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How To Read a Dog’s Body Language

Ever wondered what your dog is doing when they are interacting with other dogs? Sometimes it can be really frustrating not knowing whether to step in and stop your dog or let the activity go on. You’d be amazed how many people misread their dog’s behavior and yet it’s actually pretty easy – when you know how!

While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, these tips apply for any breed.  Some of the key gestures that you can watch out for to understand what your dog is thinking:

The Head Over

Placing their head over the back of another dogs neck.  This is one of the most common ways a dog will attempt to assert their dominance over another dog. It is neither good nor bad. Some dogs however will contest it if they are not happy being dominated.

Returning To Play

A dog returning to play more with another dog. This is a sign that suggests a dog is happy to play. Often this simple behavior is overlooked by dog owners. Many times a dog may look like they are not enjoying things as they are being dominated and pushed around but is actually very happy and will run back for more!

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Lifting One Paw In The Air

The dog stands still on three legs.  This is a fairly submissive gesture that says I am submissive and nonthreatening. The other dog may react in a number of ways but it is generally a good sign.

Hackles Up

The hair on the dogs back goes up. Very often people think that this automatically means that the dog is being aggressive or going to be aggressive, however it can also just be excitement. It does mean that the dog is very alert but this can be because they just love playing with other dogs.

360 Degree Spins

The dog completes a complete spin.  The dog spinning will almost certainly be very happy and will be trying to encourage some play activity. When a dog turns their back on another dog it shows that they are relaxed and not scared.

One of the best places to learn how to read dogs is the FREE E-book at the start of this article.

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One comment

  1. Dogs are so smart!

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