A Dog's Body language

Eyes:

  • Happy dog: Eyes are rounded, though not excessively so and the muscles around the eyes are loose. No tightness on puppy’s face.






 

  • Unhappy dog: Will give a blank, flat look with the muscles around the eyes held tense and tight. A direct stare by a dog can be read as confrontational and spell trouble. If a dogs eyes are very wide and exaggeratedly rounded (whale eye) this tends to indicate high degree of unwelcome arousal such as stress or fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mouth: 
 

  • Happy dog: Will usually have an open mouth with the tongue possibly showing a little. His lips will be loose without wrinkles. 

 

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  • Unhappy dog: Right closed mouths. At its most extreme the dog’s mouth will be held tensely and the muzzle around the dog’s lips will be in muscular creases. 

 

 

Ears:

 

  • Ears forward:

                     Slightly = Mild interest |                  Moderately = Increasing interest                | Strongly = High alert.

  • Ears neutral: Nothing to get excited about

  • Ears back: Slightly = Disengaged, mild discomfort | Moderately = Discomfort, apprehension | Strongly, pinned back against head = Very uncomfortable, fearful. 

 

Tail: Is it fast or slow? Low or high? Sweeping or stiff? 

  • Happy dog: A relaxed tail is held mid-height and is wagged in a loose sweeping motion. 

  • Unhappy dog: A stiff tail wag tends to send a warning and the slower it is, the stronger the warming. A tail held higher means the dog is on high alert, and a lowered or even a tucked tail indicates discomfort or even fear. 

Did you know? 

A common misconceptions is that a wagging tail is a sign that the dog is happy and friendly. 

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