Your dog’s body language

You happen to experience such wonderful relationships and moments with your dog that the only thing which you miss is a possibility to talk. However, your dog has an unusual ability to express emotions and communicate with you. Looking carefully at the position of dog’s ears, tail and tension of face muscles, you can see emotions which you dog feels. Find out when your dog is cheerful and friendly and when it is confused, scared, annoyed.

Below you can read about the most common emotional states of your dog and a description of changes in appearance which accompany it at that time:

  • It raises one front paw or lies down on front paws, holding the rest of the body up – it encourages you to play together.
  • It vigorously wages its tail held upwards, jumps, sometimes runs and barks or brings a favourite toy – it wants to draw some attention, get some time. Play together.
  • Open muzzle, teeth displayed in a wide grimace – your dog is showing submissiveness to you, while lying on the back and displaying a belly signify full submissiveness, devotion and trust.
  • Mouth tense, skin on the nose puckered up, incisor teeth displayed – be careful, a dog is aggressive, very self-confident; when ears are put ahead, flatly pressed to the head means that a dog is aggressive and ready to attack.
  • Mouth back, all teeth displayed, growling – a dog is aggressive, but in this case it is caused rather by fear.
  • Ear pointed upwards – your dog is listening carefully, it is alert.
  • Ears placed backwards or lying flatly on the head – a dog takes great pleasure, submissiveness, and fear.
  • A loose tail, enthusiastic movements display friendly attitude and pleasure.
  • A stiff tail on the backline, slow movements – a dog displays anger.
  • A tail down, stiff movements – a dog is anxious, nervous, it wants to win favour with another dog.
  • A tail rolled between back legs means terror and fear.
  • A tail kept 45 degrees below a backline or a little bit higher – a dog is interested, but alert at the same time.

AN IMPORTANT RULE! When a dog is anxious, you had better avoid eye contact. It may treat it as provocation and attack.
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Examples of behaviour presented above and their interpretation do not have to match in 100% the way your dog expresses emotions. Each animal is different and has its own communication methods. However, you should devote time to learn to pick and interpret dog’s behaviour, since it helps create good relations between you.

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