What is My Dog Trying to Tell Me? How to Read Dog Behavior and Language

a cute french bulldog

They say a dog is a man’s best friend. True enough, these loyal and loving companions provide us with a sense of emotional well-being and unconditional love. A dog can even be beneficial for those who have mental health problems to help them recover and feel better. But have you ever wanted to know what they are trying to tell you?

As a responsible pet owner, you only want what is best for your canine companion which is why you provide them with the love and attention they need, keep them updated with their latest pet vaccinations, and give them food and shelter. While you can certainly communicate with fellow human beings, trying to decipher what your dog is trying to tell you is more complicated.

According to experts, dogs have a unique ability to understand and communicate with their humans. Your canine friend has the capacity to have what we call “interspecies love.”

Even if we treat our loving companions as our own family members, they cannot communicate with us the way our fellow humans do. Unlike humans, dogs cannot express what they want in words. However, sometimes words are not always needed when one wants to convey what one is trying to say. Sometimes, those subtle cues such as blinking, shifting glances, biting your lip, or raising your eyebrows would speak louder than words and are more than enough to get the message through. Could this also be true for our canine companions?

You can read what your beloved pet is trying to tell you based on their body language and movements. The article also says that when you observe them, you can eventually learn how to “read them”. It’s a learning process, but soon you will be able to discover and answer the question: What is my dog trying to tell me?

1. The Eyes Have It

You have heard it said that you can learn much about a person by just looking at their eyes. In doing so, you will be able to see hidden emotions, such as fear, anger, jealousy, or even embarrassment. The eyes are the “expression of the soul”, after all. Research says that when dogs look directly at you, it is a sign of love and affection. However, sometimes this is not always the case. For example, when your dog turns his head away from you, but still looks at you, revealing the whites of their eyes, this might mean that they are upset with you.

On the other hand, relaxed eyes tell you that your dog is content and happy, while large and rounded eyes could mean that your dog is anxious or even frightened. Much like humans, you can tell what your dog is trying to tell you by reading their eyes.

a cute gray medium sized dog

2. Pay close attention to the mouth

Another area to look out for your dog’s social cues is the mouth. Your pet can certainly tell you a lot without saying a word. For instance, if your dog is happy, he will have a slightly open or closed mouth. However, if your dog is feeling anxious or upset, its mouth would be closed tight.

When your pets expose their front teeth, they are showing aggression. When you read your dog’s mouth, you will soon be able to read and decipher these common subtle cues.

3. Mind the Tail

You might think that a wagging tail is a clear indication that your dog is happy and being friendly. However, this is not always the case as said in research published by Current Biology. The research study says that dogs are happy and have positive feelings when they wag their tails to the right. They are fearful or hesitant when they wag their tails to the left.

A wagging tail can mean that a dog is either feeling happy or upset, so pay attention to the details.

4. Let Me Read Your Ears

Another way how to tell how a dog is feeling is by looking at its ears. For example, when you see that your dog’s ears are pricking up, it means that they are attentive or are curious about something. If your dog’s ears are slightly put back, it means that they are trying to be friendly. However, if their ears are drawn all the way back, they are afraid and are expressing submission.

There are many ways to tell what your dog is trying to tell you and it is not just in the subtle ways, but in the more verbal ways as well, such as in the way they bark, yawn, or whine. All these things have meaning. With that bond and friendship that you both share, you will soon be able to read your best friend like a book.

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