6 Clever Ways Your Pup Uses Body Language to Communicate
There's an obvious limit when it comes to verbal communication because dogs can’t talk to us. But physical communication is possible for our pups to read! Dogs have their own language so that they can communicate with us – every dog has different characteristics, but there are things that dogs do in similar manners that can display certain thoughts.
Try to pick up hints in your own pup’s body language, and let your family and friends know what they are. It can protect everyone from misunderstandings, which may lead to aggressive behavior from your dog.
1. WHINING OR CRYING
When a dog whines, it can mean a few things. It usually depends on the context of the situation, so look around when your dog starts to make those crying sounds to work out what it could be.
Your pup could be trying to tell you that they’re thirsty or hungry. Most dogs like food, it’s well known, but check to see if their water bowl is empty. If they’re standing by or trying to guide you to the door, it could be them signaling that they need to go outside to empty their bladder. Or if they know there’s someone on the other side of the door, they might be excited to see them! Does your pup ever whine when you get back home?
Other reasons a dog might make these noises are fear or excitement. You can generally tell when a dog is excited, but if they’re whining out of anxiety or fear, take them out of that situation.
2. BRINGING YOU STUFF
Dogs are playful beings, so when they’re bored, they’ll want to let you know. Although dogs love their toys, they don’t always know what is and isn’t made to be a toy, which can seem confusing to us. For example, they might approach you holding a slipper or a cloth. As mundane as these objects are to us, your dog sees them as an opportunity to have fun!
All they want in these moments is to spend time with you. And some dogs are extremely persistent, following you around, so if you simply take the item and put it back down, they won’t be happy.
3. BARKING AT YOU
Dogs bark at things, like birds or squirrels scurrying past, or at a knocking sound on the door, but does your pooch ever bark at you? The first reaction should be to check that there’s nothing threatening around. Even dogs that aren’t guard dogs tend to bark when they feel that you or they are in some kind of danger.
But perhaps it’s how they’ve learned to ask you for something. If you responded to your dog’s bark with something they wanted, such as water, food, or play time, they’ll continue to bark for it because they know it works. If you want them to stop this behavior, trainers can teach them to ask for things in other ways.
4. PANTING WHEN IT’S NOT HOT
Panting is common when dogs are thirsty, which becomes more apparent when it’s hot. But sometimes dogs will pant when it’s not hot or when they want a drink.
Dogs might pant heavily when they’re stressed. Certain situations might cause your furry friend to feel scared or stressed, so it’s best to change their environment or take them out of it to avoid further stress, which could lead to aggressive behavior.
5. COWERING OR TUCKING THEIR TAIL IN
These can be obvious ways that your dog is showing they don’t like something, which probably means they’re afraid! A lot of dogs don’t like the sound of fireworks for example, which makes them cower away into a corner or hide under some furniture.
If they avert their eyes and tuck their tale in, take it as a sign that they need to leave the area. Any feeling of stress, anxiety or fear can develop into violence if those emotions are exacerbated. Even the nicest of dogs can become aggravated.
If you become concerned by your dog’s behavior at times, you can feed them supplements that reduce these negative feelings. We understand that dogs are just as emotional as humans, but we pet parents can’t talk them out of it and rationalize. So, companies formulate these incredible chews that promise to calm an anxious or angry dog. Make sure to find one with ethically sourced ingredients, we know that you and your dog will love these little treats!
6. STIFFENING UP
When dogs suddenly stand very still and focus their stare on one point, it’s a sign that something is wrong. It could simply be that they see another animal such as a cat, and they’re getting ready to react or pounce. Or, it could be something worse – look at where they’re staring, in case there is something dangerous.
If there’s no real threat, and your dog has spotted something appealing that you don’t want them to attack or approach, try to redirect their attention away from it. Call their name to get their attention, or lure them with a toy or treat if they don’t listen.