How To Interpret Your Dog’s Body Language!
11 July, 2017
dog body language

Dogs are very loving, expressive animals. . They can show us their feelings by licking us or just sleeping with us.  Dogs also use their faces and bodies to let us know how they are feeling.  Dog body language is the non-verbal way that our dogs communicate with us that we learn to interpret and understand.  This is really helpful, not only for you and your dog but when you come across a dog that you just met.

Your dog’s facial expressions can be very telling

Your dog’s basic facial expressions can tell you a great deal about how he’s feeling.  You can see in his or her face whether your dog is happy, scared, sleepy or just calm.  It’s the first place to look when assessing your dog’s mood and then you can get more specific.

Your dog’s eyes can tell you if he is relaxed or scared!

The direction of your dog’s eyes can be telling. Dogs rarely look directly into each other’s eyes because this is considered a threat. However, most dogs learn that it’s okay, even pleasant, to look directly at people. A dog who looks at you with a relaxed facial expression is being friendly and hoping that you’ll notice him. A direct stare is much more likely to be a threat, and if you’re near a dog with this expression, you might want to look away!

When a dog looks out of the corner of his eyes, he or she is ready for an outburst!

If your dog doesn’t look directly at you, but instead looks out of the corners of his eyes so that you see a more of the whites of his eyes, he might be leading up to an aggressive outburst. This usually happens when a dog is guarding a chew bone, toy or favorite spot.

Your dog’s mouth can also be telling and usually open when happy

Dogs do a lot more with their mouths than just eat and drink. The way dogs position their lips, jaws and teeth speaks volumes. When your dog is relaxed and happy, he’s likely to have his mouth closed or slightly opened. If your pup’s mouth is open, he may be panting-this is how dogs cool their bodies. You might see his teeth because his mouth is slightly opened.

Some dogs show a half grin when they’re feeling submissive.

Dog will pull their lips up vertically and display their front teeth when feeling scared or submissive.. This half grin is usually accompanied by an overall submissive body posture, such as a lowered head, yelping or whining, and squinty eyes. Only some dogs “grin” this way.

Your dog’s ears will be normal and relaxed when he’s relaxed

When your dog is relaxed and comfortable, he’ll hold his ears naturally. When he’s alert, he’ll raise them higher on his head and he’ll direct them toward whatever’s holding his interest. Your dog will also raise his ears up and forward when he’s feeling aggressive. If your dog has his ears pulled back slightly, his intention is to be friendly. If his ears are completely flattened or stuck out to the sides of his head, he’s usually frightened or feeling submissive.

Your dog’s tail can tell you if he is happy or scared

When your dog is relaxed, he’ll hold his tail in its natural position. If he’s feeling happy, he may wag it gently from side to side. If your dog feels nervous or submissive, he’ll hold his tail lower and might even tuck it between his rear legs.

When your dog is alert or aroused about something, he’ll probably hold his tail higher than normal. He’ll hold it stiff, without any movement. If he’s standing his ground or threatening someone (a person or another animal), your dog might holds his tail stiff and high and moves it rigidly back and forth.

There are so many nuances to interpreting your dog’s body language.  Of course, the above is a general guide to a dogs’ body language. Each dog behaves differently and you can learn what your dog is telling you over time!

And what if you are approaching a new dog, here’s what to look for: Approaching a New Dog

 

 

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