A Dog’s Body Language

dogs body language

Our Dogs Communicate By Body Language

Dogs are amazing and spectacular animals and can be found in most households. Most dogs owners are also well aware that dogs communicate in a lot of different and sometimes crazy ways. Something that a lot of dogs often do to communicate with us humans is to lick our faces. This is often associated with love, affection, and happiness. However, dogs seem to communicate with each other in a lot of different ways. How do they tell the difference between each action? Today we plan to figure that out. Our discussion today will be on dogs and how dogs communicate with one another.

Dogs Use Body Language To Communicate

Dogs naturally have their own language so to speak. Yes, you read that correctly. Just like different human cultures all over the world, dogs have their very own and special language that they use to communicate with one another. This language is known to some as “dogma“, which is a system based on common signals. A large part of this language is body language. This could be many different things such as simple movement, positioning of the dog’s ears, tail, and even how a dog will position himself or herself closer to other dogs. You must remember that while dogs are pack animals, where they hunt together and they even care for the young together, not all dogs are friendly with other dogs. As packs grow, there is an increased chance of fights breaking out amongst other members of the pack.

Dogma Dog Language

dog body language chart

The special language that all dogs use (dogma) allows them all to communicate and understand one another. Dogma is not only a special language, but it is used as a means to conflict resolution. Dogs have calming signals that can actually help in preventing or stopping fights entirely. This is also known as the “peacekeeping“ language. These signs are usually seen most often when your dog feels threatened. For example, if your dog chews up a favorite pair of your shoes, and you get angry or upset, your dog may show signs of what we think is guilt. This is unfortunately not the case. This is actually your dog trying to use appeasement and displacement to try to get you to stop yelling at him or her. They will also avoid eye contact because that is also threatening behavior to them.

Dogs Use Vocalization to communicate

Since humans do not have comparable hearing or smelling talents as dogs do, we can never fully understand this very interesting language. Vocalization is another way to use this language. Dogs will bark, howl, snarl, yip, growl, and make many other noises to communicate with you and other dogs. Noises, when it comes to stuff in a pack setting, are not ideal. They are effective however. Another issue with this method of communication is alerting pray or other enemies. This is a reason as to why this language has many different variations.  Next we have scent signals when it comes to dogma language.

Part of how a dog communicates is by using Scent

Scent signals are unique in the sense that the dog does not have to be around to send a message through scent. This is done by marking their territory, also known as “Pee-mail”. Most dogs can tell when they are in another dogs territory because of the smells that the other dog left behind. This can also be used to help protect their young and food. Most of us have also witnessed dogs smelling each other‘s rear ends. Some owners try to stop this behavior, but this is actually completely normal and it is also how dogs identify one another.

dog uses scent to communicate

Even though this communication system may seem simple, it is far from it and it is actually very complicated. You must also be aware that every dog is different and not every dog will show every emotion in the same exact way. We usually associate a dog wagging his or her tail with being happy and wanting to play. When a dog raises his or her tail, it usually means that you need to back off. Most of the time this means that the dog is ready to fight if need be. Dogs may also attempt to make themselves look bigger with new dogs around just in case they want to fight with one another.

Dogs Use Sounds to Communicate

Most dogs, while given the option to make noise, usually will not unless the situation becomes confrontational. There are also vocal cues that mean that your dog wants to play with you or other dogs. Dogs often make loud noises to alert other dogs in the area. This could be for food or because there is danger of some kind in the area. It is common for dogs to be in a dead sleep and just suddenly wake up because they heard something. This could be the actual threat or the alert from another dog. You may also see your dog or other dogs perk their ears up slightly, this is their form of body communication.

Dog Use Eye Contact to Communicate

When it comes to pet dogs, most of the time they will make eye contact with you. The only time your dog or other dogs will not look at you is if you seem to be agitated or stressed out. This is classified as a calming signal in the incredible and interesting world of the dogma language. If you do not know the dog, you must assume that direct eye contact will be taken as a threat by the unknown dog. Some dogs will even avert their eyes from you if they know you. You should take this as one of two possible signs.

dog uses eyes to communicate

The first thing that eye averting from you can I mean is that he or she is nervous around you. Alabama Rottweiler Breeders This can be for many different reasons. One reason could be is if you are angry, your dog could sense that. Not to mention that some dogs simply suffer from severe anxiety and can have episodes of such anxiety randomly. For this kind of problem, you could easily go to the veterinarian and ask about options to help your dog with this problem. Another thing your dog could be trying to signal to you is submission. Most dogs will try to do whatever they can to get you to stop yelling at him or her.

The Way Dogs Approach A situation

dog dressed up for the occasion

Another body language quirk that dogs do is never approaching random people or animals directly head on. This is very similar to avoiding eye contact. Dogs will actually walk around the person or dog in the form of a curve. This is the dog indicating that he or she means no harm and does not want to cause any trouble or problems. Most people do not get to see this particular behavior in action, but it does happen. This simple body language movement singles to dogs and humans nearby that everything is okay and all is well. Another interesting quirk in this web of communication is yawning.

Communicate with your dog by Yawning

Most species on this planet yawn. We usually link this to being tired, but just because your dog is yawning that does not mean that they are tired. In the curious language of the dog, yawning can also mean to calm down. You may experience a new dog yawning at you or he or she may just seem nervous. If a new male dog or female dog seems nervous around you, you could try to yawn at him or her. You must be sure to not look the new dog in the eyes though. As we discussed earlier, eye contact can come off as very aggressive to dogs. Once this adorable new dog feels better, you may notice the dog yawning back at you.

Dogs communicate by Licking their Lips

Dogs that are nervous also have a tendency to lick their lips, nose, or area around their mouth. This is most likely your dog trying to calm himself or herself down. Most of the time you can see your dog doing this form of communication in new social situations. This action is very comparable to a human taking a deep breath. Doing this calms down any “butterflies in the stomach”. Dogs have many different tricks for calming themselves down just as us humans do. Another part of this interesting language is when a dog wags his or her tail.

Conclusion: A Dog’s Body Language

There are so many ways that dogs can communicate with us, other dogs, and other animals. Who knew that there were so many ways that a dog could communicate with humans and other dogs? It is pretty incredible. If you are a dog owner, then you understand that this discussion above barely touches just how many options dogs have when it comes to communication. One of the best parts about dogs and how they communicate is all of the individual quirks that each dog has based on personality. If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to check out our other fun and very educational pieces on our site here. Dogs Are smarter than we think

Quick Guide to Reading A Dog’s Body Language

Tail: IF a dog wags his tail low and slowly it means he doesn’t know what’s going on

More about the tail wagging high and rapidly it means he knows you are in charge and is happy

If the tail  is raised and stiff or slightly wagging it means he is proud and thinks highly of himself. May even challenge you in a friendly way.

Tail: Tucked between lets means the tail is afraid, or in pain. (Seek a vet)

Eyes: Wide open and alert means he is trying to get your attention. ( staring at eyes of a dog can mean you are challenging him, this is something you don’t want to do with an unfamiliar dog. Its best to look out of the corner of your eyes.  This is totally opposite with cats. They like for you to look them in they eyes

Eyes: your dog squints their eyes and blinks (cute) it means they are really to play.

Ears: Look at the direction of the ears. If the ears are up and focused in a certain direction pay attention. What are they interested in? They will show you their curiosity by pointing their ears at a new or unfamiliar sound. Your Dog is paying close attention to what’s happening around the dogs environment.

Ears: Flat against the head sign of being scared. They are trying to no be noticed

If your dog licks his face when around new people or dogs he is attempting to show that he is friendly and in attempt to calm the other dog down.

Exposes teeth but no growling.  Stay away.

Dogs stance: rolls over exposes belly. It means the dog wonts to please you.

When a dog touches your hand with his noise it means he wants attention. Pet the dog.

Dog puts paw on your knee. He is trying to usurp authority on you. Look in the dog eyes and remove the paw. It will help him know you are in control

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