The Basics of Dog Body Language
Before we begin, there are a few basic ideas to understand. In order to read your dog’s body language, you must pay attention to every detail. The most important places to look are your dog’s ears, tail and face.
These spots are where your dog actively shows his emotions. Start simple, watch your dog while you’re both relaxing at home. Watch his reactions to certain noises. Does his head lift when someone approaches the door? Does his tail wag when you talk to him?
You may start to notice some patterns. When presented with positive stimulus, your dog behaves one specific way all the time. He behaves a very different way when exposed to something negative. Knowing these patterns can help you interpret your dog’s body language.
Understanding your dog’s body language will tell you his intentions. Cesar Millan explains that a dog’s emotion is shown through his/her body language. Their intention is shown through motion. Their emotions influence their motion.
A dog may dart forward suddenly, but that motion has different meanings with different emotions. In a playful dog, darting forward means he’s excited to play. In an aggressive dog, darting forward means he’s ready to attack.
To understand their intention, you must read your dog’s body language before the motion happens. Knowing what your dog is feeling prevents dangerous situations. Learning what your dog’s body language means creates a deeper relationship between you and your dog.
What Common Dog Body Language Means
You may have noticed certain behaviors in your dog(s). There are some common postures in a dog’s body language that are easy to spot. All dogs exhibit these behaviors.