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  • Writer's pictureJen Smith

pet behavior and training with the fear free method: understanding your dog's body language

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Pets are a critical part of our lives and grasping their behavior and training them appropriately is of utmost importance. When it comes to pet training, fear and stress can greatly impact their behavior, which is where the Fear Free method comes into play - a technique that strives to annihilate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets during veterinary visits and training sessions.

The Fear Free method puts the spotlight on our pet's body language, and understanding it can give us a better insight into their emotional state, allowing us to respond in the most suitable way possible. A dog's body language is a puzzle that can tell us if they are happy, relaxed, stressed, or anxious. Ignoring these signs can lead to increased stress and discomfort, making it imperative to pay close attention to our pet's cues.

One of the most significant indicators of stress in dogs is the "whale eye." This is when a dog's eye becomes larger and more prominent, signaling that they feel threatened or stressed. This body language can be a warning sign that the dog is in a state of unease and that they may lash out if their stress levels continue to escalate.

Another aspect of body language that we must be aware of is the wagging tail. Although a wagging tail is commonly associated with playfulness, it can also indicate negative body posture. If a dog's tail is wagging low and fast, it can signify fear or stress, while if it's wagging high and slowly, it may mean that they are confident and playful.


  • Training Treats: Low calorie treats are great for reinforcing positive behavior.

  • Training Clicker: A training clicker can be used to mark when a pet has performed the desired behavior and can be used in conjunction with treats.

  • Treat Pouch: A treat pouch that can clip on to your waist will provide quick access to the yummy treats.

  • Puzzle Toys: While you may not think of a puzzle toy as a tool to use during training, the mental stimulation they provide can help reduce behavioral problems, and reduce energy before a training session.

Investing in these products can go a long way in making training sessions more enjoyable for both the pet and the trainer. With the right tools, training pets can be an enjoyable experience, and increase the bond between pet and owner.

In conclusion, the Fear Free method is a great way to comprehend pet behavior and train them without causing undue stress and anxiety. By closely observing our pet's body language, we can unlock the secrets of their emotions and respond accordingly. Understanding the "whale eye" and the wagging tail are just a few of the many ways to decipher our pet's behavior and ensure that they are relaxed and comfortable during training sessions.

Embracing the Fear Free method into your pet behavior and training routine can lead to a more joyful, healthier, and stress-free pet. The next time you're training your pet, pay close attention to their body language and keep the Fear Free method in mind for a burst of positive results!


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