Understanding Dog Body Language


Dogs cannot talk or speak. But by paying attention to the dog’s body language, especially their facial expressions and body postures, anyone can easily understand or communicate with them successfully.

How to recognize fear in dogs? How to recognize when dogs are becoming stressed? What do dogs do when they’re feeling stressed, anxious, nervous, overexcited or making dog to dog communication? What’s appropriate, what’s not, when to step in and when you don’t have to step in˗ these all are to know about if you wish to get well along with them.

Stress Behaviour In Dogs


Discomfort, stress/ anxiety, nervousness, apprehension/ uncertainty˗ these behaviors are signals that dogs will show to communicate. These warnings are crystal clear in dog to dog language. But unfortunately, humans, unless taught, do not know this. When you ignore these signs, behavior problems can arise and potentially lead dogs even to biting.

Common Stress Signals

If your dog doesn’t like someone to get close to it, at times maybe even you, it’ll express it using some gestures. For instance, if you shove your face into your pet’s, it will move away showing that it doesn’t quite like your act. On the contrary, it’ll press its face on yours when it enjoys your act.


Anxious Behavior in Dogs


As you walk outside in your dog’s company, you may often come to see it restlessly sway its head left and right, see its ears up or see it sniffing the ground or lowering its tail. These are all signs that your dog is anxious. No matter what the reason is, you had better pay heed. Or else, it may be hazardous for either of you.

Fearful Behavior in Dogs

If scared, your dog will tend to lower its tail and sink its body and head to the ground. It will seemingly try to shrink itself as if to avoid threats. Out of nervousness, dogs bark very low with their ears flattened. They also ay wag tails and lick their lips to get relieved of tension. Sometimes, dogs turn aggressive out of extreme fear or nervousness. In such case, you’ll see their ears moved backward and their pupils dilated. Other possible signals that dogs make out of fear are wrinkled nose, slightly curved lips and mouth pulled back from corners.

High Arousal Behavior in Dogs

The high arousal behavior is an important one, especially for adolescent dogs. Right when they start becoming too aroused or too stimulated, you’ll start seeing these behaviors in them. You’ll see high-pitched barking, whining, crying; you’ll see displacement behaviors and stress signals because they’re too excited and they’re trying to calm themselves down.

When two dogs bark or growl at each other, it doesn’t always mean they’re trying to socialize or conversing over their whereabouts. It may be a strong despised dialogue where one is threatening the other with snarling or staring hard. The other in the meanwhile is intimidated which reveals as it barks or growls low, licks its lips or tries to disappear into the ground . If you don’t realize or try to understand this, the weaker one may continue being stressed and scared. You must initiate to scare away the stronger canine and mentally relieve the intimidated one with the assurance of safety it requires.

Dog to Dog Interactions

The most common way dogs exchange greetings at their meeting is they circle one another. At the same time, they sniff each other’s genital area to get a sense of smell to know each other well. 

Wagging tail can be a sign of either a secure or insecure attitude. Thus, you need to associate it with other signals of threats or comfort when two or more dogs are interacting. 



One important bad sign you must learn about is, when dogs run straight at each other like ancient warriors. It’s a clear indication that they are going to get into a feud.

Restating, dogs have different approaches of making communication. They have pain, fear and sorrows like we humans do. If you desire them to be good companions, you have the liability of understanding their ways of communication. Hope the above discussion helps in this regard.

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