How Dogs Tell Us What We Need to Know | Barbara Sherman | TEDxSandhillsCommunityCollege

  • Published on Jun 26, 2017
  • Barbara shows us how to read the body language of our dogs so that we can anticipate and alleviate their anxiety.
    Barbara Sherman, a board-certified veterinary behavior specialist, is the Director of Behavioral Medicine Service at NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to teaching veterinary students, she treats the behavioral problems of companion animals and directs the Behavioral Medicine Residency Training program. In an effort to enhance their welfare, her ongoing research focuses on canine-human communication and the assessment and attenuation of fear responses in dogs and cats.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 276

  • Polkadot Dress
    Polkadot Dress 7 days ago

    I would see the blue dog as a fear biter .

  • robin alexander
    robin alexander 8 days ago

    I have read some of the comments about the dog, an animal is in no way human! Don't expect it to be human. Show a dog love by all means but it's go to sense is pack mentality, it will follow pack master. The three year old is in need of training more than dog. We humans can wake up on the wrong side of the bed so can dogs or cats. Be mindful of this. Don't hit dogs a stern warning is more important. Like humans animals crave attention and affection.

  • robin alexander
    robin alexander 8 days ago

    Dam good talk, Please do more.

  • Curious Carpenter
    Curious Carpenter 12 days ago

    I wanted to bite that little kid too!

  • 167sally
    167sally 14 days ago

    Father is a bloody moron!!!

  • Albert Acosta
    Albert Acosta 24 days ago

    Don't ever let a stranger pet your dog or even have a thing to do with it.

  • Yahu Yahu
    Yahu Yahu 27 days ago

    How I wish the dog bit that boy..he will learn his lesson and never disturb him. The boy should be put in crate

  • Regina Argentin
    Regina Argentin Month ago

    I could barely understand her squeaky voice

  • Jesse Jordan
    Jesse Jordan Month ago

    Some people are incapable of raising a nice animal or a successful child.

  • Terry McKann
    Terry McKann Month ago

    I feel sorry for the dog if their owners dont already know this pleas tune in with love

  • TrinityStark
    TrinityStark Month ago

    Children often need more training than our dogs.

  • Davie Cantrell
    Davie Cantrell Month ago

    A waste of time for any knowledgeable, compassionate dog owner.

  • t h
    t h Month ago +1

    They wont admit it but all of the scientist are pretty much saying casar was right all along. All of them are all slowly starting to preach his methods, they are just trying so hard to avoid the words dominance

  • Theresa Brewer
    Theresa Brewer Month ago

    Petting soft and soothing is what the dogs like. Not rough patting his signal cord.

  • Theresa Brewer
    Theresa Brewer Month ago

    My dog licks me when I’m upset or ill. He protects me if someone comes towards me. It’s best love I’ve had in my life.

  • Cristine Westbrook
    Cristine Westbrook 2 months ago

    OMG, the way they allowed that child to interact with the dog made me so anxious the child would get bitten... that poor dog!

  • Alan Smith
    Alan Smith 2 months ago

    I am a blessed man, I have 2 medium size dogs, they absolutely LOVE goin to the vet! Everytime we go in everybody ends up smiling, when I turn the corner at the redlight they know, they start vocalizing, is not really barking just so excited and just want to get inside and see Everybody...perhaps because I live alone with them and almost all the vet techs and my vet as well are female! lol

  • Alan Smith
    Alan Smith 2 months ago

    Great presentation, but I feel dogs are not the ones that do not understand, that is all on us, and we dog lovers learn more from them everyday...

  • Elisa
    Elisa 2 months ago

    Chill out the dog seems to know he is a tod. Smarter than humans

  • Sean McAleavy
    Sean McAleavy 2 months ago +5

    The father of that kid should be pilloried for his stupidity.

  • Virginia Easterling
    Virginia Easterling 2 months ago

    Thanks for the information. I have 2 dogs that need this

  • Waabboommia
    Waabboommia 3 months ago +1

    Since I was born I'd always treated, respected, and cared responsibly for animals even humans. I don't consider myself as the owner when I get a pet, but as the carer for the animal. I want to help educate others about what I know, so they can learn from something too. I enjoy interacting with others and care too.

  • Jacob C.
    Jacob C. 3 months ago

    The way she smacked the model dog on stage, that was Barbara with slight stage fright.

  • hanabi mitsuo
    hanabi mitsuo 3 months ago

    I absolutely don't understand our dog... I feed him always whenever I have food for him. He always follows me around whenever he sees me but I know solely that it is because he wanted a treat or asking for food but once he notice I have nothing to offer him he ignores me completely and don't seem to be interested to play with me. when I call him he would look at me for a moment and check if I have food and if theres none he'll walk away.. sometimes when I come to him and try to play with him or rub/pet him he starts to be anxious and uncomfortable try to escape as if Im a stranger to him. Does our dog not love me?😢 He only behave like that towards me in the family , I guess, cause sometimes when my cousin comes home ( he's favourite person in the house) he always get excited, wagg his tail and bark around of excitement, that's how he welcome her and I get jealous sometimes.

    • dggydddy59
      dggydddy59 2 months ago

      One easy thing you could do is have the dog perform some behavior before he gets a treat. Right now he views you as nothing more than a treat vending machine. If you took a little time to teach him a few behaviors it would go a long way towards changing how he feels about you. Make it easy, make it fun, give him treats for a job well done and you will see an improvement in your relationship very quickly. Go to the RU-clip channel Kikopup and follow her example. You'll be glad you did. Good luck!

  • Frances Breen
    Frances Breen 4 months ago

    She allows a client to tie an aggressive dog wearing a prong collar to the wall? Terrible. The dog could lunge and get a puncture in it’s throat from a prong. She should have refused to work with a client who puts that torture device on a dog anyway.

  • Frances Breen
    Frances Breen 4 months ago

    This woman has such an unprofessional presentation and unpleasant voice! I’m surprised she was invited to give a talk.

  • Pamela Blake
    Pamela Blake 4 months ago

    There is no question this little boy could have received instruction around respect for the family dog, however, Barbara Sherman did not include the video segment as a means to invite debate on this subject. The video demonstrates canine behaviour, and what that behaviour is meant to communicate.
    We are well-advised to remember that all behaviour has meaning. No matter the animal, behaviour has meaning.
    Thank you Barbara! Wonderful work.

  • Tom Dufresne
    Tom Dufresne 4 months ago

    I'm sorry this is hard to watch. Your explanations are on point. But your approaches with the videos are the problem. You have 2 dogs meeting the stranger ahead of you. That creates the problem. Your dog isnt allowed to approach the person in front of you. I'm sorry but as soon as your dogs took a step toward the client he should habe been corrected back to your side. Then you take the first step towards the person. You are allowing these dogs to lead and claim there owners by allowing them in front of you and on owners feet. and you've haven't explained how to fix it for the customer. Not to mention those anxieties, shyness and fear can be fixed with socialization. I'm my daycare, we have all types of different dogs of all ages in one 25pack and I also take them off leash for about 4 hours, depending on the pack. My point is, those little issues can be meet corrected with a confidence dog and a training daycre. For us uually takes us a couple days to have a fearful dog, dog with anxiety or aggressive dogs. ( not all)build that confidence then most of those puppy behaviors start to fade. But there needs to be boundaries when your dogs is sitting on your feet. That can start a fight because he/ she is now in front and in control. Also teach your kids how to behave around a dog when their eating or in general. Thats common sense. Everything that I just watched can be all corrected on the approaches and setting boundaries. Anxiety is a little different until they build some confidence.
    Setting boundaries understanding how to control.your dog correctly and not to mention a kids slapping a dogs when he's eating. Common! Reprimanded the child.

  • David D'Arcy
    David D'Arcy 5 months ago

    What about the dog's tail! When a dog tucks their tail curved under and beneath them, they are fearful.

  • magicsinglez
    magicsinglez 5 months ago

    Lol, the grey dog gets to the point he Wants to meet the new stranger, though he might have mixed feelings

  • Sophia Insanity
    Sophia Insanity 5 months ago +1

    Lmao the dude in charge of playing the videos had no concept of timing

  • Gorkilein
    Gorkilein 5 months ago

    That jawn is not related to anxiety. Yawning means two things:
    Either "I want something" or "I want something other than now happens"

  • Glenn Cox
    Glenn Cox 6 months ago +1

    All good points, you obviously know dogs, you just need to work on presentation skills. I could not finish watching the whole video ☹️

  • Adam Sainz
    Adam Sainz 6 months ago

    My dog is my dog , no one else's. They listen only to me , not by force but by their choice , we protect each other . I can take the good out of their mouths , no one else had better try that . I'm their daddy , they are my babies . We are family

  • Ron Thompson
    Ron Thompson 6 months ago

    I like her ,she no,s what she talking about ,i have learn a lot from her,it might be a great book for dog owners.

  • Roy Wells
    Roy Wells 7 months ago

    My Lucy I love her so much I rescued her from a bad home. God sent her to me I'm so blessed. Turns out she has addison disease. That's unusual in young dogs, shes only a year and a half. It cost over 300 a month for her shots to keep her alive. The person that had her would have put her down. I'm so glad I found her she is pure love.

  • Bob Lowney
    Bob Lowney 7 months ago

    I have two dogs, the Bichon cannot wait to meet other people and dogs on our walks, 12 yrs old. My mini dachshund likes only me and my spouse, all other people and dogs, she shies away and ducks her heard. all 15 years of this. we have gently tried all her life to meet others, no luck. at home she is fantastic and joyous. when she is out and about she is like a cat, no interest in anything or anyone else.

  • Yogesh Khandke
    Yogesh Khandke 7 months ago

    Two very unhappy words the vet used
    1. Families who have dogs aren’t their “owners” unless they are Michael Vick
    2. A chair is it not a dog, a dog is either a he or a she.

  • Florica Vasiliu
    Florica Vasiliu 7 months ago

    Yes the father should be teaching the son to respect the dog and let the dog eat in peace. The boy had behavioral problems not the dog so train the son and don't change anything in the dogs behavior. Surely that is obvious. It teaches the boy to be considerate and well mannered.

  • Lisa Godin
    Lisa Godin 7 months ago +3

    People shouldn't rush a strange dogs and not touch your dog unless given permission! Stop blaming the animal blame the person!

  • Lisa Godin
    Lisa Godin 7 months ago

    Give a mild sedative helps separation anxiety. You have to help the dog gradually get used to being alone. We like to blame the animal but don't hold people responsible.

  • Lisa Godin
    Lisa Godin 7 months ago +1

    The dog isn't neutered so he's humping. Duh!

    • Our travelingzoo
      Our travelingzoo Month ago

      Lisa Godin female and neutered dogs may hump. It can be a power play

  • Lisa Godin
    Lisa Godin 7 months ago +1

    You take too long to get the point!

  • Lisa Godin
    Lisa Godin 7 months ago

    Without my dog I literally can't function. Being without a dog is driving me crazy😲

  • Terry McKann
    Terry McKann 7 months ago

    Did they allow a real dog on stage

  • Lisa Godin
    Lisa Godin 7 months ago

    I miss my girl who died in October!😭😭😭😭😭

    • Lisa Godin
      Lisa Godin 6 months ago +1

      @leesa pearl thanks! I've been trying to find another to heal but I keep getting scammed with false promises. I'll keep looking. I have so much love to give and I want my cat to have another sibling. He helped raise my girl until she passed at 16 so sick nothing could be done and I had to put her to sleep which wasn't so peaceful that I had to comfort my girl. Thanks for your kind words.

    • leesa pearl
      leesa pearl 6 months ago

      @Lisa Godin There will always be a tender spot, but it does get easier. I thought I'd never get another dog, couldn't take the pain again after losing the dog I had for 19 years. I finally did tho- she wasn't a replacement, but she helped heal my heart and makes me laugh every day. You have a lot of love to give, when you're ready- maybe the best way to honor your dog is to save another life- I bet you'll find the rescue is mutual. Take your time, you'll know when you're ready.

    • Lisa Godin
      Lisa Godin 6 months ago

      @leesa pearl when will the pain end?

    • leesa pearl
      leesa pearl 6 months ago

      I'm sorry for your loss; I know how hard it is.

  • Love Music
    Love Music 7 months ago

    My two grandaughters got a havanese puppy when they were 7 and 5. The 7 year old could understand why we told them to let him eat and rest in peace - not the 5 year old. We created a playpen like area with bed, bowls and a few toys in it. His 'peace place'. We put it in an open space under the counter in the kitchen. Very secure 'cave' from which he could look out and watch the family. Did it work? To an extent - the only problem was the 5 year old kept climbing into the peace area, getting in the dogs bed and even sampling his food. She wanted to bond with him but didn't know how. Result: the dog did not trust her for several years. Now she loves dogs, relates to them and they to her. Her little dog still watches her to make sure she doesn't revert to her old behaviors. Dogs don't forget!

  • IstruzioneCinofila
    IstruzioneCinofila 8 months ago

    prong collar in a ted talks?? -.-'

  • Karmicmessenger
    Karmicmessenger 8 months ago +1

    Once the owner is properly trained, getting the dog to behave properly is really a piece of cake.

  • Ken Holliday
    Ken Holliday 8 months ago +1

    OMG!!!!! This lady should never ever ever give another speech or presentation ever again!!!!! I love the subject but thia lady could put a room full of crackheads to sleep!!! Is she drunk??

  • eloday53
    eloday53 8 months ago +19

    Considering yourself an "owner" is the first mistake. They are companions on a journey with us. They are there to teach and support us.

    • midnighthaven
      midnighthaven 2 months ago

      Love this comment. I ripped that word from my vocabulary. They are my kids.
      I own neither of my girls

  • Arthur davidson
    Arthur davidson 9 months ago +3

    Nice, caring and soulful presentation.

  • Willow Gray
    Willow Gray 10 months ago +4

    I held my breath through that entire clip of the little boy & dog interacting!! 🤦🏼‍♀️ It’s incredibly frustrating to watch a parent allow their child to be in that situation & equally as upsetting to watch a dog give every “warning” sign to the owner that says, “I’m not comfortable, make it stop!” Not always, but often it’s scenarios similar to that one, when a dog does bite/snap/growl & a child gets hurt or scared. Then, the poor dog gets blamed/punished. 😔 When it was totally AVOIDABLE!!! It’s not the child’s fault, they don’t understand boundaries or see potential danger at that age. Parents have to be the ones to teach, set boundaries, and be proactive. I can’t stand when parents let their kids hit/grab pets, put their face in a dog’s face, aggravate them, and then if or when the pet reacts, they’re treated like a monster. Ummm Noooo... let’s do all of that to you & see how you react! Please teach your kids to be kind to animals, to respect them & their space, to play appropriately, etc. If you’re a new dog, cat, bird, hamster, rabbit owner...educate yourself FIRST on what the animal needs. It will allow your family & your pets to have a far better relationship. ❤️

    • B Howard
      B Howard Month ago

      Agree 100%. Both the dog AND the child needed training in that scenario. Just glad their situation is better now.

  • Cydp Palley
    Cydp Palley 10 months ago

    When the boy comes home with stitches it's the father's fault. Once the dog showed teeth it should have been a sign to the father to get the boy out of the way.

  • WeeStrom CO Guy
    WeeStrom CO Guy 11 months ago

    Nice clown pants

  • Darwins Myth
    Darwins Myth 11 months ago

    I tell my dog what she needs to know.

  • missbeans
    missbeans 11 months ago +1

    Teach the child how to properly pet the dog! Teach the child how to read dog's behavior! This is stupidity. I have 2 children, 4 cats and 1 dog. We have taught our children from birth how to be gentle and how to read the animal's behavior.

  • freddyvonrabenau1
    freddyvonrabenau1 11 months ago +18

    tell the kid to leave the dog alone.

  • Lee Readman
    Lee Readman Year ago +2

    thankyou for showing what your talking about. it made it much easier for me to understand

  • Johnniee Larue
    Johnniee Larue Year ago

    Dogs tend to bring lots of problems whenever they are nearby.
    ~ Professor Katz

  • sam7748
    sam7748 Year ago +34

    Respect an animal's needs and emotions!

  • Ian Simpson
    Ian Simpson Year ago

    11 minutes 14 seconds into the video, oh dear, here we go again "safe bubbles" oops sorry "safe spaces" women are pathetic

    • leesa pearl
      leesa pearl 6 months ago

      I hope you overcome whatever has damaged you and have a happier future.

  • Bliss WKC
    Bliss WKC Year ago +3

    Thank you so much dearest sweeties💐
    You're such an inspiration 🙏😇
    Stay Blessings always 🕉💖

  • lekkki1
    lekkki1 Year ago +4

    Dogs speak a language we have to understand in order to understand true joy.

  • Otter Woods
    Otter Woods Year ago +6

    We don't deserve dogs

  • lamfilipos
    lamfilipos Year ago

    I can across an awesome collection of videos that may help you at Turbo Feline Roadmap

  • Aya Malone
    Aya Malone Year ago

    I'm not sure all dogs go to Heaven, but I KNOW they come from there! Neep, the Mighty Dog is fine in ANY situation as long as "the Mom" (me) says it's ok. He trusts me completely...but would die of starvation and depression if I disappeared from his much so that his vet has been instructed and agrees with euthanizing him to go with me if I die before him. I would make the same decision if I were legally allowed to do so...we keep each other breathing. There is NO relationship between humans so devoted.

  • airriin
    airriin Year ago

    her voice is very off putting...

  • Baby Bunny
    Baby Bunny Year ago

    You can see some of these same expressions in humans when they encounter someone who is agressive or forward in their approach (albeit, the anxious person doesn't crawl under a chair to get away, buuuut, they may want to). The eyes exhibit a shy, fearful, darting or looking-away expression, their posture becomes stiff or they may keep some distance or shift their foot position like they want to leave the presence of the person who is making them anxious/nervous/wary. On the other hand, if the person is a good friend or even a stranger but exhibits non-threatening cues (or is an "open" person), then the other person relaxes, may shift closer to the person, engage in light banter or reveal a difficulty they are struggling with. It's all in the eyes, voice, body cues. People tell you more about themselves than they realize, and an attentive person will pick up on the subtle cues and correct or adjust themselves properly (whether to disengage or continue).

  • Malcolm MacLeod
    Malcolm MacLeod Year ago +9

    Kudos! I could watch this kind lady teach all day long. Even though I am an old dog owner and
    advocate, I learned a lot from this program and would love a repeat. Thank you TEDx.

  • Lisa Wascher
    Lisa Wascher Year ago +39

    I could barely contain myself watching the video of the boy and the dog wondering why on Earth the parent could not see how dangerous that was! That dog was an absolute Saint! Educating those parents would have been first on my list. I admire this vet for her patience.

    • Arya MorningStar
      Arya MorningStar 2 months ago +1

      I agree, and I'm certain this is exactly what she did right after seeing the video. My guess, however, is this family sought advice from her and she advised to film to observe and understand the situation first- get a better read without interfering in a natural day that goes on in the household, or specifically see the problem areas they may have also been concerned with so that she could give the best advise for the situation at hand.

  • Lita Santos
    Lita Santos Year ago

    if you can help my dog.... your a true animal behaviourist.

  • Aren't I Adorable
    Aren't I Adorable Year ago +3

    God knew as adults we would still need a Teddy Bear so He gave us Dogs!

  • Lee Thistlethwaite

    I’ve got two dogs that are brothers but there’s a years difference in age, I’ve had Zak & Juke 14 and 15 years respectively, and I can proudly and honestly say they are my whole world, I’d be lost without them, but the eldest dog Zak is having trouble with his back legs, as you can easily see when he tries to get up after laying down or when he goes up the stairs step by step rather then the usual quick step I knew and loved, can see utter loss and heartbreak in the future, and I know I have to be the strong responsible owner but I fear I’ll never have that courage to say goodbye forever, any advice at all would be greatly appreciated

    • leesa pearl
      leesa pearl 6 months ago

      @Lee Thistlewaite It's one of the hardest things in life, but remember that they depended on you, and you gave them love, protection, and a happy life. Getting another dog will not replace them, but it will help heal your heart. It's the best way to honor your dogs, to rescue another who needs the love you have to give- actually you'll be rescuing each other.

    WARRIOR FOR TRUTH Year ago +3

    I enjoyed this thankyou