Dogs are quite amiable creatures. Much like our human counterparts, their speech is often amplified by their body movements and facial expressions.
If you haven’t done so yet, carefully study your dog’s eyes. Watch his eyebrow motions. Often times, we don’t hear them speaking because we’re too busy not paying attention to their eye motions.
When your dog is facing you and his eyes shift suddenly back and forth, he’s telling you that he or she wants something. Whether it’s, “…hey, Mom or Dad – let’s play,”, “…come follow me, I want to show you something,” “I don’t trust this person,” “Someone is at the door,” or “…I need to go pee;” well – you can know what they want and what they are saying if you pay attention to their eyes, growls, barks or even when they are crying.
Sometimes your dog might loudly yawn, look at you from the corner of their eye, and fall to the ground. This is an obvious sign that they’re bored and they want attention. Your attention.
Some dogs are rather bold with their sign language and will literally come up to you and place their paw on your leg, arm or hand. They’ll either gently tap you or downright pounce on you.
When they tap you – again – watch their eye movements. Is his or her’s eyes focused in one particular direction? Maybe the door, the empty water bowel or the dog food bag? Or after they tap you, do they press the side of their body against you?
If so, they likely want some affection and to be loved. If he or she pounces on you with their paws, this is usually a sense of urgency. This usually means she wants to play rough or she needs to go outside to use the restroom and or to and inspect the premises.
One of my favorite communication signals from dogs is when they lie on their backs, usually with forearms bent at the joints. This is the common “white flag” signal. What does the “white flag” signal mean?
Well, when dogs do this when playing with other dogs, this is their way of saying to one another, “…okay, I give up – you win, you’re the leader…” But when they lie on their backs for you, it’s even more telling.
This means that they also see you as the leader of the “pack” and they willingly acknowledge this to you. In general, when dogs lie with their backs toward you, this means that they are quite content and totally comfortable in their surroundings.
Don’t be fooled by the wagging tail. Generally, dogs will wag their tails when they are excited. But it’s how they wag their tails that tells us exactly what they’re feeling. When a dog wags his tail, along with his entire body, he’s usually happy and excited.
When a dog wags only his tail with short, fast strokes, this can sometimes show a sign of aggression or fear. When dogs meet other dogs for the first time, you will notice this short, fast-stroke tail wag as well.
This can either mean that they are unsure of the other animal, or that they’re going to become aggressive or dominant. Either way, be watchful of this “tail-tell” sign.
Another body language sign to look for is in the ears. When a dog’s ears are back and flat against their skull, this can mean one of two things: 1) If accompanied by a full-body tail wag, they’re happy to see you, or 2) if coupled with their tail between their legs, they’re afraid.
One animal behavior that many folks despise is the chewing and destruction of personal belongings. This, too is animal speech. What most humans don’t know is that aside from the destruction of personal property, dogs tend to chew things from their owners, whom they like the most.
Yes, I said, “whom they like the most.” Dogs are fairly picky when it comes to chewing shoes, clothing, etc. When there are more people in a household, dogs will specifically seek out personal items of people that they have the strongest bond with.
Although this is not the nicest trait of animals, just remember that when you’re scolding your puppy, that he only did it because he loves you. Be sure to have treats, chew toys and such to help with this issue.
In closing, dogs are the most telepathic lifeforms on earth. When you feel sad, they feel sad with you. When you are angry, they try to console you with their unconditional loving nature.
When you’re happy, they feel your happiness with you. When you need protection, they are there for you. Observe your dogs carefully, they are picking up on your energy and emotions more than you may think.
Always, love your dogs – they’re here only for a little while compared to our lifespan… perhaps to teach us some of the most most valuable qualities in life – the ability to live in the moment, love unconditionally and to listen.