Woof, woof! Bark, bark. What is your dog trying to tell you? Although you may not speak the same language, you’d be surprised at how much you and your dog can understand one another. Communicating with your dog is essential to building a healthy and happy relationship. Here are a few things to look for to improve your communication with your dog:
Your dog’s bark can tell you a lot about how they’re feeling. Pay attention to the pitch and frequency of the bark. A low pitched sound, like a growl, typically indicates anger or aggression. This is your dog’s way of saying “leave me alone” or “keep your distance.” A higher-pitched sound means just the opposite “it’s safe to come closer.” The frequency of the bark can also tell a lot about your dog’s state of mind. Barking in rapid succession with few breaks could indicate something is the matter. It can also indicate happiness or excitement, so you may need other body language signs to understand what your dog is trying to say.
Wag the Dog
They’re curly, straight, fluffy, docked, and hairless – yes, we mean the tail. The tail is key in understanding your dog’s temperament, but it’s only one method of communication and shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. Many dog owners can misinterpret what tails signals. A wagging tail as a sign of willingness to interact or engage, not necessarily excitement or eagerness. A tail held high could signal confidence, while a tail hanging between your dog’s legs means that he’s scared or nervous. A tail that “wags” the whole dog’s body is code for friendly, eager, and engaged.
Interested in more information about dogs? Check out our article about Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs.
Let’s have a look at those Canines!
When a dog shows you his teeth, you need to take note. A dog that curls his lip in a snarl to expose his teeth is not looking to make friends. In fact, it’s a sign to stay away or keep your distance. Snarling is most definitely a sign of defensiveness or aggression in dogs. However, if you can see your dog’s teeth when his mouth is open and tongue flopping out, it probably means your dog is in a good mood and wants to play or interact with you.
Did you Say Something?
Like tails, ears come in all shapes and sizes – some pointy, some floppy. A dog’s ear position can indicate alertness, nervousness, anxiousness, aggression, or many other states. If your dog’s ears are forward, then he is alert and interested in what’s going on. This doesn’t necessarily mean friendliness. You’ll need to evaluate this in combination with other body language signals like eyes and mouth. Ears pinned back can mean anything from happiness to stress to fear. You’ll also need other signals here to determine what your dog is trying to tell you.
Look Into My Eyes
If you’re shy or embarrassed, you might avoid eye contact, right? Well, the same is true for your dog. Confident and dominant dogs, on the other hand, aren’t afraid to make eye contact. Using eye contact with your dog is a good way to establish your role as their pack leader. Not giving a strange dog direct eye contact and using proper body language can defuse a potentially dangerous situation. If your dog’s eyes are round or almond-shaped and soft, with the pupils dilated appropriately, then you’ve found yourself a social, confident, and friendly dog. At the end of the day, you need to evaluate all of these communication methods to piece together what your dog is saying. Dogs have personalities, just like we do, so with time, you’ll come to understand your dog’s body language and what he’s trying to tell you.
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