Dogs can express their thoughts through body language. And we humans should better understand this fact, if we want to improve our relationship with this animal species. When a dog jumps on a person, it's not always out of joy or excitement. It can be about gaining or assuming control over the act of saying hello, of choosing the type of human-dog relationship (or should we say "dog-human"?) When a dog cannot simply look in your eye, it means that dog is very much intimidated by you, by the environment, or by the situation.
When a dog seems to play around with another dog in the park or to tease another dog, it's not always fun and games. It's also about domination, about control. A good dog owner becomes capable of deciphering his dog's signals, of understanding its body language. If we can master the dog's body language, to understand and use it, we can improve our dog's behavior and general attitude.
In order to practice this, what we can do is to use our very own body as if we were dogs. We should never allow our dogs to jump on us and if we have a more insistent type of dog, we should avoid noisy games that may lead it to believe that it is entitled to compete with us, physically speaking. One thing to do is dominate, act superior. Dogs act like tribe members. They are loyal to the family, to the pack and genetically inherit the sense of social position. If you allow your dog to take control over you, that dog may become insubordinate and sometimes even aggressive. Such a dog would not listen to humans all the time and would develop the belief that there is always something better to do than to follow their owners' stupid commands.
A good dog is said to be the one who wants to do a certain thing, but decides to do something else, something its owner wants because this dog comes to realize this is what its owner demands. This is what trust and leader spirit actually mean. A true owner knows how to be superior to his/her dog, and like a good teacher, can read its "body language".
A true dog owner should know how to dominate his/her dog, how to assert his/her superiority in the eyes of his/her pet. It's much like a good teacher treats his student, both with love and authority, without allowing the student to become undisciplined and disobedient. Dogs with dominating personalities understand this type of treatment and respond to it in a positive manner.
We must always keep ourselves cool, calm and collected. If we watch a group of dogs, we can notice that the dominating dog interacts in a particular way with its "subordinates". The "alpha" dog would very seldom fawn on other dogs. On the contrary, the "subordinates" would much rather pay attention to the leading dog. The dominating dog will thus remain calm and self-confident. If we want to dominate our (sometimes dominating) dog, we should act the same as the pack leader would. Namely we should remain calm, mastering our emotions and reactions. Otherwise the dog may become too agitated and may have exaggerated behavior and reactions to what we are doing or to what is going on around us.
We must also learn how to anticipate our dog's behavior, which should be quite an easy thing to do. That is due to the fact that dogs have certain habits and rituals. Because of that, its best to establish routine rules and observe them at all times. Also, dogs do not understand the idea of bearing grudge on someone else. And above all, we must remember never treat our dog as if it were our child, but rather as if we were the leaders of the pack.