Learning to Speak Dog Language
“Body Language Que’s Tell You Everything You Need To Know”
Learning to speak dog language is not that hard, but you need to know a few basic things to be good at it! Speaking dog is all about identifying dog body language. In fact, this is crucial for anyone who may encounter a stray or unfamiliar dog.
Obviously dogs don’t use words to communicate like we do. However, they do have a language and they are able to express how they feel and tell us what they need or want. Learning to speak dog is part of the bonding process. Most behavior problems are based on the fact that we can’t understand them, or because we completely misunderstand them. Some people actually expect them to learn how to interact with us but don’t feel the need to learn to understand them. We often misinterpret their language and this can be dangerous.
Here is a look at basic dog language.
This is one of the easiest things to recognize. An aggressive dog will have its ears back flat against his head. The hair on its back will be raised and his body will be stiff with its tail straight out or slightly raised. Aggressive dogs may also verbalize its intentions by growling and showing its teeth.
Dominance is often confused with aggression. Dominant dogs still may growl or bark, but the hair on their back will be down. In a dominate state the dog’s ears will be erect or tilted forward. Their eyes will be WIDE open and the tail will be pointed up and may be slowly wagging. Another sign of dominance can be that the dog’s mouth will be closed while it’s head is slightly down or level with the shoulder blades.
A fearful dog will cower trying to look smaller. It will avoid eye contact and may even try to move away. Its tall will be pinned between its legs. When approached, the dog may quiver, lick its lips and show its teeth. It may also give a “rolling” growl.
Shy dogs will show a lot of hesitation. They may also cower slightly and put its head down and attempt to turn away. Shy dogs often avoid eye contact the way a fearful dog does. Shy dogs may try to avoid physical contact and may also wine slightly when approached.
Nervous dogs will show a lot more hesitation. Dogs that are nervous also tend to cower and attempt to find something to hide behind or under. They also avoid eye contact. Nervous dogs will try to avoid physical contact and may wine constantly. Nervous dogs also lick there lips and their body will shake uncontrollably.
Happy dogs are the easiest dogs to spot. Their ears are forward, their tails are wagging and the mouth is open slightly but their teeth are not visible. They may also be panting excitedly, bouncing around, excitedly circling, spinning and even yipping. When they want to play, they will bow down with their front legs extended, and their tail will be wagging quickly or around in circles.
This is a look at some of the common body language cue’s that dogs give.
Dogs who are acting aggressive or fearful are more likely to bite and should be left alone. If you are approached by an aggressive or fearful dog it is important that you do NOT panic or show fear. If you show panic or fear you are showing weakness. When you do this you increase your chances of being attacked.
Some dogs can be very covert and subtle in their body language. Others are very transparent. If you are not sure about how a dog is acting, you should slowly walk away without turning your back to the dog.