Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

Many times you may wish your dog could talk so he could tell you exactly how he is feeling and what he needs from you. However, if you know how to read your dog’s body language, you may be able to get a deeper understanding of his feelings. 5 Points Animal Hospital wants you to know how to read your dog’s body language by sharing a few tips with you. Knowing what to look for can help you get to know your dog better.


You probably know that your dog wags his tail when he is happy and wants to play, but he uses his tail to express other emotions as well. If you ever see your dog tuck his tail between his legs, your dog is fearful of something painful that could happen to him. Another sign to look out for is when your dog holding his tail low and swaying it back and forth. You may want to go outside and play with him because this means he is feeling unsure. Having a bit of fun with you will be enough to get his tail wagging happily again.


When your dog holds his ears straight up or slightly forward, he is very alert to what is going on around him, according to WikiHow. This can be a great time to be curious with your dog and help him explore his surroundings. If you notice your dog’s ears lying flat against his head, this is another sign that your dog feels fearful and may need reassurance.


If you have ever thought that your dog could be smiling at you, you were probably right as this means he is relaxed and happy. Your dog also uses his mouth to express anger. Be on the alert when you see your dog curl his lips, wrinkle his muzzle, and bear his teeth as this means he is ready to fight. You may notice your dog opening his mouth and baring his teeth around his food. He is protecting his territory when he does this. Your dog may also let you know that he wants you to tone the intensity level down if you see him tightly close his lips with his mouth pulled back.

Understanding your dog’s body language can strengthen the bond you share with him. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to learn more tips about how your dog expresses his feelings.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

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