Guide to Dog Body Language by The Pet Medicine Company
Have you ever wondered what your dog would say to you if they could speak your language? Well dogs actually have a language of there own that allows them to communicate their emotional state and intentions to others around them. A dog’s actions can speak a thousand words, it’s just interpreting it that is a learned skill. Understanding what your dog is saying can give you a lot of useful information, such as when they are scared or nervous and when they are ready to play or fight. In today’s blog we are going to be looking at the 6 most important messages that your dog is trying to send you.
- The relaxed approach – The position that your dog will be showing is ears up but not forward, their mouth open slightly with their tongue exposed and a relaxed tail.
- Alert- checking things out – If your dog has detected something of interest, the signs of communication that they will show are wide eyes, ears forward, closed mouth a slight forward lean standing tall on their paws and the tail at a horizontal angle. This is showing that your dog is assessing the situation to determine if there is any threat.
- Dominant Aggressive – These signs are usually shown in a very dominant and confident dog; this stance is showing you that they are not only expressing social dominance but also threatening that they will act aggressively if challenged. The way this is communicated to you is the tail will stand tall and be very stiff can sometimes be seen to quiver from side to side. There forehead and nose will usually tend to wrinkle and curl their lips ever so slightly.
- Stressed and Distressed – Your dog will usually be panting, and pupils dilated, their ears will be back, and body lowered closer to the floor. Their tail will also be completely lowered between there two back legs. This kind of behaving is showing that the dog is under either social or environmental stress.
- Extreme fear and total submission – The way your dog will communicate this to you is by completely rolling over onto there back exposing the stomach and throat, ears partly closed, tail tucked completely away and ears flat and back. This is communicating to you that they totally surrender, they are trying to tell you that they understand their lower status to you in the hope of avoiding any confrontation.
- Playfulness – the way your dog will show you they are ready to play is by lowering their front paws whilst keeping their tail and back paws up high. This position is usually held for only a moment before they break off into a run into some random direction inviting you to play with them. This set of signals may be used as an apology for some dogs if they have previously upset you, it is a way for them to show you that any previous rough behaviour was not meant as a threat.