Deaf Dog Education Action Fund

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Dogspeak: How To Understand Your Dog And Help Him Understand You

Edited by Matthew Hoffman

This book is a wonderful resource, full of photos, descriptions and gives a wealth of information about how dogs communicate. The information is presented in a positive but unsentimental manner. Many experienced dog owners, trainers and veterinarians contributed their expertise to Dogspeak giving a broad range of perspectives. The book has over 170 colour photos and illustrations so you can see exactly what to look for. This book is easy to read and even viewing just the photos will help you to better understand your dog.

Part One of Dogspeak discusses general principle of canine communication; Part Two describes and discusses audible communication; Part Three discusses canine body language and how to recognize key signals sent by posture, facial expression, eyes, ears and tails. The differences between breeds with different ear sets (upright or floppy), tail sets (curved over back, docked or hanging low) and facial characteristics (long hair over face, "bull-dog" type faces) are illustrated with photos clearly showing examples of each type.

Part Four talks about how human/dog and dog/dog communication works and how problems can arise. The final section, Part Five is a series of chapters that give examples of communicating with hand signals, touch, scent, sound and several training methods for each mode.

Deaf dogs are specifically mentioned several times but deafness is not covered in any depth. However, deaf dogs are given the same respect as hearing dogs, with mention made of how deafness does not materially affect communication for a dog, as the hearing component is only a small part of how dogs communicate.

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