You know your dog’s favorite toy to chew, what time he likes to eat, and what corner of the house he’s most likely to pee in, but what is he thinking? Dogs may not be able to talk to us but they’re certainly able to communicate and you are communicating with them through your body language too!
What Is Your Dog Trying To Tell You?
Perhaps the most telltale sign of a dog who knows he’s in trouble is one whose tail is between his legs. A wagging tail is usually a sign of a happy dog and slobbery kisses speak for themselves. A dog who is raising his rear (often with a wagging tail!) and lowering his chest with his paws spread wide in front of him is signaling that he is ready to play, this is known as “bowing”. Sometimes when your dog paws at you it’s because he’s trying to get your attention because he wants or needs something but for some dogs do this because of the affection they feel for you. Dogs yawn as a way of calming down or showing that they’re over stimulated… or they could just be tired and need a break!
Has your pet ever instinctively snuggled up next to you when you are sad? They always seem to know and there’s a reason why: they can read your body language! This is a useful tool to remember when calming an anxious dog! Avoiding eye contact with a nervous pup will help them to see that you are not a threat to them and there are many proven methods for comforting your pet.
How Should You Respond?
Body language is the key for bonding with your dog! If your dog is “bowing” and playing is appropriate, mirror his excitement and stance by putting your hands on your knees and crouching down slightly! When your pet paws you just because, it’s nice to return that token of friendship with a pat on the head, a scratch of the ears or by simply holding his paw for a few moments. When your pet yawns, find ways to help him calm down and rest. You could also yawn as a way of signaling to your pet that he needs to calm down!
Pay attention to the way your dog responds to your body language and the signals he’s sending you in return and it will be almost like he CAN talk to you.