In the dog world, calming signals are how dogs socially relate to each other and to the environment to maintain peace. The term “calming signal” was coined by trainer Turid Rugass. After reading one of her books on the subject, I was inspired to illustrate some common ones. When a dog feels stressed or needs to self-soothe, he may offer a calming signal (also known as Appeasement Signal) to another dog or human. Lip licks, head turns, yawns and the like are like a dog saying: “I am feeling pressured. I don’t want any trouble”. The other dog — if he is polite — will return the calming signal and move away.
This illustrated diagram was commissioned by Tano’s dad, Luis, and is available for download or purchase at DoggieDrawings.net.