10 Ways Dogs Communicate Through Their Body Language

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10 Ways Dogs Communicate Through Their Body Language

Since dogs are not capable of using words to tell you what they want, they tell us with their body language.

To know and understand what they are saying, you just have to “listen,” with your eyes to the ways dogs communicate through their body language.

1. Tail wagging — You may think this means that it’s a friendly dog because her tail is wagging, but that’s not always the case. Dogs also wag their tales when they are agitated, unsure or even scared.

Notice that a frighten, or submissive dog may hold the tail low and between the back legs, waiting for the next move from you, while an angry or aggressive dog may wag the tail high while they chases or even attack.

Also look at how the dog has distributed their weight. If the dog feels threaten, the body will be tense and most of the weight will be mainly on the front legs.

2. Paw lifting — This could be a sign of wanting to play, especially if the dog is relaxed and has a happy “expression”. Lifting the paw may also mean there’s something like a burr stuck in it and wants you to get it out.

3. Rolling Over — When a dog rolls over on her back, with her back legs stretch out to both sides exposing her belly, she’s being submissive; especially if she does this in front of another dog.

She is telling that dog that he is the boss she doesn’t want to fight.

Ways Dogs Communicate Through Their Body Language

When a dog rolls over on her back for you, this could have more than one meaning.

It could mean:

  1.  She is trying to avoid something you want her to do.
  2.  She does this in an anticipation of a scolding from you; making an “apology” to you so you’re not mad at her any more.
  3.  More often the not, rolling over on their back is a sign of happiness and trust, in a pleasant submissive nature. Saying, “I love you, could you please rub my belly?”

4. Whining –- Whining could mean several different things. It could mean she just wants some attention, or there is something wrong with her; she wants to go out to potty, is hurt or sad and lonely or that she senses something wrong with a member of your family and is trying to alert you.

5. Tail tucked with ears back — If you see a dog with the tail tucked, ears back and takes a few steps backwards, is a sign of apprehension. You, a stranger or even an object may make her feel this way.

Example: Your dog walks into the room and sees the vacuum cleaner sitting in the corner. If she hasn’t seen the vacuum cleaner before, she may be startled at first, but then she will creep up slowly and cautiously with her tail tucked and ears back, to inspect it.

6. Mounting –- When a dog mounts another, he is showing the other dog his dominance over him. This is not just a male dog characteristic; female dogs can show their dominance over males.

They do this by putting their front legs on the other dogs back, or they stand above the other, telling him that he or she is “top dog,” not them.

16 Useful Clues To Understand Your Dog Better

How to understand what your dog wants? Understanding a dog’s body language is essential for building a strong and trustworthy relationship with your four-legged friend. This is really important because dogs are a source of limitless positivity!

So, do you know what your pet is trying to tell you in different situations? Our video will help you understand your pet or any other dog. Let’s get started – here are 16 useful clues for you to understand your dog better.

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It could also mean that the female is in “heat” and wants to be breed.

7. Humping — Even a neutered dog will still hump a female, or a person’s leg. Even though the dog may be neutered, there is still that sexual intent in this behavior.

If your dog tries this behavior by humping the leg of a human, you must make a loud noise to break his focus, which will stop him in his tracks, or if on leash, pull him away with a sharp jerk of the leash, letting him know that is unacceptable.

8. Ears back and to the side — If you see a dog with her ears back and to the side and her head is low with her eyes averted, then beware, because this is a sign of being afraid. A dog that is afraid could be a dog that bites first and asks questions later.

But if her eyes don’t look worried, her body isn’t tense, and doesn’t have that winkles in her brow, than it may be that she just holds her ears that way when she’s happy or relaxed.

9. Ears pricked up — This has different meanings as well. She could be listening intently to a sound in the distance or to you for another command that you may give her, or this is a sign of a well-adjusted, confident dog.

But, if the ears are up and she also has her hackles up, standing stiffly with a penetrating stare, the dog is demonstrating dominance or aggression.

10. Bowing — When you see your dog with her rear end up in the air with her front legs on the ground, tail wagging a mile a minute, with her eyes bright and happy, she is “play bowing.”

She’s sending you an invitation to play, whether it’s with you or another dog, she’s now set in the “play mode,” and is ready to rump.