As you probably already know, harmonious relationships bank heavily on excellent and honest communication.
This is how it works for humans.
This is also how it works with your four-legged best friend.
However, because your canine friend has a tail and four legs, the way they communicate is very much different than ours.
If you’re a proud owner of a dog, you definitely are aware of this—there’s more meaning to a dog than wagging his or her tail.
This is why taking the time to pay attention to your dog’s actions and body language is exceedingly essential.
Why? Having a good knowledge about how your dog communicates will enable you to recognize discomfort and stress, providing you a means to address arising problems before they even get worse.
Having an adequate understanding of your dog’s body language can be hugely advantageous not just for your dog’s happiness but for yours as well.
While it surely takes some time to get a grip on each body language’s equivalent, it will definitely make your relationship with your buddy fuller and happier.
This article will discuss some ways your pet might be trying to communicate with you and what they mean.
How Do Dogs Communicate?
A dog communicates with us by using a body language system.
This includes vocalization, scent signals, as well as sniffing, which has something to do with the hierarchy of the pack and the dog’s social position within the group.
Please understand that your dog will always include you, family members, as well as other animals within his or her group.
This is where the dog will base how he or she communicates.
A dog also sends communication signals based on the rules of the group.
What Is Dog Body Language? How Do You Learn It?
Well, this is the method with which a dog communicates and connects with us in almost all situations.
When you look closely at your dog, he or she will send out various communication signals using mouth and face.
Pay special attention to the warning and calming signals.
While learning how to understand such signals is not an overnight process, you will soon figure out what your dog is trying to tell you by paying close attention to these expressions.
This is considered the most familiar form of dog communication.
A dog’s wagging tail can tell you various emotions.
For example, if your dog is wagging his or her tail slowly, this means that your dog is feeling alert or cautious.
If your dog is feeling dominant or confident, you will notice that the tail is held up high, curled, or straight.
On the contrary, if a dog is feeling insecure, unwell, or sad, he or she will position the tail lower.
Moreover, a tucked tail means your dog is feeling scared.
A relaxed and content dog will have his or her tail low and wag it occasionally.
Further, if your dog is wagging his or her tail energetically enough and makes his or her butt swing, you’ll know for sure that your buddy’s just so excited to see you.
When a dog wags its tail, it generally means that he or she is trying to greet you, feeling excited, or being friendly.
Making Eye Contact
Dogs also communicate in subtle ways using their faces—most notably their eyes.
When your dog is continuously making eye contact with you, please understand that his method shows his affection and trust towards you.
Generally speaking, it is his or her subtle way of saying, “I love you.”
On the contrary, if your buddy is avoiding eye contact, it could be that he or she is feeling scared or uncomfortable.
It could also mean that your buddy feels guilty after doing something you won’t like—you know what I mean.
A Dog Exposing His or Her Belly
Aside from tail and facial expressions, dogs also try to connect using the rest of their body.
If your buddy just lies down in front of you and bares his or her belly, it means that your dog is trying to please you.
If that’s the case, maybe it’s time for a belly rub.
Moreover, they also use this as a means to communicate with other dogs.
When a dog rolls over, it means that he or she could be passively resisting a perceived threat.
Various Facial Expressions
A satisfied and calm dog would have a slightly open and relaxed mouth, usually with his or her tongue dangling.
A dominant dog who turns his or her head sideways means no trouble.
However, if your dog is exposing his or her gums and teeth, with flat and pulled back ears as well as directly looking towards a specific individual or another animal, consider this as a warning signal.
Your dog is trying to threaten the other person or animal.
Moreover, if your dog is leaning forward and just looking in one direction with erect ears and his or her mouth closed, this means that your dog is paying attention or is interested in something.
If your dog appears to smile with only the back teeth visible, take it as a calming signal.
This typically means that your dog is being playful.
Howls, Growls, and Barks
To be able to communicate various messages, dogs use a combination of howls, growls, as well as barks.
Barking could mean that your dog is alarming you about a possible threat.
It could also mean that he or she is just being playful.
It all boils down to your dog’s barking speed and pitch, so pay close attention to that.
A dog usually growls when he or she is trying to threaten or warn others to keep a distance.
It could also be that your dog is scared and needs help.
Moreover, when a dog howls, this usually means that he or she wants some company.
Finally, if a dog is continuously whining, you have to immediately pay attention to him or her, as this could mean that your dog is in pain or got hurt.
Because a dog’s olfactory sense is reinforced or is more robust than ours, sniffing is one potent tool for communication that they utilize to determine sexual availability, territories, and other pals.
Is Your Dog Leaning Against You?
We all know that dogs love to cuddle.
However, provided how they were built, they really can’t hug you physically.
This is why they just lean against you instead.
Leaning is the best way a dog can demonstrate trust and affection towards his or her human.
Remember, Every Dog Is Different
The communication methods discussed above are just some of the many ways your tail-chasing friend is trying to connect with you.
Learning them can lead to a better relationship with your dog.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that every dog a unique personality.
The best way we can learn how to communicate and understand them effectively is by paying close attention to their actions and body language.