In this video, you’ll learn how to interpret canine body language to help you better understand your dog, and to make you a responsible dog parent.
Wagging Tail All a wagging tail means is that the dog is emotionally aroused. It could be excitement, but it could be frustration or negative feelings. Excited dogs hold their tails higher than a neutral position, and wag them quickly from side to side. An uncertain or nervous dog will also wag their tail, but their tail will be slightly lower than a neutral position, and wagged slower and more steadily. A tucked tail A tail tucked between the legs is an unmistakable sign that the dog is scared, afraid, in pain, or feels uncomfortable. Putting a paw on youIf your dog puts their paw on you, it is their way of saying “I love you.” Avoiding Eye ContactDogs who are fearful or afraid will often look away as though they are avoiding something. You often see this if you scold your dog. Squinting Their Eyes Dogs squint their eyes to indicate peaceful intentions. If your dog squints their eyes when they look at you, they are expressing their love and desire for your attention. Tilting their head For many dogs, head-tilting helps them hear better. Rotating their ears, or their entire head, can help triangulate the location of the sound so they can hear it more clearly. Ears forward If the ears are standing straight up, or in the case of dogs with floppy ears, inclined forward, the dog is paying close attention to something or someone. The dog is curious and alert. Ears flattened against the head Slightly pulled-back ears signal that the dog is feeling friendly. You often see this when you are stroking your dog.But ears laid tightly back against the head may indicate fearfulness. A Raised Paw A raised paw is when a dog lifts one paw slightly off the ground. It often indicates the dog is uncertain about a situation or perhaps feels a bit insecure. Licking you Dogs lick you for a lot of reasons. They may want to show you affection and love. They may even want to groom you to show that they care about your well-being. Or they may simply enjoy the taste of your skin as you may have the residue of some yummy treat on your skin. Play Bow An easy-to-read aspect of dog body language is the play bow. This is when dogs place their chest on the ground with their butt in the air.This playful gesture is a clear sign that your dog is happy and is trying to initiate play with you or another animal. Trembling Trembling or shivering in response to another person or dog means your dog is scared. If it’s freezing cold outside, bring them indoors to help them stay warm! Smaller dogs may be more prone to shivering than larger breeds due to their lack of body fat and thinner fur. Exposing belly More often than not, belly-exposing behavior in canines indicates trust and acceptance. A dog may also use this submissive display as a way to avoid confrontation. At times, the dog may even dribble or squirt small amounts of urine to communicate a submissive status to a person or animal.Easing TensionA dog who is in the middle of a challenging or unfamiliar situation may suddenly turn away and start sniffing the ground to politely avoid interaction and calm themselves down. Hunching over A hunched-over posture in dogs indicates they are fearful and feeling particularly vulnerable. By hunching over, dogs try to make themselves small, almost wishing to become invisible. Whale eyes When a dog shows the whites of its eyes, it is known as “whale eye”. it’s a signal they are feeling anxious or stressed in a situation.Smiling A dog’s mouth mimics the emotions human mouths show. A happy dog will have a soft, relaxed mouth which may look like a grin. Yawning In dogs, yawning is also a sign of stress and indicates your dog is feeling nervous. If your pooch yawns after you, it means they are very attached to you. Recent studies have shown dogs that dogs yawn contagiously, and dogs that are bonded with their owners are more likely to yawn when their especial humans do. Turning their back to you When your canine turns their back to you, they are showing you that they are friendly and trust you Shaking off If your dog shakes without some kind of irritant such as water, it’s a way of relieving tension. Probably your dog was stressed. Zoomies You often see your dog getting the zoomies when they've been confined in a crate for some time, or after a bath. Nose And Lip Licking Licking lips or noise is also a sign of stress in dogs. Raised Hackles When a dog’s hackles are raised, it is a clear sign that the dog is aroused, but not necessarily in a negative way. Baring teeth If a dog shows their teeth, but doesn’t bark or snarl, it is often a sign of territory protection. You will often see this if you try to take food away from a dog who is eating. Whining More often than not, dogs whine when they need or want something from you, like some food, or going out for a walk