Appeasement & Avoidance Signals

Avoidance and calming signals are designed to do what they are called; they have evolved to avoid conflict or minimise damage once the conflict has started. They are ritualised behaviours practiced from day one, and dogs who do not learn them have serious communication issues. In the snake example, Havana is avoiding eye contact because she wants to AVOID the snake, not calm it! The same thing can be observed in the video with the unfamiliar dog in the kitchen; the Labrador mix is trying to avoid conflict by giving all kinds of signals, can you spot them?

A note on shaking. Dogs get emotionally charged when a conflict is about to occur or has occurred. You know their emotional state is back to normal once they have literally shaken it off. In the last video notice how Havana does not want the newcomer near her crate. You can see her emotional state increasing when she wags the tip of her tail. The little one want to avoid this, so he turns eye, head, and body. Then he shakes it off. A few seconds after so does Havana. This means the conflict is over and the emotions associated with the crate issue are back to normal. Yes, in that short amount of time!

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More Appeasement & Avoidance Signals

A nice little video of a seven month-old Pit Bull X Boxer X Bullmastiff puppy displaying a variety of appeasement and avoidance signals. In the first segment, or pre-pounce, Albear wants to avoid any possible conflict with me and the camera. He gives seventeen avoidance signals in twenty-one seconds, many of which are given more than once. Albear’s emotional state is increasing and wants the camera to go away; unfortunately, I purposefully ignore the signals.

Albear exhibits appeasement signals in the post-pounce segment because I am still there. He gives fourteen signals in six seconds and ends the conflict by totally disengaging emotionally. The video is filled with non-verbal signals designed to communicate his state of mind; therefore, our responsibility is to recognise and respond to these behaviours and make our dogs feel good.

Albear et Topaz démontrent tous les deux des signaux d'apaisement et d'évitement mais Albear ne respecte pas l'espace de Topaz (vidéo de gauche). Après une très longue période d'évitement Topaz discipline Albear. Le maître de Topaz intervien très calmement en surprenant son chien par une prise de collier. Le tout cesse et les deux chiens connaissent maintenant les limites de l'autre.