Learn to read your dog's body language

How should you approach a dog? Just ask them!

Dogs tell us a lot with their body language—we just don’t always understand them. Learning to recognize signs of stress or anxiety in our pets helps us make good choices about how we respond.  

Accurately reading a dog’s body language can make the difference between safe, positive interactions and potentially serious injury. 

If you own, foster, or work with dogs, this course is for you.

Dog Reading is a quick but essential online program designed to fast-track your understanding of dog body language and improve your handling skills.  

It was designed as an animal behavior training program for employees of a large shelter. In the years since, it has been used by rescue groups to educate foster homes and reduce stress in rescue dogs.  

How it works

There’s a lot to learn, but it only takes an hour!  In just 45-60 minutes, this course will teach you the essential skills you need to understand what dogs are “saying” and how to respond. 

My educational but fun video includes photos of real dogs in a wide variety of emotional states. Captions and clear narration guide your learning. Handouts are included for note-taking and to jog your memory if you need a quick reference later on.  

There’s no test, but one interactive activity asks you to point out your own observations of dogs’ expressions—after you’ve learned how to do it, of course! 

Become an expert, help your dogs succeed, and educate your family members or coworkers at shelters and rescue groups. After taking this course, you’ll look at dogs from a place of confidence and deep understanding. 

Total Cost for Lifetime Access: $30

What You’ll Learn: 

  • How to recognize signs of stress or overwhelm in dogs 
  • Danger signs that come before a bite—and why they are a good thing! 
  • Environmental clues to help you understand what your dog is telling you 
  • What to do next if a dog displays aggressive behavior toward you or other pets

Want to keep learning? Our Online Dog Reading Course is a great first step toward moving Beyond Basic Manners.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Dog Reading Course cost?

Lifetime access to the Dog Reading Course is available for a one-time fee of $30. 

How long is the course? Is there a test?

The Dog Reading Course is a 45-minute video. When you sign up, you’ll receive a link you can use to watch the video as many times as you like. You can also share it with family members or other volunteers and take the course together. In addition to the video, you’ll receive handouts you can use later as a refresher. The course takes approximately one hour to complete from start to finish. There is an interactive portion to get you practicing, but there’s no test. 

Why should I learn to read dogs?

We developed the Dog Reading Course as part of an animal behavior training course for employees at a large, open-intake animal shelter. The staff learned to quickly observe body language and respond appropriately, keeping themselves and the dogs safe. 

This course has also been used by rescue groups to train their foster families to quickly reduce stress in rescue dogs. A quick assessment of a dog’s stress level is the first step to restoring everyone’s comfort and lays the groundwork for effective training. 

Who is this course for?

Knowledge of dog body language is essential for foster families, households with children, shelter or rescue volunteers, and anyone who wants to safely handle dogs. In short: this course is for everyone!