Understanding a Dog’s Body Language
You already know that humans communicate through speech – but mostly through body language. This is something that has been proven around the world, in each and every culture. There are simply things that a person can do with their body to show you how they really feel, and to help them communicate. Therefore, it isn’t a stretch to think that a dog also has great body language, and that they are going to be able to show you what they really mean when it comes time to communicate. With a little bit of know-how, you can be sure that you understand your dog’s body language, and this is going to be great for your relationship with your dog.
There are three main areas that you want to think about when it comes to your dog’s body language – their ears and face, their body, and their tail. If you pay attention to those things, you’ll find that you are easily able to understand how your dog is feeling, even though he can’t talk to you.
Ears and Face
The head of a dog is much more expressive than you might think. The ears, eyes, and mouth will tell you a lot about what is going on in the dog’s head, so all you should have to do is pay attention to it.
A dog’s ears should be erect when he is listening to something. If you say a word that he recognizes, like his name or something you say often, his ears should perk up. His eyes should be watching you, and if you watch them, they will give away what the dog is thinking about, because he’ll keep returning to it. His mouth is another good indicator. A mouth that is open and panting suggests that the dog is happy – some people even say that when a dog is panting, they are laughing as they cool themselves. A tongue sticking out suggests that a dog is in a good mood and very happy, too.
The body of a dog is something that you can also use to determine what they are thinking about. If the dog’s body is hunched down, or if he is crouching, he is in a defensive or a scared mood. Try backing away from him – because he is either angry or very scared at the moment. However, if a dog is splayed out and resting comfortably, with all of his limbs showing, he is comfortable and relaxing. If a dog is curled into a circle, he is feeling right at home with you. An anxious dog will stand or pace, while a calm one will sit or lay down.
Lastly, you want to pay attention to your dog’s tail when it comes to his body language, because this is going to be a good indicator of what he is thinking and feeling. A dog that is in a good mood will have a tail that seems to be going a mile a minute – wagging, and excited. However, an angry or scared dog will have his tail between his legs.