How to Understand Your Dog's Body Language?

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Many dog parents believe that dogs express their emotions by barking, yelping, or growling. Even though it is true to a certain extent, dogs mainly speak by using body language. Their eyes, ears, tail, and posture reveals dogs’ mood and intention. If you want to bond with your furry friend on a deeper level, veterinarians from Eastshore Vet, the best veterinary agency in Madison, recommend learning how to understand your dog’s body language.

How to Understand Your Dog's Body Language?


Let’s begin with dogs’ eyes. While it is not a good idea to stare at a dog’s eyes, use your peripheral sight to examine what his eyes have to say, especially when you face an unknown dog. Bright dog’s eyes, normal in size, suggest that he is most likely confident, happy, and even playful. On the other hand, ‘whale eyes’ in dogs show that he is alert, uncomfortable, and may be ready to bite. Your dog uses ‘whale eyes’ when he seemingly looks away while showing whites of his eyes toward the perceived threat.Ears

One glance at his ears will reveal whether your dog feels aggression, fear, or contentment. Content and confident dog holds his ears up. When he moves the ears forward, it may be a warning sign. A dog with ears forward is usually alert and wants to find out what is going on in his environment. However, your dog may turn his ears forward when trying to express social dominance and frighten another dog.


When it comes to dogs’ emotions, the most important body part is a tail. In relaxed dogs, tail loosely hangs down. Aggressive dogs keep their tails up and bristled, while their frightened counterparts hold their tails down, tucking it between their legs. A wagging tail may be tricky. When a dog wags his tail in a calm manner, he shows his happiness. When your dog wiggles his tail back and forth nervously, it might be the sign of aggression.


The confident dog holds his head high and stays straight on his paws. Upset and anxious dog lowers his body and may even express the signs of submissiveness to appease another dog. The signs of submissiveness that accompany lowered body are ears back, indirect eye contact, and a raised paw. However, pay attention when a dog leans forward, straight on his toes, with hackles raised. He might be ready to attack.Once you understand your dog’s body language, you will be able to help him socialize better and maintain a healthy relationship.

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50 N. Main St
Branford, CT 06405
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Madison, CT 06443
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