Introduction: Why We Need to Spread the Truth About Dogs
Dog behavior is commonly misunderstood, leading to many dogs being wrongly punished or relinquished to shelters for “problems” that could have been easily resolved. In addition, many videos have gone viral of dogs behaving “badly,” which are, in actuality, images of very scared dogs in need of help.
We want to empower dog owners with the same knowledge used by dog behaviorists and ethologists, and give people practical tips on how to respond more effectively and humanely. Our hope is that in the end it will lead to better relationships between people and their dogs.
The #iSpeakDog campaign promotes dog body language and behavior education — in partnership with trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians, and welfare professionals across the globe, who can reach out to their clients and patients to help spread the truth.
The resources provided in this toolkit will help you to extend the reach and impact of the #iSpeakDog campaign in a variety of ways, ranging from simple social media engagement to educational spots on your local news.
Questions? If you have questions about how to support the campaign or use these tools, email Tracy Krulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All #iSpeakDog messages, promotions, and calls to action should direct people to ispeakdog.org, the free educational website.
The website teaches people how to figure out for themselves what their dogs are doing and why. It breaks down the common behaviors shown by dogs that tend to frustrate their guardians (i.e. jumping up on people, chewing shoes, and pulling on leash) and explains the different emotional states that can drive such behavior (i.e. growling and snapping is often a sign that the dog is scared).
Please support the campaign by driving your audience to ispeakdog.org and using the hashtag #ispeakdog.
Following and sharing social media posts from iSpeakDog accounts (see “Social Media” above) is an easy way to extend the reach of the campaign. But as you network with other dog welfare professionals and enthusiasts, educate dog owners, and reach out to the media, here are some key messages you can convey:
Dogs aren’t being bad when they pull, chew, sniff, and bark. They’re being dogs. We love to dig into a good book or watch movies to pass the time. Dogs love the act of digging and chewing and sniffing and scavenging... Actually, the things that tend to annoy people the most about dogs — i.e. chewing your new throw pillow or digging up the backyard — are things that dogs love to do. In fact, dogs need to do these things to feel fulfilled in life. One key to living harmoniously with our pups is allowing them to do all these otherwise destructive behaviors, but in approved places (i.e. a digging pit in the yard) with approved things (i.e. chew toys).
In order to speak dog, you have to understand both behavior and body language. Just as the words “there,” “their,” and “they’re” sound the same but have different meanings, so do dog growls and barks. For instance, dogs can growl when they are scared, but they can also growl when they’re playing. They can bark when they are happy and want to play, and they can bark when they are scared and want something, or someone, to go away. iSpeakDog’sthree-step formula will help you translate what your dog is doing and saying.
Help spread the truth about dog body language and behavior during iSpeakDog Week, March 27 – April 1, and beyond. There is no shortage of ways to do it, but here are a few ideas:
Host a viewing party for the iSpeakDog Webinar on March 28th at 6p.m. E.T.
(Update: The webinar is filling up, and not everyone will be able to attend live. Please register anyway, to receive an email with a link to the recording shortly after the live program. Attendance to the live event will be on a first-come-first-served basis for those who have registered.)
Offer to speak about dog behavior and body language on a local TV or radio news segment (see "Press Release Template" above)
Write a blog post or op-ed (Please hold off posting until iSpeakDog Week kicks off on March 27th.)
Teach a workshop in person or online
Host an “Ask the Expert” event on your social media page
To be listed on the website, please email Tracy Krulik at email@example.com to let us know that you plan to participate.
Dog Owner Testimonials
iSpeakDog is seeking dog owners who are willing to discuss how ispeakdog.org has helped them better understand their pups and strengthen their bond. If you know of a person who might be willing to share their experience, please encourage them to submit their story.