Having a dog is the purest form of companionship one can ever achieve and nobody can tell me otherwise. This special relationship between a human and a doggo shows how language isn’t really a barrier to connect with each other. Although, it would literally be the best thing ever if someday pups could talk to humans, no? It would make life so much easier and simpler.
But what if I told you dogs do express how they feel and communicate with you, but maybe it’s you who isn’t able to comprehend it? A dog’s body language and movements speak so much about how they are feeling and what they are trying to tell you. All you need to do is understand and study what each movement indicates. And to help you out with this, we have listed down some of the most common dog body movements and what they mean with the help of our favourite doggo expert, Mallika Kamodia. Read on to find out!
If you want to understand what your pupper is trying to tell you through their tail, you need to pay attention to how the tail is moving and what is the position of the base of the tail. A relaxed doggo will have their tail in an indifferent position, sometimes below the spine level, wagging loosely or moving in a circular motion. And when the tail rises above the spine level while wagging it rapidly, it a sign of being excited or happy. But when they’re scared, you’ll notice their tails tucked in between their legs or wagging stiffly.
When it comes to ears, different dogs have different types of ears. Some may be short, some may be floppy while some may be really furry. Nonetheless, the ear movements and positions indicate the same thing in every type of dog. So, when a pup’s ears are resting on the sides or slightly pushed back, they’re in a relaxed mood. But when they’re alert, the ears will usually stand right up.
When dogs are relaxed, you’ll usually find their mouth open and sometimes panting lightly, looking like they are smiling. But when dogs are stressed or scared, they express it strongly with their mouth movements which usually go unnoticed if the owner does not know much about the signs. So, when dogs suddenly close their mouth as a reaction to anything happening around them, pant rapidly, or drool even when there is no food around them—they’re probably experiencing extreme fear or are super stressed.
Often when a dog grins while showing his teeth, people mistake it for danger. But that is not always the case. You need to consider the movements of the whole body in order to understand what a dog is really trying to say. If they are only showing their front teeth while having a lowered heard, squinty eyes, flattened ears and waggy tails, they’re just being happy and are in no way trying to scare you.
If you notice your dog squinting their eyes, be assured that they’re in a relaxed state of mind. It is actually a good sign. But if they have dilated pupils, pay attention to their surrounding because at that moment they’re feeling either scared, stressed, threatened or frightened. And when you feel your dog’s eyes look rounder than usual or when the white part of the eye is more visible, it could be a sign of your dog feeling tense.
Sometimes, you may notice your doggo leaving wet pawprints on the floor even though they haven’t really walked on anything wet that day. The reason why this happens is that dogs sweat through their paws too when they are upset. Plus, dogs generally pant in order to cool themselves down but if you catch them panting heavily with a pressed mouth and wrinkles on the face, it could be a sign of being stressed.
If you notice your dog shedding hair more than usual, it’s a sign of stress and fear. And when a doggo is upset, you will see that the hair along their back, tail and shoulders are raised.
I’d suggest you keep this piece bookmarked so you can read it often and remember it. This can really help in strengthening the bond between you and your dog as you now will understand their feelings and moods better. Let us know in the comments below if there is anything else you’d like to know about having a dog and how to be the nicest buddy to them.
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