Sunday, August 02, 2009

Dogs Can Sign Too!

Horses and dogs have been learning to sign in increasing numbers, and when they learn to communicate better, they run with it!

These last few months have been very busy for the center.

*CSUMB in Ca. has hosted classes in AnimalSigning for Canine Wellness, and will be having me teach Canine Biology and Behavior, and The Emotional and Communicative Lives of Dogs in the Fall, 2009.

*Signing Socials in Carmel, Ca. have started where signers come to share stories about their pets communications, and I help them move past challenges.

For dogs: Random House will be releasing the new book with 25 signs for dogs. The book is Dogs Can Sign, Too!

For horses: Storey Press will release EquineSign (with 40 signs for horses) in the fall of 2010.

Development and Research:

In the last years, I have been refining alternative forms of communication to expand signing to fit all dog preferences. Most dogs love to sign (esp. the first 10 signs), since they gesture naturally, but others want additional choices too. I've developed alternative special methods (specialized signs, pointing/targeting to communicate, which I teach adapting to each individual dog. This is so fulfilling for us all. Turns out as with humans (who use many methods of communication) dogs should have choices too (signing, choosing, pointing, vocalizing, etc.).

Having worked with deaf, blind, and fearful dogs it is clear that as they learn to K9Sign they are more open to trusting and interacting faster than with some other methods. Their motivation to trust increases. Watching the transformation from fear to desire to communicate is heartwarming.

I'd be very interested in your remarkable stories of communication from dog to you.

Events: For those who can't come to workshops, I now do tele-seminars on Signing. Hope you can get the information you need to expand communication.

Signing Off, for now.