Your Dog Is Sending You Signals Constantly — But Do You Know What All of Them Mean?

Your Dog Is Sending You Signals Constantly — But Do You Know What All of Them Mean?

As a dog lover, it’s impossible to not fall victim to a dog’s puppy eyes at least ten times a day. No one can resist a cute dog. You cannot simply ignore a dog once she has shown you her cute smile or twinkling eyes. This is your dog’s way to communicate with you through her body language. There are many other gestures that your dog uses to interact with you. Just like human babies, your dog uses her body parts and facial expressions to get her message across so you can understand her and give her what she wants. A group of scientists researched several dogs at the same time and observed their behavior for a certain amount of time. They concluded, there are at least 19 signals which a dog uses to communicate.


These signals may include, wagging tail, droopy eyes, perked up ears, upturned tail, etc. All of them signifying different messages and emotions from your canine buddy. This article will cover some common signals which a dog utilizes to communicate. As a dog owner, you must be able to decipher these common signals to help your dog and cater to her needs.

It is mostly pretty easy to understand when your dog is happy and playful. He’ll want you to take him to walk outside or play with a toy by nudging you with his paw or biting your sleeve gently to bring you to his desired place. A Dog also uses this way when he wants food or treats then he will bring you near the shelf where his treats are. He might throw his toys and balls at you and jump around you to get you as excited as he is. 

Likewise, dogs also have ways to show their love for their owners. If a dog likes you and wants to show gratitude for getting him his favorite treat, he will put his head in your lap, lick your face and get overly excited and he is likely to jump around when he sees you. 

Your dog might also follow you like a shadow or check up on you if he hasn’t seen you for a while just to make sure you are okay. In this situation, the dog’s body language is either neutral or completely relaxed and happy. Your dog wanting belly rubs and laying beside you for body scratches also signifies that he trusts you and likes to be with you.

However, just like giving out happy signals, dogs also show signs of sadness. This can be seen as droopy eyes and ears, lowered head and tail. He also won’t show happiness even at the prospect of going outside or getting a new toy or treats. Now the important part is to understand why he is sad. For instance, it could be because you couldn’t take him on walks outside, or you didn’t give him his favorite candy.

Many other emotions and behaviors can also be understood by your dog’s body language which essentially means that he wants you to understand what his problem is. If a dog is fearful, he will show some clear signs like a stiff stance, lowered head, tail, and body. On top of that, your dog sometimes may refuse to go to some places as he associates a fearful memory with these places. For instance, a loud horn or another animal might have frightened him at that place. Apart from the above-mentioned signs, shaking body and hesitance to do something are also some signals, your dog is giving you to show his fear. 

In many cases, your dog might become aggressive if his fear signals were overlooked or not understood and he was forced to do something. Your dog will give you signals showing his aggressive behavior. Aggressive signals may include an upturned tail, stiff body, bare teeth, growling, and one of the front paws high up and not touching the ground. By this specific body language your dog is trying to show his assertiveness and that he is ready to attack if threatened anymore. This behavior could be due to many reasons, maybe he is threatened by another animal or human whom he does not trust. Dogs also tend to be territorial about their space and toys which is why your dog might give out aggressive signals. 

When your dog is not making direct eye contact, averting his face, or turning away his head and neck, these are the signs of guiltiness. He might be trying to appease you because he knows he did something you didn’t like. Now with these signals, he tries to avoid your anger. He doesn’t want you to get mad and so showing his submissive side. 

On the other hand, a dog with an upturned head and tail and a relaxed body is in a neutral and comfortable mood. He is not necessarily showing any particularly strong emotion through his body language. Your dog might also be wagging his tail as a sign of a good mood. 

But a dog’s body language and signs of communication are not always, too easy to decipher. We should also remember that dogs have strong personalities, and sometimes use a set of different signals to communicate in different situations. You might have also observed that your furry friend shifts from one mood to another quite quickly which shows his complex emotions and behavior. 

It is better to be patient and always try to observe their overall body language and the current scenario they are in. It takes time to carefully understand their gestures for different situations. You might not be able to completely understand your dogs’ signals but don’t be discouraged. Patience, scrutiny, and observation of their behavior are the key. Most importantly, it is not wrong to take help from professionals who specialize in dog’s behavior and communication signals. You’ll be able to better understand your dog with their guidance.

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