How To Understand What Your Dog Is Telling You}

How to Understand What Your Dog Is Telling You


Jordan Rocksmith

Dogs use body language to communicate, and home dog training in Sarasota can teach you what signals to watch for, making it easier to translate their behavior.

Eye Contact

Eye contact–and the lack thereof–is very significant in the dog world. Direct eye contact is threatening and can provoke nervous or violent reactions from some dogs. Youll often see direct eye contact if your dog is guarding a favorite possession. On the other hand, a dog who avoids all eye contact is usually very nervous and uncomfortable.

Tail Position

A relaxed dog has a tail that hangs about level with the body and might wag slowly. A dog who holds his tail stiffly is probably feeling defensive or afraid. The faster a dogs tail wags, the more excited he is–but that doesn’t always mean hes happy to see you. The height of the tail gives you more information about the dogs mood. Tails held high over the back signal excitement, while tails that are low or tucked between the legs are signals of fear.

Facial Cues

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Your dogs face reveals a lot about what he is feeling. Here are some signals to watch for:

A closed, tense mouth is a sign of discomfort or tension.

Perky, upright ears signal attention and interest.

Flat, laid back ears signal fear.

A half-moon eye (when you see the whites of your dogs eye) is a sign of fear.

A lifted lip may accompany or precede a growl and is usually a sign of discomfort.

Quick lip licking can be a nervous sign, although it may happen too fast for you to notice.

Body Posture

Look at the way your dog is standing. A dog who stands stiffly is probably uncomfortable and may charge or bite if he continues to feel threatened. If a dog is very uncomfortable or afraid, you will be able to see them leaning back, away from the thing that makes them uncomfortable. On the other hand, a dominant or pushy dog will lean forward, with his head jutting out well past his front feet. Dogs who are in a relaxed state will be somewhere in the middle. Their bodies should seem loose and their movements shouldnt look tense.


Growling is misunderstood by many dog owners. Growling is a not necessarily a sign that a dog is aggressive. Dont punish your dog for growling because its his way of trying to tell you (or another dog) that hes uncomfortable. Instead, learn what it is that makes him uncomfortable and help him overcome his fears or avoid them altogether.

Accidents in the House

Most dogs should be potty trained by the time they are 4-5 months old. If your dog continually has accidents in the house after this time, he might be trying to tell you something. Male dogs will often mark indoors, especially if they havent been neutered. Dogs will also have accidents if they are stressed or if they are overly excited. Home dog training in Sarasota can help you understand why your dog is having accidents and come up with a solution.

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How to Understand What Your Dog Is Telling You }