Understanding Dog Body Language – G.W. Little

Understanding Dog Body Language

Cartoon Yorkie wagging tail

Understand Your Dog's Body Language

Want to get a handle on what your dog is trying to tell you? From the position of their tail, to how their ears are standing, there are many different things you can look for that will give you a better understanding of what your little one is "saying."

Play With Me!

When the rear end of your dog's body goes up, and their front end goes downward, with a wagging tail and alert eyes, that's known as play bowing, which is their way of saying "Can we play now?" They will do this for humans as well as for other dogs.

Telling Tails

We come home and find our furry baby wagging their tail with joy, and, of course, we know it's because they're excited and happy to see us. But what if you're at the dog park and their tail is sticking straight out, wagging at a slow pace? That means your baby is being cautious and not quite trusting of the other dogs yet. If the tail goes between their legs, that's a sign of fear; when you see a relaxed wag, that's a sign of calm and confidence.

All Ears

Are your little one's ears perked and standing up when you talk to them? If so, they deserve a treat, because they're being alert and listening. But if the ears are laid back against the head, that's a sign of uneasiness, fright, or submissiveness. Perfectly relaxed ears tell you that they're completely at ease.

Gimme Some Lip

Although panting will usually mean that your furry friend is exhausted or hot, it can also be a sign of playfulness or even stress. Licking of the lips can signify worry or hunger. If the lips are drawn back, revealing teeth, look out: That's a warning or a challenge, especially if combined with a low growl!

-Sharon Athanasiou.