We call it the ‘doggie language’, but do we really understand what a happy dog looks like? Frightened? Submissive etc.? Our dogs communicate in far more ways than some might give them credit for. Wagging their tail is just one of many ways to communicate, their posture, ears, teeth and eyes also communicate certain feelings as well.
Here is doggie language, debunked:
Wagging tail is one of the signs we identify the most with hapiness in a dog. But there are other ways to know that your dog is content.
Bright eyes as well as relaxed lips are signs of contentment.
A dog who wants to play will often act like a puppy and adopt a submissive behavior. They stretch out the paws out on fron withe the bottom
held high. This position is often termed the ‘play bow’.
The dog will make itself as small as possible. This is to signal to aggressor that it has already been beaten and does not offer any threat.
They may seem to act like a puppy by crouching and cowering, and this is because by instict dogs do not like to attack young dogs.
They also sometimes flatten their ears away from danger and put their tails between their legs, covering scent glands. This is also done to mask
their identity. They may role on their back to demonstrate they are not capable of threatening behavior. When a dog is frightened his eyes will be wide enough to show the white and will have dilated pupils.
This behavior includes actions that a young dog may use to seek attention from its mother, such as licking your face and jumping or reaching up to you.
If every meeting while walking your dog resulted in fights, then many pack members would risk injury, therefore risking the health of entire family .
Instead, dogs demonstrate their dominant position by other means. Aggresive dogs approach confidently with the head held high and the hair on the spine
errect to make them look larger. The dogs ears will point forward and the tail will be pointing up. This is a contrast to a submissive dog, as the confident dog
is not concerned about being injured in a fight and not afraid to let its identiy known. If the dog he is meeting does not act submissively, then the
confident dog will now attempt to scare the other dog into submission. Snarling, wrinkling of the nose, and teeth-baring display to the other dog what harm
could be done if provoked. If the dog launch into a fight, its ears will be drawn in at the last minute to prevent injury.
Most of the time, when dogs meet eachother, they figure out eachothers body language pretty fast. However, there are times when dogs misunderstand eachother, and
this is when trouble can arise. The breeds who distinctly look like wolves are those with the clearest body language (such as German Shepard dogs).
Those with peculiar anatomical features are most far-removed from the wolverine shape and so may be misunderstood. For example, the malteese, poodle and bichon breeds have floppy ears which don’t erect when acting confidently. Other dogs can’t show their teeth because of their hair on their face. Dogs with very long hair cannot raise
their hackles and dogs like the pug cannot raise, wag or lower their tails. Black dogs may look featureless to the eyes of other dogs and so subtle factial
expressions are not understood.