Understanding a dog’s body language is essential for building a strong and trustworthy relationship with your four-legged friend.
When it comes to understanding dog body language, despite the fact our dogs cannot talk, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
However, there probably isn’t one day that passes where owners wish dogs could talk!
There would be so many questions we would ask our dog: How they are feeling? Whether they do in fact like retrieving that tennis ball for the 600th time or are they just doing it to please us?
Back to body language then, even without speaking, dogs do communicate, some more subtly than others.
A dog’s body language tells us exactly how they are feeling, we just have to know what we are looking for.
So to help you understand dog body language, we have put together seven real life examples to help you figure out what is going on in your four legged friend’s mind.
For those more adventurous, we also have a quick dog body language chart with a quiz to test your knowledge at the end!
Fearful & Worried – I’m Not Approachable
This is another scared dog, but still contemplating they may be able to escape the situation, slowly.
Here you will notice they will be looking away, they may even close their eyes slightly.
Their body will be lowered and they may be moving or walking very tentatively; some dogs will even raise a paw.
Their ears will be flat and back; their mouth often closed.
Their tail will be down, sometimes even tucked. Some dogs may attempt to very slowly wag their tail.
Fearful Submission – Leave Me Alone
Interpreting dog body language in this picture is easy!
This dog just wants to be left alone.
A fearful dog may roll completely onto their back exposing their stomach and throat. They will usually turn their head away to avoid confrontation. Their ears will be flat and back.
If they have a long tail, it will often be tucked between their legs.
Many fearful dogs will close their eyes, again to avoid confrontation.
They are hoping if they don’t get involved, or don’t respond, the aggressor will just leave them alone.