How To Know What Your Dog Is Saying

I hear people all the time say. “I wish my dog could talk.” Well your dog is communicating all the time with you. It is your responsibility to learn their language.

Dogs are communicating their emotional state and their intentions all the time, they just don’t use sound like you and I. Their information is sent via body language. Specifically their facial expressions ¬†and body posture.

Understanding your dogs language will help you know when they are spooked or nervous. When they are edgy and about ready to snap. You will need to observer their face as well as their body.

  1. Relaxed and approachable: This dog is relaxed and unconcerned about it’s surrounds and is usually safe to approach.


2. Alert Checking things out: The dog may have noticed something that now has his attention and he is now trying to determine if it is a threat and needs immediate attention. Notice the different in the two. *Ears slightly forward, *Mouth open, * Tail not resting but horizontal and swaying slightly


3. Dominant Aggressive: He is let you know he is dominant and will act aggressively if challenged. Notice *Ears are forward, *Nose is wrinkled, *Lips curled showing teeth and possibly gums, *Fur is raised on the back


4. Fearful and aggressive: This dog is fearful, but is not submissive and may attack if pressed. Notice complete change of posture. *Head down, *Ears back, *Tail tucked, *Body lowered


5. Stressed and Distressed: This dog is either under social stress or environmental distress. It is not addressed to anyone in particular, but just a general announcement to all around. Notice he *Licks at the face of dominant dog or the air, *Ears Back, *Paw Raised, Tail down but wagging slightly


6. Extreme Fear, Total submission: This dog will show total surrender and subbission to dominant presence. Notice *Rolls on back, *Head turned to avoid eye contact, *Eyes partially closed


7. Playful: This dog is asking you to play. Notice *Bowed posture, *Ears up, *Tail up and waving, *Mouth open



2 thoughts on “How To Know What Your Dog Is Saying

  1. Great blog and what I needed to read. I am wondering if you could tell me about what to look out for when you dog is in pain? Sadly my beautiful Leonberger has a tumour in her mouth. I am broken hearted as the vet tried to remove it all but couldn’t. He said she is a remarkable dog for her age (she’s over 8 now) which is the expected age …8 -10 years and only for this tumour she would be fine. He said we have really looked after her so well, her teeth, weight etc., all great and apart from her bad breath from the tumour you wouldn’t think anything was wrong. I would hate to think though that she is suffering so how can I tell this, when I know the time for her to go to sleep? (I dread the day, but I will not keep her alive if she will suffer as I firmly believe it is not for me she should live)


    • I am so sorry you baby is suffering. It is hard to know when a dog is in pain because they tend to hid it well. One sign is excessive panting, when she isn’t hot.

      I have not had to put a dog down yet, my oldest turned 15 this week, so I know it may not be far off. His expected life span is 15-18. I had read many articles and have been told by many friends who. Have had to put a dog down, that some how they will let you know when they are ready.

      I would say keep in close contact with your vet as he will be a great asset at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

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