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My puppy, (Pal), is nearing 8 months old, now. I've had other dogs, but this is my first shep. Quite a bit different than other dogs. Lately, the past couple of months I have noticed that he will give me a yawn when we are relating, (I talk to him a good bit, too. But, no...I don't think I am that boring...). When he does this yawn, he is definately not sleepy. He will look at me, then look away and give the yawn, then look back. It means something, but I don't know what. We are both pretty closely attached to each other and where I go, he goes.

My question for the shep experts: What does the yawn mean in shepherd language? I would like to know what is Pal telling me.
 

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Quote:He will look at me, then look away and give the yawn, then look back
In Dog Language (same for GSDs, Goldens, and even mixes
) looking away and yawning both are calming signals.


Go read this article for some basic info on dog language and calming signals.
Calming Signals

There are many books available on this subject also. Turid Rugaas is a noted author in this field.
 

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I hope you do not read my previous post as your dog being completly stressed out that you are looking at him.

He may be a little uncomfortable if he feels that you are looking too long at him, or you are looking at him without blinking, or maybe it is the position you are in such as standing over him and not sitting on his level.

All dogs are individuals on this level also. It may be your dog is just more uncomfortable with a look longer than a glance. You may have to start with a glance and slowly work your way up. If he turns away or yawns than you know you need to back up just a bit. Some dogs are harder than others to train the "look at me". (That is why the look at me command is taught with lots of treats.)

They are just not sure what you are trying to tell them. While we enjoy sitting and watching our dog and gazing into their beautiful brown eyes and think our love is pouring out to them, they may be sitting there wondering, "Gosh what rule of the pack did I break?" So the dog looks away, then back, and sees you are still looking so he offers a yawn. By this he is just asking for reassurance from you that all is well between the two of you. Give him a big yawn back or look away for a second and he will understand in dog language that you are still fine with each other.
 

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Great analysis by TJ.

A great way to break that stress is often with physical exercise or play. When my dogs start doing that yawn thing, it usually means 'I've had enough of this." That signals to me that it's time to break out the ball and head into the backyard, go for a walk to the park, or at least, bounce a Cuz off the walls for a while -- for some stress-relieving FUN!
 

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TJ and friends,

Thank you for your replies. TJ, that is a very interesting link you sent. I read it and bookmarked it to delve into the rest of Terry Ryan's interesting writings. Very insightful.

After reading the article, I now realize that Pal is excited or possibly anxious and trying to calm himself down. I will start yawning and not looking at him quite so directly. He does make wonderful eye contact which I like and enjoy and shows he is communicating directly.

I now realize that I am now in the same jungle as Diane Fossey with her gorillas! I also realize there is a lot I don't know...
 

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i think it means he's bored with you or stressed out. listen i'm by far no expert. that's just my opinon. do something with him. something fun for the two of you. maybe he's bored for that moment of time maybe he's just tired. i bet you in the long run he's going to be fine and the two of you are going to have that perfect Shepherd, human relationship. don't worry about it. you're going to be fine and so is your Shep. beleive me i worried about everything. if he didn't go to bathroom when i had him out i thought he was upset with me. if he slept on my GF side of the bed i thought he was bonding more with my GF than me. you name the situation and i thought he didn't like me no matter what the situation. they love us as we do them.
 

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Originally Posted By: doggiedad...... listen i'm by far no expert.
Originally Posted By: ILGHAUS
Quote:He will look at me, then look away and give the yawn, then look back
In Dog Language (same for GSDs, Goldens, and even mixes
) looking away and yawning both are calming signals.


Go read this article for some basic info on dog language and calming signals.
Calming Signals

There are many books available on this subject also. Turid Rugaas is a noted author in this field.
Doggiedad, I have read a lot of your posts and they are very encouraging and have some really good ideas but if you access and read the links provided by ILGHAUS you will find a lot of information to add to your knowledge. All the best.
 
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