“On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals” by Turid Rugaas

Wag Audio book cover

Written by: Laura

Laura is founder of Easy Peasy Obedience, and works in positive methods based on teamwork and games, and with focus on minimising frustration in the training - for both dog and human.

Published: December 9, 2021

“If you want your dog to respect you, you must also respect your dog.” 

Turid Rugaas

Why did I get this book?

Well, this section is likely not getting any less painful for me so here are my confessions. I got this book because it was the title of May in a book club I’m in. But if I have to make a weak attempt at defending my actions, I also got this book because it has been on my to-read list for a very long time, but I’ve just never come around to actually reading it. It’s been on my to-read list for a few reasons. One being that Turid is awesome, but also because I rarely pass a chance to learn more about languages. Be it Danish, Japanese, English, or dog, there’s always room for improvement.

What does this book do?

This book is a short rundown on what is known as calming signals. Most of which go unnoticed in many households, or go mislabeled as submission to the leader (hooman). Both being sad and somewhat concerning for the well-being of the dog. It’s 90 pages, easy for any reader to digest, and it’s sprinkled with great colour photos to help us understand what the dogs are talking about. Once you’ve made it through it, you will look at your dog with different eyes. You might even want to know more about how you establish that magical two-way communication relationship with your dog (in that case, I can warmly recommend “Canine Communication” by Sally Gutteridge).
The book also devotes a large section to stress. What it is, what it does, and how we can help our dogs to live a life as stress-free as possible. If you’re not a big reader, but want an intro to the language of dogs, this book is a very good place to start.

What does this book not do?

No training. None whatsoever. It is an introduction designed to spur you onto the path of seeking out further knowledge for yourself. So if you want the big, geeky deep dive into canine communications, you will need to look elsewhere. And if you have already looked elsewhere, you might not need this book at all. You might need Sally’s though (hint hint).

Where can I get this book?

This book is a Dogwise publication. This means that you can order it directly from the publisher, but if you live outside of the US, I would recommend going local or Amazon, as int. shipping from Dogwise costs an arm and a leg. It’s a popular publication, so you should be able to find it in pretty much any book store. If not on the shelf, then they can order in for you. The book itself will set you back some $15, but I see it as an investment in the future relationship with your dog.

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