Is your dog trying to tell you something?
Although lots of owners swear their dog can talk to them, there’s truth in the fact that they communicate the way they think and feel to you every day through their behaviour.
Here’s a few body language clues you can easily spot.
“Oooh, I feel really happy today”
A happy, relaxed dog in a good frame of mind will show it, not just by lots of tail wagging, but in their general disposition.
They’ll usually have their head up with their tongue dangling limply out of the side of their mouth. Their ears will be forward and they’ll have a happy expression, some dogs can actually appear to be laughing!
“I’ve been a bad dog, now I’m for it!”
A dog looking worried or guilty is usually accompanied by some bad news. Such as the sudden disappearance of that piece of chicken from the kitchen worktop.
Their body will be stooped, their head will be lowered with eyes looking upwards to you in an appealing way seeking forgiveness, and most likely their ears will be tucked right back to their head.
You’d better investigate the reason. Quick.
“Hey, I’m a good guy to get to know”
A dog feeling some degree of stress in meeting other dogs or people will attempt to diffuse potential aggression by taking a submissive stance, such as putting their front legs flat to the ground and keeping their rear quarters high or even rolling over onto their backs. They can also be seen to raise one front paw, begin exaggerated yawning or starting to lick their own nose.
These are good signs for you to be aware of, particularly when meeting young children who are keen to stroke them or play with them.
“Hmmm, not sure about you mate!”
Dogs meeting for the first time will check each other out to find out if they can be friends. They will circle around each other with their tails held stiff and upright (rather like a flagpole) with occasional quick short wags.
Once they’ve literally sniffed each other out and feel happy, their tails will begin to relax and begin more exaggerated wagging before they start to play.
If this doesn’t happen, their tails will remain aloft and their fur will rise on their back (hackles) so you’d better get ready to call your dog away and put them on their lead – take care not to get hurt if things become too serious though.
Recognise what your dog’s trying to say, respond accordingly and you’ll have a happy, understanding relationship with your pet.