What's your first name?

 
Hi {{answer_41826500}}, I'm Boogie. Nice to meet you!

My friends and I are going to ask you a few questions so we can find out how well you really know us dogs. Ready?

 
In which picture below am I trying to tell you I’m feeling stressed? *



 
Well done! While I might yawn when I’m tired, a yawn out of context is a sign I’m not feeling very comfortable with what’s happening, and I want things to calm down, slow down, or to be left alone.

 
Not quite! The correct answer is yawning.
If I play bow, I’m trying to tell you I want to start or continue an interaction. While I might yawn when I’m tired, a yawn out of context is a sign I’m not feeling very comfortable with what’s happening, and I want things to calm down, slow down, or to be left alone.

 
What part of my body tells you that I’m afraid? *

Please choose only one answer from the list below.

 
Correct! If I look like this, I’m frightened! Get me out of here!
Each of those signs individually are also signs of fear (not normal behaviours like yawning in abnormal context).

 
Actually, all responses are correct. While I might show each of these signs in any context, if you see me use all of them together, I’m frightened! Get me out of here!

 
How am I trying to tell you I’m uncomfortable, hyper-alert or insecure and not comfortable with what’s happening? *



 
That's right! While wagging tails don’t always mean a happy dog, the most polite way for us dogs to catch up is to meet on a curve and sniff each other's behinds! I know you find it embarrassing, but we’re trying to be polite in doggy-language.

 
Not quite! While wagging tails don’t always mean a happy dog, the most polite way for us dogs to catch up is to meet on a curve and sniff each other's behinds! I know you find it embarrassing, but we’re trying to be polite in doggy-language.

When I stand straight with my hair raised and ears back it means I’m feeling really uncomfortable and unsure about what’s going on. I might feel at risk in some way, and it’s best if you stop approaching in case I feel I need to protect myself.

 
How do I try to calm play sessions down? *



 
That's right! Watch me carefully when I play with other dogs – you should see one of us break away and sniff the ground for a few seconds every few minutes. This is known as a displacement behaviour or calming signal. 

A displacement sniff is a nice, easy signal to say to another dog or person, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, let’s calm down! If you don’t see any short pauses in our play, you can help us learn to calm down on our own by keeping play sessions short but frequent.

Bowing is a sign that I want to start or continue an interaction.

 
Quite the opposite, actually! If I bow, I’m trying to say - shall we be friends? Bowing is a sign that I want to start or continue an interaction.

Sniffing the ground is an easy way for us to tell you (or another dog) that we're feeling a bit overwhelmed and want to calm down.

If you don’t see any short pauses in our play, you can help us learn to calm down on our own by keeping play sessions short but frequent.

 
Which one of these things WOULDN'T I do if I was uncomfortable about the pats or attention I'm getting? *





 
Not quite! Bowing is the correct answer. Us dogs do lick our lips after eating, and often lift a paw for balance or to shake your hand, but these are also signs we’re feeling unsure and nervous about being petted.

If you want to double check, you can pat me for a few seconds and then see what I do when you stop! If I look at you expectantly, you’ll know I loved it. If I look away, show you some lip licks or paw lifts, or try to walk away, that would mean I’m not so keen on pats right now – maybe try again later.

 
Well done! Us dogs do lick our lips after eating, and often lift a paw for balance or to shake your hand, but these are also signs we’re feeling unsure and nervous about being petted.

If you want to double check, you can pat me for a few seconds and then see what I do when you stop! If I look at you expectantly or lean towards you, you’ll know I loved it. If I look away, show you some lip licks or paw lifts, or even try to walk away, that would mean I’m not so keen on pats right now – maybe try again later.

 
If I growl, I’m trying to tell you that... *

Please choose only one answer.

 
Actually, all responses are correct! A growl can be a sign I’m so scared that I either need to run away or bite to protect myself.

Often I will try to show you lots of other, more subtle signs first that I’m feeling scared and uncomfortable. If you listen to those, you shouldn't hear me growl! These signs include: yawning, lip licking, paw lifts, head turns, cowering, ears back, a freeze, or my hackles being up.

Sometimes I might growl in play. You can tell the difference between a serious growl and a play growl, because the other body language signs will be different. If I’m play growling you might also see: a bow, wagging tail, ears up/ forward, head up, lots of body movement and displacement sniffs to help keep play calm.

 
Nice work! A growl is a sign I’m so scared that I either need to run away or bite to protect myself.

Often I will try to show you lots of other, more subtle signs first that I’m feeling scared and uncomfortable. If you listen to those, you shouldn't hear me growl! These signs include: yawning, lip licking, paw lifts, head turns, cowering, ears back, a freeze, or my hackles being up.

Sometimes I might growl in play. You can tell the difference between a serious growl and a play growl, because the other body language signs will be different. If I’m play growling you might also see: a bow, wagging tail, ears up/ forward, head up, lots of body movement and displacement sniffs to help keep play calm.

 
What should you do if I growl? *


 
Please don't punish me! Punishing a growl will remove my most obvious and valuable warning system – a bit like removing the batteries out of the smoke alarm.

Remember growling is a sign I’m feeling frightened and stressed. It’s always best to give me space if I growl, and avoid approaching or making me feel as if I can’t get away.

Instead, you might find I feel more comfortable and stop growling if you kneel down a few metres away and let me choose to come to you.

 
Please don't keep approaching me if I growl at you. Growling can be a sign I’m feeling frightened and stressed. It’s always best to give me space if I growl, and avoid approaching or making me feel as if I can’t get away.

Instead, you might find I feel more comfortable and stop growling if you kneel down a few metres away and let me choose to come to you.

Punishing a growl will remove my most obvious and valuable warning system – a bit like removing the batteries out of the smoke alarm.

 
Correct! Growling is a sign I’m feeling frightened and stressed. It’s always best to give me space if I growl, and avoid approaching or making me feel as if I can’t get away.

Instead, you might find I feel more comfortable and stop growling if you kneel down a few metres away and let me choose to come to you.

Punishing a growl will remove my most obvious and valuable warning system – a bit like removing the batteries out of the smoke alarm.

 
How do I most enjoy being patted? *


 
Yes please! My chest is the best place for scratching but make sure I approach you first!

 
Please don’t ever pull my tail – you can hurt my spine! Hitting me on top of the head (even for pats) can be scary and make me feel uncomfortable. My chest is the best place for scratching but make sure I approach you first!

 
Hitting me on top of the head (even for pats) can be scary and make me feel uncomfortable. My chest is the best place for scratching but make sure I approach you first!

 
Most dogs don't like hugs, and while your dog might endure hugs from you, it's best not to cuddle dogs like me that you don't know. My chest is the best place for scratching but make sure I approach you first!

 
How do you know I come in peace and trust you? *




 
Great work, keep it up! If I approach you and then completely turn my back to you, I want you to know I come in peace and trust you. I’m feeling calm and comfortable.

If I only turn my head away I’m trying to tell you that I mean no harm. I’m not feeling the most comfortable and want to keep an eye on you in case you’re up to any funny business! Let’s just chill.

If my body is straight with a forward stance and my hackles are up I’m definitely not feeling peaceful or trusting!

 
Close! If I only turn my head away I’m trying to tell you that I mean no harm. I’m not feeling the most comfortable and want to keep an eye on you in case you’re up to any funny business! Let’s just chill.

If I completely turn my back to you, I want you to know I come in peace and trust you. I’m feeling calm and comfortable.

If my body is straight with a forward stance and my hackles are up I’m definitely not feeling peaceful or trusting!

 
Incorrect. If my body is straight with a forward stance and my hackles are up I’m definitely not feeling peaceful or trusting!

If I completely turn my back to you, I want you to know I come in peace and trust you. I’m feeling calm and comfortable.

If I only turn my head away I’m trying to tell you that I mean no harm. I’m not feeling the most comfortable and want to keep an eye on you in case you’re up to any funny business! Let’s just chill.

 
If you see me looking like this tied up outside a shop, you should... *


 
Please don't approach me. I'm very frightened and it's best just to leave me be. My parents will be back to get me soon.

 
Thanks for not approaching me. I'm very frightened and it's best just to leave me be. My parents will be back to get me soon.

 
If I’m walking with my parents on the street, you can pat me if... *


 
Well done. While lots of dogs love being petted by strangers on the street, some can be very scared or unsure about people approaching. Imagine how you would feel if a stranger came up and gave you a hug!

The best thing to do is ask my parents and if they say yes, let ME approach YOU from a few metres away.

 
It's always best to ask first! While lots of dogs love being petted by strangers on the street, some can be very scared or unsure about people approaching. Imagine how you would feel if a stranger came up and gave you a hug!

The best thing to do is ask my parents and if they say yes, let ME approach YOU from a few metres away.

 
Ready for your results, {{answer_41826500}}?


Congratulations! With a score of {{var_score}}/15, you're definitely in touch with what I'm trying to say. Maybe we can hang out some time?
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Well done. With a score of {{var_score}}/15, you know us dogs pretty well but there's always room for improvement!

To learn more about dog behaviour and body language, visit the RSPCA's Lead By Example website at http://www.rspcasa.org.au/the-issues/lead-by-example/
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Uh oh, with a score of only {{var_score}}/15, you've got some work to do before you can understand what I'm trying to say!

To learn more about dog behaviour and body language, visit the RSPCA's Lead By Example website at http://www.rspcasa.org.au/the-issues/lead-by-example/
again
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