Dog Body Language (MEANINGS AND SIGNALS)

How to read you dog body language?

We humans tend to communicate through our words and body language. Although most of this human body language have already been deciphered, you can simply ask the other person if you are somehow confused with their body language.

But for dog body language and communication you can’t.

dog body language
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Which at times makes you wondered what’s really happening when your dog is interacting with another dog. Sometimes I feel like I am watching my favorite Korean movies in youtube without a subtitle.

It can be really frustrating when you are standing there anxious not knowing whether to step in and stop your dog or let the activity go on. You are not alone on this, many dog owners misread their dog’s behavior and yet it’s actually pretty easy

It is really helpful to know whether your dog is happy playing or feeling distressed. It can make all the difference how your dog socializes with other dogs. There are actually so many tell-tale signs. All you need to know is what they are and then it’s like watching a movie in English rather than a foreign language.

Unlike humans, dogs can read each other’s gesture without much effort, and like learning other person body language we must too, learn the different body language signals that they use when interacting with other dogs.

Here are some of the key gestures that you can watch out for to understand what your dog is thinking. At the bottom of this article is a link to an amazing video by Doggy Dan in which you can watch all the behaviors I mention below for yourself.

The Head Over: placing their head over the back of another dog’s neck.

This is one of the most common ways a dog will attempt to show their dominance over another dog. It is neither good nor bad. Some dogs, however, will challenge it if they are not happy being dominated. A dog who is not happy with this will clearly let the other dog know!

Returning To Play: a dog returning to play more with another dog.

This is a sign that suggests a dog is happy to play. Often this simple behavior is overlooked by dog owners. Many times a dog may look like they are not enjoying things as they are being dominated and pushed around but is actually very happy and will run back for more! If they were really unhappy they would very likely stay away.

Dog body language paw raised: the dog stands still on three legs.

dog body language

This is a fairly submissive gesture that says I am submissive and non-threatening. The other dog may react in a number of ways but it is generally a good sign.

Hackles Up: the hair on the dogs back goes up.

dog body language

Most of the times people think that this automatically means that the dog is being aggressive or going to be aggressive, I remember old folks advice don’t go near a dog showing this sign as they are angry and might attack me. However, it can also mean they are excited. It does mean that the dog is very alert but this can be because they just love playing with other dogs. Just keep an eye on your dog and don’t panic.

360 Degree Spins: The dog completes a complete spin

The dog spinning will almost certainly be very happy and will be trying to encourage some play activity. When a dog turns their back on another dog it shows that they are relaxed and not scared.

If you like looking at pictures you will enjoy this article about dog body language chart.

There are so many little things to look out for – some more obvious than others. One of the best places to learn how to read dogs is Doggy Dan’s website The Online Dog Trainer.

Doggy Dan’s site is truly amazing with over 250 videos inside. So if you really want to have a dog that you can be proud of look no further, simply take the 3 days $1 trial inside Doggy Dan’s site

Dan even offers a 3 Day $1 trial of the site that YOU can take advantage of, so I suggest the next thing you do today is take a look at the site!

This video website is an excellent source of learning not only about how to interpret your dog’s behavior but also how to stop unwanted behavior and train dogs and puppies.

Here is just one fantastic example of his work, demonstrating the above dog behaviors and much more: 

 

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