Dog body language and what it means

I have been provided with the below infographic to share on my website by an Australian company called Greyhounds as Pets.  I get offered content to share quite a lot and it’s rare to find something that is helpful rather than misleading.  This infographic is really good.  The caveat I would give before reading is that bear in mind that different breeds of dogs have different physiology, for instance:

  • Some dogs ears never go up visibly.
  • Some dogs tails are more naturally up (think curly tailed dogs).
  • Bigger dogs generally have deeper barks than smaller dogs.
  • Some dogs facial expressions/eyes are very difficult to read, due to their fur coverage.

However, this is helpful to give you a good indication of how your dog might be feeling (and it is often very different than we would think), and also how other dogs that you see out and about are feeling.  This can help you to know when to move on from a situation quickly.

One thing which isn’t mentioned is panting.  This is something I see a lot in dogs, most people assume it’s because they are hot, or have been exerting themselves.  More often than not it is because they are anxious of the situation.  Think of us and how our breathing can get shallow and rapid when we feel anxious…

Also, with regard to submissive behaviour – this doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog sees you as in charge.  The dog may just feel that the safest thing to do in that moment is to submit.  Sometimes this behaviour is an indication that they are feeling fearful rather than seeing us as in charge.

If you have any questions about this, please comment on the post, or send me a message.

dog body language


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