December 16


How Do Dogs Express Their Emotions?

Can Dogs Express Their Emotions

As a dog owner, have you ever thought how great it would be if your dog could tell you what he is thinking and feeling? Well, they certainly can’t speak but they do have ways of letting us know how they feel. We just have to know what to look for.

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Barking is the most easily noticeable of a dog’s vocalizations. They bark for several different reasons. They bark to warn intruders, when they get excited during play, or even if they are anxious or excited.

Some dogs bark more than others and it often seems that our neighbors’ dogs bark more than our own.

Related Article: Reasons Why Dogs Bark 

Related Article: How To Stop Your Dog From Barking.

Besides barking, dogs have a number of other vocalizations which are a bit subtler. As owners, we may have come to recognize some of them already. They whine for attention. They whimper when you are outside and they can’t get to you. They yelp when it is time to be fed. And of course they growl to give a warning or when they are afraid.

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Body Language

Dogs have plenty of was of communicating with the position of their body.

They have a number of signals which show other dogs that they are not a threat to them. These signals help ensure their own safety.

Related Article: Calming Signals in Dogs

We can tell our dog is curious or anticipating something when he holds his head to one side or holds one paw in the air like a pointer who has scented something.

Dogs will exhibit offensive body language when he is about to attack or he thinks he is about to be attacked. His stance will make him look as large as possible. His hackles will be raised and his legs will be stiff. His tail could be moving intermittently from side to side. His lips will be pushed forward and they will be vibrating as he growls.

Relaxed, friendly body language

This are the signals we all like to see from our dog. His mouth will be slightly open and his tongue flopping out to one side.

A play bow is how he shows that he is ready to play, and he hopes you are too.

When e rolls on to his back and hopes for a belly rub. He is showing total confidence.

A relaxed facial expression.

His tail is wagging rapidly either from side to side or round and round.

The Position Of The Dog’s Tail

A dog’s tail says a lot about the way he is feeling and what he may be about to do next.

When he is wagging his tail rapidly and that movement extends to the rear part of his body, he is ready to be friendly and is ready to engage.

If his tail is low or between his legs, he is nervous or afraid.

A dog that is wagging his tail while he is in a defensive posture, especially if he has hard staring eyes and a tense face means he is frustrated or over-aroused and should not be approached.

There are many ways in which a dog can show his emotions – we just have to be alert to the signals

About the author 

Stan Jones

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