How to read your dog’s body language

Understanding dog communication

Can you read your dog’s body language? Do you know what your dog is trying to say? Knowing how to read your dog’s body language is key to understanding your dog. Because dogs are non-verbal, their body language speaks for them. Vocalization takes second place in a dog’s body language. By interpreting body language, you can assess your dog’s posture and predict its future movement. You can determine if she is calm or uncomfortable with a certain situation.

Once you learn these basic types of dog body language, spend some time observing dogs interacting with humans and other animals in different situations. With a practice, you will begin to see the details of the dog’s body language. When two animals interact, their body language is almost like a conversation. It may seem like some kind of dance. Much of the same can be seen between a human and a dog.

Once you understand your dog’s body language, you can do more than just help you communicate with your dog. Reading your dog’s body language can help protect you and your dog from dangerous situations. Without a voice, your dog can tell you that she feels a threat. Also, when you watch your dog interact with another dog, you can look at body language to see when harmless play is turning into dogfights. Also, interpreting body language can also help with training dogs and identifying common behavioral problems.

Here are some basic guidelines for reading your dog’s body language and interpreting its emotional state.

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dog's body language
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The confident dog stands tall and tall with its head held high, ears perked up, and eyes bright. Her mouth may be a little open but she is relaxed. Its tail can be easily swung, loosely wrapped or hung in a relaxed position. She is friendly, non-threatening and quiet with her surroundings.

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