Reading your dog’s body language

Let’s face it: everyone wishes they could communicate with their dog. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. However, there are ways for us as pet parents to understand what our dogs are thinking or even feeling. your dog is b

Here are a few ways to effectively read your dog’s body language to better understand him or her:


From high in the air to low to the ground, pet parents can learn their dog’s current behavior through the position and movement of their tail.

Happy tail: When a dog is happy, his tail is held up slightly with a steady wag.

Curious tail: A dog may be curious or interested in exploring a new situation if its tail is held straight forward in a horizontal position.

Agitated or prepared tail: Your dog is alert when he is standing strong with the tail up and the ears up. Their attitude declares that they are willing to meet anything that has piqued their interest.

Aggressive tail: If a dog moves his tail from a relaxed position to a strong vertical position, he may feel stress or aggression. The higher the tail, the more careful one has to be when trying to approach the dog.

submissive tail: Once a dog’s tail moves from neutral to a lower position, the dog is non-threatening and submissive. If a dog’s tail moves from the lower position to between the legs, it could indicate that a dog is seeing that they are a threat and showing that they are not threatening and are not being harmed.


It is often said that eyes speak all the words that a mouth cannot, which also applies to dogs! With one look into your dog’s eyes, you can see what his current mood is or how he is feeling. Your dog’s eyes look average in size and shape when they are happy, relaxed and at ease. Dilated, enlarged eyes are an indicator of stress or anxiety. Finally, if you notice that your pup’s eyes are narrowed, appear smaller than normal, or look like they are squinting, this is a sign that your pup is feeling aggressive. This can also be an indication of a puppy that has become ill.


Each dog breed has its own size, shape and style of ears. The one thing all dogs and their ears have in common is their position when experiencing a newly arising emotion or feeling.

A relaxed dog will drop his ears normally. When a dog hears a new sound or experiences something for the first time, his ears will look like they are set forward and high on their head. These two ear positions can be hard to decipher at times, but the more time you spend with your dog, the easier it will be to tell the difference between happy ears and curious ears.

During a storm, you will notice that your dog’s ears will lie flat on its head. This is a sign of fear. When something startles or puts your dog in a vulnerable position, their ears will respond accordingly by flattening until they are comfortable.


While we can’t address our furry family members directly with words, paying attention to a dog’s display of teeth, jaw, and tongue will speak volumes.

When dogs are happy, they show it! Their mouths can be closed or slightly open. An extra happy pup may have his tongue hanging out – usually accompanied by a wagging tail and other signs of calm body language. Dogs experiencing extra happiness may also display a distinct smile. These moments make the best “Instagramable” photos!

Dogs can also effectively convey feelings of aggression and protection through their mouths. When their lips are pulled back to show their teeth with a wrinkled muzzle, the dog is signaling that everyone should keep their distance and may try to bite if approached.


A dog’s attitude is one of the simpler methods of easily understanding your dog’s mood and behavior. Dogs can try to make themselves look bigger or smaller in addition to other posture adjustments to communicate their mood effectively.

Usually a relaxed and happy dog ​​will show a normal, loose body position. This includes jumping, pounce or eager behavioral cues. When a dog is feeling anxious or nervous, they may try to make themselves as small as possible. If your dog has a low head, ears pushed back and his tail sits low or between the legs as he lowers himself closer to the ground, your dog may feel anxious, nervous or scared. Note: Your dog may show similar body language when trying to be submissive and not perceived as a threat.

Angry and assertive dogs will try to assert their dominance over another dog or situation. These dogs hold their head and chest high and try to make themselves as tall as possible with a slightly leaning forward posture.

Most importantly, all pet parents should remember that dogs are not identical in personality. The above postures usually denote the related attributes; however, some dogs tend to display emotions and feelings in unique ways. This is one of the main reasons why interpreting a dog’s behavior can be difficult, but with time, pet parents will learn their dog’s language and give them exactly what they need to be a happy and content canine citizen. to be.

Learning about your dog

Guidance from those who handle different dogs every day will enable you to learn how your dog reacts best in different stressful situations. At Dogtopia, all dog coaches are trained and willing to answer any questions you may have about your dog, their play day, or how they react around others. Want to know more about your dog with a Dogtopia daycare? Book a Meet & Greet today to learn more about your pup and help them become the best version of themselves at the same time through doggy day care at Dogtopia!

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