Understanding Her Body Language

In order to fully understand your dog, you need to understand her body language. Her body language along with her vocalizations will be your main line of communication. You can understand how your dog is feeling based on what she is telling you. The quote, “dogs talk to those who listen,” is extremely accurate.

“Dogs talk to those who listen.”

Relaxed Body Language

When your dog is relaxed, her body language will display the following:

  • Relaxed, open mouth
  • Ears up (but not straight forward)
  • Loose, relaxed stance
  • Head held high
  • Tail down and relaxed

Alert Body Language

When your dog is alert (looking at something, listening intently, etc), her body language will likely appear as follows:

  • Forward-facing ears
  • Horizontal tail
  • Large, open eyes
  • Closed mouth
  • Standing slightly forward with extra weight on the front paws
  • Tail wagging slowly

Fearful, Aggressive Body Language

If your dog is feeling scared of something, she may become aggressive. The fearful, aggressive body language will appear as follows:

  • Lowered body posture
  • Wrinkled nose
  • Dilated pupils
  • Ears back
  • Fur raised on the back
  • Mouth pulled back
  • Teeth visible

Dominant Aggressive Body Language

If your dog is acting dominant aggressive, he is likely challenging another dog, animal or person. If your dog is in a dominant aggressive state, he is likely to display the following body language:

  • Wrinkled nose
  • Wrinkled forehead
  • Ears far forward
  • Curled lips
  • Teeth visible
  • Raised tail
  • Raised fur throughout top of body and tail
  • Stiff stance

Fearful, Worried Body Language

If your dog is afraid of something… and is worried… she is likely to display the following body language:

  • Ears back
  • Smooth fur
  • Indirect eye contact
  • Raised paw
  • Lowered body
  • Tail down

Stressed Body Language

If a dog is stressed, he is likely to display the following body language:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Ears back
  • Body lowered
  • Tail down

Total Submission Body Language

If your dog is being submissive, you may notice the following:

  • Urination
  • Laying on back
  • Tail tucked
  • Partially closed eyes
  • Head turned
  • Exposing throat and abdomen

Playful Body Language

If your dog is feeling playful, you may notice the following body language:

  • Rump and tail up in the air
  • Lowered front
  • Ears up
  • Dilated pupils
  • Mouth open with tongue exposed

Fully Understand Your Dog

Understanding your dog entirely involves understanding his body language. Please click on the links in each article also to learn more!

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