This resource is intended to help children gain some understanding of what animals are “saying” with their body language. To live harmoniously with domestic animals, our human ancestors had to learn to understand their behaviour, but while handling animals is second nature to people who have grown up on farms, many of us are more familiar these days with computers than we are with animals.
It is our behaviour that often causes problems when we are with animals. For example, an animal may panic simply because someone is flapping their arms around for no good reason. When animals misunderstand what our intentions are, their instinct is to become defensive. And when animals defend themselves, their territory, their young, their food or their toys, they tend to do so with great conviction.
People and animals have lived together for thousands of years, but sometimes animals hurt people, and sometimes people frighten or hurt animals because they don’t understand them well enough.