Reading Canine Body Language​

We all wish our dogs could tell us what they’re thinking. But if you watch closely and know what to look for, your dog is telling you how he’s feeling. He’s doing it all the time—through his body language.

Understanding canine body language is an important part of pet parenthood. Learn to decode your pup’s visual cues, and you’ll instantly recognise when he’s happy, scared, curious, or angry. Here’s how to know exactly what your dog is telling you, no words necessary.

While dogs have some vocal ability, the range of sounds they can produce is relatively limited. A few sounds are specific, like a growl, but the majority are more generalised. As a result, a dog’s body language and body positioning are crucial and instinctual signals in the canine world.

Dogs use the communication tools that are available to them and their  body language shows you what they’re feeling. Body language/visual communication is extremely important for dogs because it can be switched on or off instantly based on the outcome of an interaction. Imagine one dog standing still and stiff, tail held high, intently staring at another dog. If that second dog looks away, lowers its body posture, and even leaves the area, the first dog will quickly halt its signaling. Each dog has “spoken,” and now their conversation is over.

Now, let’s learn to decode what our dog’s body language looks like and means.

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