More on Should You Make Eye-Contact With Your Dog?

Humans naturally make eye contact to show affiliation affection and agreement. I love to look at my dog Bo. By looking at your dog in safe and comfortable times you can train your dog that gently loving brief eye contact from you has a new meaning. It means, "I love you."
Dogs are unusually sensitive to human body language. When you do make eye-contact, a dog may still avert his gaze. Just remember it is not a lack of love and caring he is just showing you that he sees you as the alpha pet parent. Don’t take it personally as a signal, they don’t love you.

When we go to bed at night, I give my dog Bo a treat from the treat jar in the Master Bedroom. Bo will look at me and I look at him in this little love dance as he waits for his treat. Once in bed, Bo is invited up for another treat. If I look at him to long as I say goodnight he will avert his gaze. If I wasn't familiar with dog behavior I know I would think, “Bo doesn’t’ love me.” Now I know, that when he looks away, he is just telling me he knows I am in charge and he can be the baby dog. And he can happily curl up close at foot of the bed

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional
The Body Language Expert
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Should You Make Eye Contact With Your Dog?

Should You Make Eye Contact With Your Dog?

Humans naturally make eye contact with other humans to show affiliation, affection and agreement. In dog-human interaction, eye contact is not always so positive. Making eye contact with your dog can cause problems. You may wish to send a positive message but your dog may not "see" it that way. In domesticated dogs, so much of their behavior depends on the dog’s breed, or their personality as well as the relationship they have with you. Most dog behaviorist will tell you that dogs don't like lingering eye contact. In fact, dogs often view direct head on lingering bold stares as a threat. When a dog meets another dog who stares the dog interprets the doggie body language as, "I challenge you to a duel.”
Starring at your dog too long, even if you are looking with love, can be interpreted by the dog as, "I starring a you dog because I am a threat."

Is just looking at your dog a lot OK? It depends on your relationship. Because I read so many photos of dogs with their humans I have noticed that their our some dogs that respond warmly to a look from their pet parent. As a pet parent myself I know that we can a loving look with our special pooches. How your feel when you look is important. When dogs are stressed they look at the pack leader for instructions on how to proceed. If you look at your dog too much when you are uncomfortable or stressed and or you are not feeling "in charge" your dog can interpret your stress cues and think your eye contact indicates a need for assistance, "What should I do next top dog."“I am looking at you because you are the leader and I am your subordinate human." and if you do it frequently your dog can get a big head thinking all your checking in means he is in charge and he can u can do whatever he wants.
Taking the lead and making correct eye contact with your dog is critical when entering and leaving through doors wit your dog. When you are going through a door you should take the lead and look toward the door, not at the dog, so it is clear you are leading the way. If you look at the dog the dog then the door your dog may think he is supposed to take the lead.

In dog a world, followers watch and make eye contact.

Remember a dog can interpret your eye contact with them as a sign of submission. “Oh, my human is looking at me." "My human needs my help, so I must be the alpha dog around here.” Some animal behaviorist think giving your dog too much eye contact can make your dog loose respect for you and the dog may “act out” like a teenager who disrespects their parents or substitute teacher. You may be familiar with dog TV shows like “It’s Me or the Dog.” In that show, dogs are often holding their families hostage to their whims. Again, if you look at a dog too much when you are stressed or to please the dog, the dog thinks he is in charge and can do whatever he wants.
From a human body language perspective, you may be able to think about it this way, powerful people don't need to make eye contact and watch. They just move forward. They know they are doing the right thing.
Dogs can interpret human eye contact as signaling, “I am looking at you because I need you to be the leader, I can’t take care of you.” If you have a dog that is not an alpha leader too much human eye contact can be stressful. Dogs don’t really want to be in charge. Dogs want their pet parent to take care of them. If a dog thinks, you need him to check for danger, lead the way and all those other Parent jobs it makes them uncomfortable. Take charge. It is the way to be nice to your dog.Stress is very contagious. Your stress effects them and make their lives more stressful and ultimately is communicated t you through their aggressiveness or whining and your life gets more stressed.

There are some kinds of human eye contact that mimics this power dance of “Who is in charge who is the follower.”. In human conversations, create an eye dance. The listener make more eye contact than the speaker and the lower status person be it a subordinate listening to his boss, a good child listening to a parent or a women listening to a man will make more eye contact, as they check in to know what to do than the speaker. In human conversation, that role can shift back and forth in a conversation. In dog-human interactions, dogs learn the role and may keep playing it out.
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Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional
The Body Language Expert
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New Fashion - Men Show Their Chests in Wall Street Journal

I remember when I was a kid in the 70's and John Travolta came walking down the street at the beginning of the movie carrying two paint cans, and wearing his shirt unbuttoned half way down his chest. It was a sensation. Nick Nick shirts on boys in school where immediately unbuttoned. Here is an article about the current craze of man cleavage.

Wall Street Journal article by Ray Smith.

More Men Have Something They Want to Get Off Their Chests -- Their Shirts
Unbuttoned or Plunging, 'Heavage' Is Back; No '70s Hair Carpets, Please, Wisps .By RAY A. SMITH
Man cleavage -- plunging necklines slit open to reveal chest hair, pectoral muscles, maybe more -- is back.

Until recently, male décolletage was an androgynous fashion affectation limited mainly to sporadic appearances on European runways. But the look, including deep V-necks and scoop-neck tops, hit the U.S. in full force at New York's September Fashion Week, turning up at shows by Duckie Brown, Michael Bastian and Yigal Azrouël.

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If the fall runway shows were any indication, men's necklines are taking a plunge. WSJ's Ray Smith lets you know how far to go, and weighs in on the issue of chest hair.
.This time around, the styles were more blatantly sexual and the models had a more studly swagger. New York designer Mr. Bastian said his show's vibe was inspired in part by "Latin guys" he noticed wearing their shirts unbuttoned, as well as the unabashed machismo of Latin American men in general. "We wanted to go back to a more natural body, a more '70s body with the models, getting away from the super skinny," says Mr. Bastian.

Journal Community
Vote: What do you think of "heavage," plunging necklines on men?
.Plenty of men, from regular Joes to "Dancing With the Stars" contestants, have loosened to the trend.

On HBO's hit series "True Blood," 29-year-old ex-model Mehcad Brooks rarely went an episode without removing his shirt. Mr. Brooks also frequently displays his perfect pecs off-screen, wearing rib-hugging T's with deep V-necks or shirts with the top buttons suggestively undone.

"Even if people were making fun of me, calling me 'Miami Vice' like they used to in college, I would still wear it," says the 6-foot-4, 215-pound actor. "It feels comfortable and I like the way it looks. If you can pull off three buttons undone, then do it."

Other fans of the look include actors Jude Law and Ed Westwick, who've been snapped showing off their man cleavage -- or "heavage," as one style writer dubbed it.

"Harper's Bazaar's Stephen Gan is working the new male cleavage in a low-cut T-shirt; it's called 'heavage,'" tweeted Hilary Alexander, fashion director of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, in early October while at a runway show in Paris.

Mr. Gan, who, aptly enough, is also the editor of a magazine called "V," says, "I think I'm allowed to dress this way."

Stars Who Take the Plunge
View Slideshow

Associated Press

John Travolta in 'Saturday Night Fever'
..Vik Mohindra, a 27-year-old graduate student from Toronto, confesses that his guy friends sometimes tease him about his heavage. "I would not recommend it to someone who isn't confident with their body and overall sense of style," says Mr. Mohindra, who says he works out three to four days a week and has a "defined" chest.

Male cleavage, particularly on the silver screen, has long played a prominent role in popular culture. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. had his chest on display throughout the 1920s in films like 1924's "The Thief of Bagdad" and "The Iron Mask" in 1929. A dashing Errol Flynn showed man cleavage in the 1930s, most memorably in 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood." These actors made skin-flashing practically de rigueur for certain swashbuckling roles.

The aesthetic continued well into the 1950s and the 1960s, says menswear historian Robert Bryan, author of the new book "American Fashion Menswear." Among those celebrated for their heavage were Marlon Brando (in the 1951 film version of "A Streetcar Named Desire") and Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1960s.

The last time man cleavage was so prevalent in the U.S. was in the 1970s -- "the golden age of male chest hair," says Mr. Bryan. Epitomized by John Travolta in 1977's "Saturday Night Fever," the convention back then was to skip enough shirt buttons to show off a thick forest of hair, perhaps topped with a gold medallion as a sign of virility.

After decades in the fashion equivalent of Siberia, man cleavage got a boost in the early 1990s when Tom Ford, then head designer and creative director for Gucci, climbed to the top of fashion's ranks while often wearing a dress shirt unbuttoned practically to his navel.

It still took years for the fad to go more mainstream. Helping to pave the way were magazines like Men's Journal and Men's Health, which objectified the male torso on their covers. Marketers such as Abercrombie & Fitch attracted droves of fans with their buff, waxed male models. For those who don't have the goods naturally, cosmetic surgery offers an increasingly popular solution. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that pectoral implants more than tripled in 2008, to 1,335 procedures up from 440 in 2007.

.Brad Wieners, editor-in-chief of Men's Journal magazine, believes that the magazine has made guys feel more comfortable about wearing more fitted clothes and styles that show that they work out. Mr. Wieners notes that for a recent cover shoot, actor Alec Baldwin donned a shirt open at the collar, subtly revealing chest hair. "He's not Burt Reynolds," says the editor. "But he's letting you know he's got a chest."

The latest resurrection of man cleavage does raise a not-so insignificant issue: to wax or not? For a number of years, any male chest hair was considered a fashion don't, but very recently a thin thatch has become quite acceptable. The low-cut look "is better if you have a little chest hair," says Tyler Thoreson, a New York-based men's style consultant. "It's not about showing off chest hair, it's about it peeking out a little bit."

Robert Caponi, a 32-year-old musician in Greensboro, N.C., isn't taking any chances. In order to get the hair-to-skin ratio just right, he shaves his chest every two weeks or so -- a regimen that helps him to feel comfortable in one of the six deep V-neck shirts he owns. Not all styles fit the bill. After purchasing a wide scoop neck recently, he declared it simply too revealing. "I looked in the mirror and I was disgusted," he says.

Some women share the sentiment. Posting on her blog earlier this year, Ketty Colom, a 22-year-old college student in Orlando, Fla., vented about the burst of men sporting heavage. "Leave it to the bedroom," she said. "I don't want to see your chest."

Write to Ray A. Smith at

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A29

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional
The Body Language Expert
I have a new quiz on my YouTubestation. Check it out!
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I just found a few great dog quizes. Here is one where you match the celbrity to their dog.

Dogs regulate their body temperturPatti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional
The Body Language Expert
I have a new quiz on my YouTubestation. Check it out!
YouTube- YouTube - bodylanguageexpert's Channel