What is your dog really telling you??

What is your dog really telling you?? Learn by their body language! Sometimes it’s hard to tell what your dog is trying to tell you. Besides barking, howling, or any other noise they may make, dogs use body language as primary way of telling you how they feel! Learning how to read your dog’s body language will help you understand his or her feelings or intentions. This leads to better communication between you and your dog, which would make your dog much more enjoyable! Dog body language can be observed through their facial expression, tail positioning, ear positioning, and hair. The goal is to take all of these observations in order to determine how they feel.

When your pet bows so that their tail is high in air, they are telling you they are feeling happy and playful!


Eyes: Pupils Dilated

Ears: Upwards

Mouth: Open, tongue may be sticking out

Body: Front end lowered to the ground, rear end up

Tail: Upwards and usually wagging

2. Curious/Excited

Eyes: Wide open

Ears: Upwards or forward pointing

Mouth: Opened but not showing teeth

Body: Normal stance, but may be standing on toes

Tail: Upwards and wagging

3. Anxious

Eyes: Somewhat narrowed

Dogs show they are anxious in almost the same ways as when they are afraid, look for the tail between the legs

Ears: Partially backwards

Mouth: Closed or slightly opened, may be licking lips frequently

Body: Lowered and tense, may be shivering

Tail: Lowered or tucked under their bottom

4. Alert

Eyes: Normal or widely opened

Ears: Upwards, may twitch to catch sounds

Mouth: Closed or slightly opened with teeth completely covered

Body: Normal. Can be standing on tip toes

Tail: Upwards. Possible wagging

5. Submissive

Eyes: Narrowed or wide open

Ears: Downwards

Mouth: May be licking an animal or person. Lips are pulled back

Body: Lying on back with stomach exposed or lowered to the ground

Tail: Between legs or downwards

When your pet is ready to give in to belly rubs, you will notice their body is down and so are their ears

6. Fear

Eyes: Narrow and averted

Ears: Backwards and lowered

Mouth: Mouth completely sealed

Body: Tensed and lowered. May be shivering

Tail: Downwards between legs

7. Dominant

Eyes: Wide open Ears: Upwards or forward

Mouth: Closed or slightly opened, no teeth

Body: Tall posture and hackles may be up

Tail: Fluffed. May be sticking out or up

How do you know if your dog is leader of the pack? Check their posture!

8. Aggressive

Eyes: Glaring and/or narrow

Ears: Forward or backward, sitting close to the head

Mouth: Open with teeth exposed Could be snarling and snapping jaw

Body: In a dominant, upright, tense position

Tail: Fluffed out and sticking out from body

Reading dog behavior isn’t a precise indicator and misunderstanding can definitely happen. These are all general tips to help you understand how your dog may be feeling and effectively communicate with your dog!

Paul Kan

Written by

Paul Kan

The Team is dedicated to providing the highest quality pet doors. As dog and cat lovers ourselves, we aim to write about the topics that matter the most to you and your furry friend. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team. 🐶🐱

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published