dogs have come now that the philosophy of dominance training has been thoroughly debunked. I highly recommend this to all dog owners.
Crystal
I am currently in school with the eventual invention of training service or therapy dogs. We watched Turid's video from the 1990's and I really enjoyed it, so I picked up this book. I like her writing style and the way that she works with dogs (all positive reinforcement), which she has done for many many years. For a beginner, this would be a perfect book to help you understand the language of dogs. I highly recommend it.
Abby
Essential reading for anyone who loves and/or lives with a dog. Norwegian trainer Turid Rugaas' simple but clear explanation of the many "calming signals" that dogs offer us (and other dogs) will transform your relationship with your dog. Deeply reinforcing and helpful. I plan to return to this tiny book many times, just as a reminder to keep gentleness, observation, and respect at the heart of my relationship with my dog.
Cwalsen
This very short book offers an introduction to understanding communication in dogs. One caveat is that it is important not to overanalyze your dog's behavior - when your dog turns his head,he may just be interested in something on the far side of the room, not trying to communicate with you. But the information in this book is useful when taken with a small grain of salt.
Liz S.
Amazing insight! After reading this book I found myself noticing all the signals dogs send on a regular basis. I am beginning to understand their language. I think everyone whose family includes a do or who is thinking of bringing a dog into their family should read this book. Thank you Turid Rugaas for taking the time to share your amazing knowledge!
AnnieM
This is a great book that gives excellent insight into how dogs deal with stress. I now feel like I can read and interpret my dog's behavior. It is a short book that is easy to understand and filled with pictures and examples demonstrating the expressions and how to let the dog be themselves. I highly recommend it to every dog owner.
Judy
It's neat to be able to read my dogs' signals -- turning the head, the yawn, the play bow, etc -- each is a way for dogs to communicate -- being able to "understand" my dogs when they communicate with their bodies is so helpful. I found this book to be much more helpful than Myrna Milani's "The Body Language and Emotion of Dogs."
Jodi
If more dog-owners would read books like this one, which is a quick read and easy to understand, less conflicts and misunderstandings would result in less dogs being turned into shelters. Learning to read when your animals are stressed and how to alleviate those fears/stresses are so important to being a good owner.
Julie Stoops
This book should be read by everyone who spends any time with dogs. It explains several aspects of canine body language that we can both read and use ourselves to better communicate with the dogs in our lives, resolving and/or avoiding problems that may arise from miscommunication.
Jessica
This is a fabulous book. Anyone with a dog, or who knows someone with a dog, needs this book. I had flipped through it ages ago when I first found it. Then I lent it out and never got it back. This time I got the newer edition with the color photos, and it's amazing!
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Turid Rugaas is an internationally renowned trainer and writer who has devoted her life to dogs, their behavior and their well-being.

The Norwegian dog trainer has worked with dogs for many years and studied the body language of dogs for more than a decade. After a project where Turid and a colleague observed dogs carefully, recording their behaviour on video and in photographs, she became well-kno...more
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