A Look At What Your Dog Is Really Saying

Figuring out what your furry friend is up to can be a tough affair especially for first time owners since, well, they don’t talk and a bark pretty much sounds like the same tune on repeat. However, a dog’s intricate body language speaks volumes and noticing the timing and manner of such actions is often important in deciphering the seemingly coded communication from your four-legged counterpart. In a bid to make you a more informed dog owner, we’ll be delving into the various common dog behaviors and what they all mean.

1) Tail wagging
Straight away, the general rule of thumb book dictates that tail wagging is a sign of friendliness and an invitation to play but that is not always the case. At other times, an elevated tail is a sign of authority and when paired with bristling of the hair, it is a sign of trouble and a dog’s way of saying that he is not in the mood to fool around. Conversely, a tail tucked between the legs connotates submission.

All in all, keep in mind some breeds such as the greyhound naturally have their tails in this default position while others like the Serbian husky are imbued with an upwardly curled tail.

2) Sitting between your legs
Have you ever noticed how your dog sometimes snuggles up between your feet and just doesn’t want to get out from under there? Easily mistaken for a possessive trait or a display of dominance, it is actually quite the opposite as it is an indication that your dog is wary of something hence turning to you for assurance.

3) Yawning
No, it doesn’t mean it’s nap time, not necessarily. A dog’s yawn sometimes insinuates fatigue but it also points toward feelings of stress or fear at other times. If the frequency of yawning is particularly increased around an unfamiliar person, it means that your dog isn’t comfortable with the new guy and isn’t too keen on an introduction.

4) Staring
Staring can be interpreted in one of two ways depending on the accompanying actions. A dog firmly fixing his gaze on you coupled with a raised head, erected ears, and a raised tail is one on high alert. A returned gaze in this scenario is taken as somewhat of a challenge to waltz and not in a good way.

On the other hand, staring characterised by a slight tilt of the head to one side, tail wagging, and front paws flat on the ground means that its playtime.

5) Eating poop and head pressing
A repulsive behavior to us humans is a delightful delicacy in the eyes of your furry companion who may just be looking to quell the taste buds of curiosity or is simply mimicking a behavior seen in mothers who ingest the feces of pups so as to keep them clean. Eating poop could also be the side effect of an underlying nutritional deficiency which can be countered by providing a well-balanced diet. Meanwhile, if your dog is pressing his head against walls or objects, head for the vet as fast as you can as this is usually instigated by a brain disease, toxic poisoning or some other grave situation.

While these pointers mentioned herein are no doubt helpful, the extensive personality differences in dogs mean that various practices may have varying meanings among different dogs. The key to understanding your dog’s behavior also hinges, to a considerable extent, on a look-and-learn approach whereby you pick up what your dog is feeling or saying through a repeated occurrence triggered by a similar situation or factor. With time and patience, you should be able to pick out these pointers with ease and effectively speak “dog”.


1) https://www.everydayhealth.com/pet-health/10-common-dog-behaviors-explained/

2) http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/understanding-what-your-dog-is-telling-you

3) https://www.rover.com/blog/decipher-dog-behavior/

4) https://www.thesprucepets.com/common-dog-behavior-problems-1118278

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I'm a dog lover and a part time blogger. I want to share inspiring and heartwarming dog stories of rescue, companionship, friendship and more.


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