By Jill Breitner, owner of DogDecoder Smartphone App.
For many, being able to read a dog’s body language on the fly is very hard. But you can’t always bring your book or your posters with you wherever you and your pooch go.
Thanks to technology, I was able to develop an app called Dog Decoder, ready to use right when you need it. This was an outgrowth of my passion to help owners understand the nature of dogs. The app is colorfully and lovingly illustrated by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings. You definitely know Lili’s work as the illustrator of choice for Dr. Sophia Yin’s posters on The Body Language of Fear, How to Greet a Dog and What to Avoid, as well as in Dr. Yin’s workbook and books. Our developer, Jeff Belsey, is a Webby Award winning developer who helped bring this product together. As you can see below, not only does the Dog Decoder talk about familiar situations to all dog owners and caregivers, but it also breaks down each body language point in a simple, easy to follow fashion and it's all on your own smartphone, iPad or tablet.
This app is for all people who love and work with dogs – veterinarians and their staff, rescue/shelter workers, breeders, teachers, parents, groomers, dog day care centers and trainers – to have an on the spot teaching tool in the palm of their hands.
Our mission for this app is to teach people how to understand what dogs are trying so hard to tell us. If people can realize when their dog is stressed, excited or afraid, fewer people will be bitten and fewer dogs will end up in shelters and re-homed again and again or worse, euthanized.
It is also our mission to have the app in all shelters, vet hospitals, elementary school curricula, children's educational programs and dog training associations, etc., worldwide in the name of humane education and safety between humans and dogs.
It has been endorsed by the President of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, John Ciribassi, DVM and many others. Dr. Sophia Yin was also very excited about the app.
Our app was featured on The Hallmark Channel on The Home and Family Show for the Stop the 77 campaign about dog bite prevention.
What are people saying about Dog Decoder?
John Ciribassi, DVM Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists: I really like the app. Very simple, easy to use, accurate and the drawings are great. The format where you see the situation then an explanation then a description of the body posture with labels is a great progression for learning. There is also a quiz section that tests your knowledge.
Marjorie: It's like having a trainer in your pocket.
Glenda: The subtlety of reading dog body language is clearly explained in this app. This is information everybody should have in their lexicon of meaning…great for kids, a must for parents and essential for dog lovers. Presented in an easily understood and simply accessed form. Check it out!
Nancy Kay, DVM: I love this app! With simplicity and a fabulous sense of humor, Dog Decoder provides wonderful guidance in the interpretation of canine body language. Not only does our understanding of canine communication support the dog, it also may go a long way in the prevention of injuries inflicted by dogs. Kudos to the creators of this app.
Clinical Animal Behavior Service-UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: This is great for kids and good for adults who want to understand their pet.
We hope you'll check it out, and use it to learn and teach.
Dog Decoder Team