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Dogs body language explained

Dogs body language involves facial expressions and body postures that allow them to communicate how their emotional state and intentions to others around them.

You have to observe at your dog’s face and whole body to understand what their saying and when they are feeling scared, happy or angry. Their ears, tails, and mouth are the furry roadmaps into their mind.

What is your dog telling you? Here are 6 important dogs body languages you need to know to successfully communicate with your pet canine.

1 - playful ~ “i want to play!”

This carefree state of dogs body language, has their tails raised and, ears up, and an open, panting mouth.

The play bow is the trademark of a happy dog and the basic invitation to play, with their butt in the air, and head near the floor.

2 - relaxed and friendly ~ “i am calm.”

A totally relaxed stance where the dog’s weight is balanced flat on all fours. A head held high is a sign that the dog is unconcerned about his immediate surrounding, and he is generally okay with being approached.

A contented dog has his ears up, his tail hanging loose or wagging. He should be panting with most of his back teeth visible, as opposed to a short mouth, which is closed with no teeth visible.

3 - alert and confident ~ “what’s up? i’m interested!”

A confident dog stands straight and tall with the head held high, ears perked up, and eyes bright. The mouth may be slightly open but is relaxed. The tail may sway gently, curl loosely, or hang in a relaxed position. The dog is friendly, non-threatening, and at ease with his surroundings.

4 - excited ~ “i am happy!”

An excited dog shares similar body language of both a happy and playful dog. The dog will typically jump, run around and pant with tail wagging. The eyes are wide and the tongue may hang out. Over-excited dogs may have the tendency to become hyperactive resulting in them jumping on people and barking loudly.

Extremely excited dogs may become exhausted or overstimulated, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Try to calm an excited dog by redirecting to a training command, chew toy, or running outdoors. Avoid physical restraint or pulling the leash as this can lead to overstimulation.

5 - aggressive ~ “back off!”

The dog is in an offensive aggression stance when standing tall, his head is straight ahead with a stiff posture, raised hackles, and a tail raised high. The ears are pinned back, the mouth and nose wrinkled with eyes narrowed. His lips are likely curled lips and teeth bared accompanied by growling and threatening barks.

Do not approach an aggressive dog as he may lunge forward.

6 - fearful and anxious – “do not approach me.”

This is another scared dog in a defensive aggression state.

His body will be lowered and moving or walking very tentatively with ears pinned back; and mouth often closed. His tail will be down, and sometimes tucked.

A fearful dog often whines or growls and bare his teeth in self-defense. He may turn aggressive quickly if threatened.

Avoid attempt to reassure a fearful dog. Instead, remove yourself from the situation. For anxious and fearful pet dogs, calmly move them to a less threatening situation, without attempts to comfort or punish.

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