by Andrew Garcia
Jul 27, 2022
4 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- In What Ways Do Dogs Express Themselves?
- What Signs Do Dogs Use In Expressing Themselves?
- How To Read Your Dog’s Body Language?
- How to Know If Your Dog Is Communicating with You?
People often say that dogs are man’s best friends. But, people hardly understand how dogs feel or think. When trying to understand a person, non-verbal communication is the way to go. However, with your furry pal, body language is much more critical. Consequently, all humans can benefit from understanding how to read dog body language and how they communicate.
In What Ways Do Dogs Express Themselves?
Some people are pretty reluctant to believe that dogs are capable of expressions. But, they have their language and can understand humans. With proper training, your pet can express himself clearly and obey orders.
Dogs’ emotions are usually expressed through physicality. Although they can’t show their intentions, dogs show how they feel in any situation. Therefore, a stance, movement, or action are part of physical communication.
You can understand what your dog tells you by looking at his whole body. Pay special attention to crucial spots like the tail, eyes, mouth, and ears. It would be best if you also looked out for changes in their physicality. Usually, a fearful response from your dog can swiftly turn into an aggressive one.
What Signs Do Dogs Use In Expressing Themselves?
Your furry pal can show you his love, affection, and companionship by sleeping next to you. But it is not ideal for dogs to get used to sleeping with humans. Instead, they should sleep on their own. Moreover, because a dog is a man’s best friend, loyalty is their best quality. Your dog will love you and be utterly loyal to you for as long as he lives.
Dogs are wolves’ descendants, belonging to a pack is essential for them. They are quick to protect and take care of their pack. As their owners, humans form a part of the dog pack, especially when there aren’t any other dogs around. Usually, dogs use their pack for several things, including seeking protection, safety, and companionship.
How To Read Your Dog’s Body Language?
Learning the various components your dog uses in expressing themselves is the first step in learning how to read your dog. Next, you must break down their different signs to read what your furry pal is telling you.
The mouth is one of the ways dogs express certain emotions. Therefore, paying attention to you dog’s mouth can tell much about his feelings. Usually, dogs have their mouth closed or slightly open when they are happy and relaxed. Sometimes, some dogs show submissiveness with a smile, pulling their lips straight up and showing their front teeth. A submissive body language usually follows this action.
Dogs also express themselves through licking. Dogs lick their owners as a sign of love, submission, obedience, and companionship. It is important to note that licking usually occurs between mother and pup at a very young age.
Although dogs have similar facial features to people, they don’t use them similarly. For instance, people yawn when they are bored or tired, while dogs yawn when they are stressed. Yawning is contagious in people, but it is the same for dogs. Therefore, don’t be surprised if your dog yawns back.
Smiling or Aggression?
Another dog’s expression is smiling. However, smiling is the most confusing facial expression for dogs. Some dogs smile, but it can look terrifying if you’re not familiar with this expression.
Usually, when dogs bare their teeth, it seems as if they are serving a warning. Therefore, it is hard to mistake the aggressiveness of a snarl, especially when paired with a menacing growl. When smiling, the corners of the dog’s lips form a C-shape with their front teeth fully displayed.
Dog’s ears come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. Therefore, the appearance of your dog’s ears determines the best way to read his expression. When relaxed, your dog’s ears are usually in their normal position. But if they are alert or aggressive, your dog’s ears will stand high and forward on their head.
Although a dog may wag its tail at you, it does not necessarily mean the dog is happy or friendly. Dogs wag their tails when they’re happy, nervous, or feeling aggressive. A low-hung wagging tail means your dog feels submissive, scared, or unsure of himself. However, if your dog holds his tail high and is wagging it stiffly, it could be a sign that your furry pal is agitated or uncomfortable.
Paying attention to your dog’s overall posture is one of the best ways to understand what your furry friend tells you. a happy, relaxed, or playful dog will exhibit a normal body posture. While a scared dog will try to make himself appear smaller. It is important to note that your dog’s body language may appear normal, but they may be eager or pounce around.
How to Know If Your Dog Is Communicating with You?
Avoiding Eye Contact
Dogs avoiding contact with you or another dog is exhibiting culture or avoiding a threat. For instance, your dog may know that you know he has been naughty
When humans have hair prickling on the back of the neck, it signals caution. This also applies to dogs. Your dog is on high alert and easily excitable when the fur on his back or hind quarters is bristled or stands on end.
Your dog may have leash aggression if she lunges, barks, and growls at other dogs while on a leash. And this has to do with your dog’s relationship with the leash. if your dog feels restricted or anxious while wearing a leash, it is easier for her to lash out at other pups.
If your dog has ears perked up or facing forward, he is prepped for action. This usually means that your dog is alert and could easily switch gears to aggressive or playful mode, depending on the scenario. It is important to note, however, that catching your dog off-guard or scaring her at this moment may induce a fear-based response
Spinning is a heightened version of pacing. However, some dogs spin slowly to find the right spot for them to lie down. But, if you notice your dog rapidly pacing and whining or panting at the same time, it is a sure sign that your dog is worried or anxious.
Sighs and Groans
Your dog sighing or groaning is relatively straightforward. This body language shows your dog is a little annoyed but settling. Usually, your dog will sigh or groan when he plops into his bed after you tell him to lie down.
Dogs can also feel anxiety, anger, and playfulness. And their body language usually conveys these positive or negative emotions. For example, a happy dog usually has ears up straight with a wagging tail, while an anxious or fearful dog avoids eye contact while cowering or tucking its tail between its legs. Therefore, as a pet owner, you can learn to communicate with your dog to strengthen the bond between you and your best buddy.
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