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Things My Dog Told Me Today

Once you can recognise a dog’s body language you suddenly become very aware of all the unspoken messages he is giving you every day. Forget about the noises he can articulate, gestures are just as important on Planet Dog – if not more so.

From head nudges to bowing gestures, lip licking and rolling on his back these and many others are easy to decipher if you know the secret of dog body language…

Here are a few body language type signals my dog has sent me today. Bear in mind he’s a dog that is sometimes slightly nervous when strangers arrive unexpectedly as in….

Hair bristling up (on his shoulders only) ~ “You’re making me rather nervous, I hope we don’t have to fight” [ When the two guys turned up in a tractor delivering some wood]

Nudged me with his muzzle when they’d gone ~ “You’re in charge” maybe also “I want a treat for being a good guard dog”

Sitting with one paw slightly raised ~ “I’m a bit worried, please reassure me”

Tail held just below the horizontal, swishing to and fro slowly ~ “I’m cool and relaxed”

Rolling on his back on our walk in the field ~ “I am very happy to be here and with you, basically I’m having a great time!”

Crouches/bows with his front legs extended and his rear end and tail higher ~ “Let’s play!”

Once you get into your dog’s body language ( and verbal language too) it is very rewarding indeed and, for obvious reasons, you become much closer with your dog simply because you understand him better.

The fact is though that dogs have more signals that we rarely see – the ones they use when they are distressed or extremely fearful so it’s good to read up on them so you can recognise the signals and messages given by other dogs too. Understanding the signals a dog is sending you in its body language is paramount in communicating with any dog, not just your own.

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