What Your Dogs Body Language Is Trying To Tell You - Rollover Premium Pet Food

What Your Dogs Body Language Is Trying To Tell You


They may be unable to talk, but dogs are skilled at communicating with us using body language. Here are some common body language communication methods your dog may use and what they mean!


A dog’s yawn can indicate many different things, including:

  • Boredom: Dogs may yawn when they are bored or restless. This is a way of self-soothing and trying to stay awake.
  • Tiredness: Dogs commonly yawn when tired, which is a natural way for their body to get more oxygen and prepare for sleep.
  • Stress: Yawning can also indicate stress or anxiety in dogs. If your dog is yawning excessively, it could mean they feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. You may notice your dog yawning when a person hugs them or when they feel claustrophobic or restrained (say, at the vet’s office). 
  • Imitation: Dogs are social animals, and they learn by watching others. If you yawn, your dog may yawn in response. This isn’t necessarily a sign of stress or anxiety, but it can show that they’re paying attention to you.
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Tail positions

A dog’s tail position can tell you a lot about their feelings. Here’s what some common dog tail positions are trying to tell us:

  • High and wagging: This indicates happiness and excitement. A dog with a high-wagging tail is likely feeling friendly and playful.
  • Medium tail wag: When a dog’s tail is not low or high, just wagging somewhere in the middle, it’s a sign that the dog feels relaxed and friendly. You may notice this when you give your pup ear scratches. 
  • Low tail wag: A wag is often a sign that a dog feels friendly, but a low tail wag may indicate that the dog is a little nervous or suspicious of a person or situation. Offer positive reinforcement in this situation, and don’t approach an unknown dog who exhibits this behaviour. Let them come to you when they are comfortable. 

Low and tucked between the legs: This is a sign of fear or submission. A dog with a low-tucked tail is likely feeling scared or insecure.

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Ear positions

Your dog’s ears are another key way that they communicate. Here is what your pup’s ear position may be telling you: 

  • Perked and forward: This indicates your dog is alert, attentive, or interested. A dog with ears up and forward is likely curious about something or ready to act. You’ll probably notice this ear position when you reach for the treat bag! 
  • Relaxed: When your dog feels content, and at ease, their ears will be relaxed. Neither perked nor flattened, just resting neutrally.
  • Cocked to one side: This can signify curiosity or confusion. A dog with ears cocked to one side is likely trying to figure something out. You may notice your dog’s ears swivel to the side if they hear an unexpected sound outside the house. 

Ears back: This can signify fear, submission, or aggression. A dog with ears back is likely feeling threatened or insecure. 

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The Bottom Line

Noticing our dogs’ body language is essential for understanding their feelings at any given moment. Many of their indicators may be obvious, but there are some subtle body language cues that you may not pick up on unless you’re paying close attention. Remember, always consider your dog’s overall body language to get a complete picture of their state rather than relying on a single sign. 

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