How to Read Your Dog's Body Language

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Dogs don't pass done code arsenic humans do. Instead, they person an precocious acceptable of non-verbal cues that they usage to pass with each different and with us. They usage their full assemblage to bash this — eyes, ears, mouth, tail, wide assemblage movement, and more. While dogs bash usage their voices for noises specified arsenic whining, yawning, oregon barking, their assemblage movements are important to their communication. By looking astatine the pursuing signs, you tin amended recognize however your dog is communicating with their assemblage language.

Tail Wagging

Many radical deliberation that each process wagging means a canine is excited and happy. However, this is not wholly true. To recognize what your canine whitethorn beryllium trying to communicate, beryllium definite to look for things like:

  • How accelerated their process is wagging
  • If their process is wagging sideways oregon perpendicularly
  • If their process is making twitching movements

If their process is moving faster, this means they are much excited. Tail wagging to the near is usually a antagonistic arousal symptom. Tail wagging that moves the dog’s full assemblage is mostly a blessed wag reserved for loved ones.

Where the canine places their process comparative to the crushed is different indispensable cardinal to knowing their mood. If your dog's process is little to the ground, betwixt their hind legs, oregon different lowered, they mightiness beryllium feeling submissive oregon fearful. Conversely, if your canine is holding their process up, they whitethorn beryllium feeling aggressive, confident, oregon happy.

Some dog breeds person people lowered oregon heightened tails. Get to cognize your dog’s process movements and however they subordinate to the concern you're successful astatine the time.

Raised Hackles

When your canine raises their hackles, the fur connected their backmost whitethorn rise up crossed the shoulders and down the backmost each the mode to the tail.

This means your canine is excited, and it's not needfully a atrocious thing. It could beryllium that your canine is upset, but it could besides awesome utmost excitement oregon interest. Think of this absorption arsenic being akin to goosebumps for people.



Understanding however a dog’s value is distributed is cardinal to speechmaking their assemblage language. For example, a hunched oregon cowering canine mightiness beryllium a canine experiencing fearfulness and stress. This posture is meant to assistance the canine look smaller and much submissive successful the look of thing they fear.

The utmost mentation of this presumption is erstwhile the canine rolls implicit connected their backmost and shows their belly. While this tin beryllium a motion of a canine waiting for belly rubs, it tin besides beryllium a motion of heavy accent and anxiety.

If your canine is lasting oregon sitting with their assemblage value moving forward, they whitethorn beryllium funny successful thing oregon possibly offended and negatively stimulated by something.

When your canine raises their paw, this tin either mean that your canine is signaling towards prey oregon that they are unsure oregon insecure astir something.

Facial Expressions

While dogs person akin facial expressions to people, they bash not ever mean the aforesaid things. For example, radical yawn erstwhile they are tired, but dogs yawn erstwhile they are stressed. In stressful situations, they volition yawn to unbend themselves oregon others. During stressful times for your dog, you tin effort yawning astatine them to assistance them relax.

Your canine mightiness lick their lips successful stressful situations. Don’t mistake it for them wanting to eat; it’s usually to disseminate the hostility of uncomfortable situations. 

Often the astir challenging facial look to work is simply a dog's smile. Sometimes it tin mean the implicit other of what it means for humans. For example, your smiling canine mightiness beryllium menacingly showing its teeth. If combined with a relaxed posture and demeanor, the grin tin beryllium a submissive and saccharine gesture.


Looking astatine your dog’s eyes is simply a precise important portion of the puzzle. Are your dog’s eyes hard oregon soft? Are they squinting oregon looking astatine thing repeatedly? When dogs are feeling aggressive, their eyes volition spell cold, and they sprout stares astatine their aggressor oregon the entity of their anger.

Dogs volition debar oculus interaction erstwhile they're stressed. If they are outright ignoring you, this usually means your canine is uncomfortable. Similarly, if the whites of your dog’s eyes are showing, this tin beryllium different motion of anxiousness and stress.


It’s All About the Bigger Picture

None of these behaviors and assemblage signals beryllium successful a vacuum. To recognize however your canine feels by looking astatine their assemblage language, you indispensable spot the sum of each their assemblage parts. Your canine is talking to you each the time, and their bodies are remarkably expressive. Over clip you volition go acquainted with their signals and person an easier clip knowing them.

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