Your Dog’s Body Language is Telling You Something
There are entire branches of behavioral psychology solely dedicated to studying and analyzing the meaning of body language. Like humans, domesticated animals, particularly dogs, are very expressive beings. By understanding the variations in their bodily position and movements, you can interpret their exact mood. It is
easier than you might think as the signs are typically fairly obvious. With a proper understanding of your pet’s body language you are better able to train, accommodate their needs more aptly and strengthen your overall bond together.
There are key parts to examine when analyzing your dog’s behavior and mood. The tail is one of the most important aspects, yet is often misunderstood. Most people associate a wagging tail with a happy pup when in fact it means the dog is energized and ready to engage, whether positively or negatively. When your dog is feeling nervous or submissive, he or she will lower the tail and/or tuck it in between the legs. If the tail is held high and/or taut, it signals the dog is about to lunge or jump.
A dog’s ears are also one of the first places to examine in order to determine the message they are portraying. When your dog is relaxed, he will hold his ears naturally, whether that be pointed up or floppy. When he or she is alert, they will be upright and turned towards the source of whatever sound is interesting them. They will also be straight up and forward when your dog is displaying aggression. If they are pulled back he/she is friendly and when they are flat or against the side of the head it signals submissiveness or fright.
If a dog sees what they consider a friendly creature, their eyes will brighten indicating playful intentions. Averting eyes may indicate confusion or the avoidance of confrontation. An aggressive dog will have narrowed eyes and follow the every move of whatever they are fixated on. Do not stare an aggressive dog in the eye as they see it as a challenge to defend themselves.
There are other elements you can observe to determine what your dog is trying to tell you. Overall body posture can give the biggest picture. Their stance is generally a very indicative sign. Look for the combination of the various parts to determine what specific feelings a dog is conveying.