What is Your Dog Telling You?

October 18th, 2016

We tend to think that dogs have relatively little to say because they don’t speak our language, but we are too focused on speech. Dogs are constantly asking us to listen, just not with our ears.

So what is your dog telling you?

Body Language

The baseline posture of a relaxed dog includes having ears up and tail down.

In an alert, often transitional, posture, the tail is held straight behind, the ears go forward, and the entire carriage raises.

A fearful or anxious dog tucks his tail, lowers his body and pulls back the corners of his mouth. If the hair along the back of his neck are raised and his nose wrinkled, he is saying he just might bite if pressed further.

Hug Me Not

guilty-dog-memeWhen you hug a dog, it can actually feel like a perceived threat. Reaching across a dog’s neck is an act of intimidation. Some dogs may tolerate it, but most don’t like it.

Guilt Trip 

You’ve seen that look on a million Pinterest or Buzzfeed photos. A dog in front of a trash can they just rummaged through, looking guilty. But likely, that isn’t guilt. It’s more likely shame or anxiety, prompted by an owner’s anger. The furrowed brow and squinty eyes are more often signs of stress than anything else.