Have you ever heard of calming signals in dogs? In the 1980’s, Turid Rugaas, a dog trainer living in Norway, wished to change the way dogs were taught obedience.
So she started giving classes on obedience training and focused on the communication between the dogs. With the help of a colleague, she focused on creating a set of guidelines explaining the different calming signals that dogs use to communicate between them.
Nineteen ninety two is the year that she came to Canada for an important conference that many dog trainers from throughout North America were also attending. Several of them expressed their interest in the project and were eager to learn more about it. The theory of calming signals is hence introduced in Canada in the 90’s and is taught in the fields of: animal health, veterinary medicine and some dog training schools.
Unfortunately, today there is still a large number of dog trainers who do not have any knowledge on dogs’ calming signals. Therefore, allow me to explain what they are, what are they for mostly, how to use them in your daily life with your dog.
Catherine Gouillard, BSc Biology
Certified Animal Behaviour specialist