Background

By measuring the dog’s pulse
(as an indicator of physiological response)
we want to see if the calming signal
“Walk in a curve” have an effect.

In the book “on speaking terms with dogs”, Turid Rugaas describes the calming signal “walk in a curve when you meet a dog”.
Dogs do this when they meet to show that they are friendly and want to avoid conflict.

What we want to know is:
What happens to the dogs heart rate when a stranger walk in a curve towards the dog.
And what happens to the dogs heart rate when a stranger walk straight towards the dog.

This it is an ongoing project, and most likely will be for a long period to get as many readings from dogs as possible.

Calming signals:
We have to mention Calming signals, because this is the background for the project.
As you know the dog communicate with us all the time through sound and body language.
The dogs use calming signals to avoid conflicts, reduce stress and unpleasant situations, one of the things they do is to walk in a curve when they meet other dogs.

We can use these signals to communicate better with dogs.

How is this connected with stress/anxiety?
Every dog has some stress during the day.
As we have mentioned, dogs never approach each other straight on except sometimes puppies and young dogs that has not learned polite behavior.
Observations shows that dogs can get tense in this situation, and it is likely to think that the pulse increases.
This can turn into insecurity, anxiety and fear when they meet people that walk straight towards and it fells threatening.