What’s the difference between seasoned dog owners and new ones? They can bond with their dogs on a deeper level. They have learned the dog language. It is mostly body language of course, but is important to know if you want a healthy long relationship with your dog.
So, how can your dog speak to you without saying a word? Unless you are Dr. Doolittle, the barks are just noise, but how he moves when he barks is the clue.
• Wagging the tail – When your dog is happily wagging his tail and his tongue, he is in a playful mood. He may even lower the front of his body to the floor and raise his little hind end in the air. He is probably full of energy and ready for play time.
• Ears standing up – Something has caught his attention. He may stop wagging his tail and even lean his head to the side to pay closer attention to whatever is catching his eye. This is not necessarily a call to alarm, but that he has found something new.
• Bearing his teeth – This is considered a show of aggression. He may do this with strangers or when confronting an animal that he feels threatened by or that may be threatening you.
• Lying on the ground with tail down when he greets you – This is a way of greeting you that shows loyalty also. When you walk into the house, your canine companion may lower himself on the ground. This pose is also referred to as an “active submission.” He doesn’t feel threatened or fearful. It is an act of friendship, realizing that you are the boss and a friend.
Now, your dog makes other noises besides barking. Barking can have many meanings in itself, so we are going to talk about other sounds that your dog may make that you kind of want to be aware of.
• Growling – Your dog shouldn’t be growling at you, but he may growl at strangers. It could also be in response to his sensing that you are uncomfortable with someone. If your dog does growl at you when you take something away from him, it could be a play for the alpha position.
• Whining – This is such a cute gesture. Unfortunately it can also be annoying if you are trying to get him to do something that he doesn’t particularly want to do, like go to the vet. In these times, ignoring the whine lets him know that it won’t get him out of doing his duty. Whining can also accompany their show of loyalty and greeting.
Are any of these gestures and sounds familiar? If they are, now you can communicate with your dog more effectively. You can “speak” his language.