Dog's Body Language 101: THE FULL BODY

Lesson Six

In closing of “Dog’s Body Language 101”, we review the message a dog gives out with the position and actions of his entire body.


HAPPY: Mouth open, tongue exposed.

Ears up, possibly folded or slightly forward.

Tail up, likely wagging tail too!

Eyes wide open.

Standing straight up.


SCARED: Lips curled, teeth slightly visible.

Ears slightly pulled back against head.

Tail pulled in tightly between hind legs.

Eyes kind of squinting.

Body lowered, with possible shaking (tail between legs is common).


AGGRESSIVE: Nose wrinkled, lips slightly curled, teeth visible.

Ears pulled back and straight up.

Tail straight up and not moving.

Pupils dilated, yes wide open.

Fur standing up on shoulders and possibly on back near tail. We call this their “hackles”. Hackers can be up sometimes when scared as well, in preparation for defense. Legs in a firm stance.

Dogs communicate with different types of expressions using body language and sound. They need to have an effective communication between the members of the pack. All breeds of dogs speak the same language. It is really important to be able to interpret this language, so we will be able to understand what the dogs are saying.

The body language of the dog expresses how they feel and what their intentions are. For example, at the end of the meal, you can find them sitting near your table wagging their tails impatiently staring at every bite you take. Or if they want to go out for a walk, they may stop in front of the door, moving their tail energetically.



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