Almost 90% of dog communication is noiseless. Vocalizations and bites stand for just 10% of their language.
That is a quite small number and it gets alarming when you think that the majority of us don’t actually understand what that 10% consists of, or what type of messages the dog is attempting to express with it.
It’s important that you learn how to read dog body language — vocal along with body — so you can know what your dog is expressing to you, even when he’s silent.
This article is intended to open an entire new world for humans and their canine companions by encouraging to connect any communication splits that might be preventing them from setting up important relationships with their dog. A relationship based upon clear communication. Beneath are a few of the most typical body language signals and what they signify.
- Howl: Loneliness
- Growl: Warning, disgust
- Barking: One bark is a call-out (hey!). Numerous barks in quick sequence is alarm, or an attempt to rally the social group to check out something it finds exciting or intimidating. Barking beginning with a yodel or howl – excited alert, an alarm.
- Moan: Strong pleasure or contentment
- Whine: Begging, or I want. Sounds that commence low and end high likewise are begging, asking. Sounds that commence high and end low: Disappointment, complaint.
- Multiple Even-Pitch Grumbles: (wa, wa, wa, wa) Wanting, asking, disappointment or discontent
- Multiple High-Pitch Grumbles/whines-combo: Guarding, complaining.
- High-Pitched Barking: Play or frustration
- Yawn (volcalized): Exhilaration or frustration.
- Turning away of the head: Relaxing signal. Peaceful motives. Staying away from potential conflict. Helps prevent making direct eye contact (which numerous dogs consider a intimidating behavior).
- Lip licking: Peaceful intentions. Calming signal. Calms members of a social group, helps reduce tension in a group or personal stress, may possibly precede a bite in anxious dog, or precede showing the belly.
- Yawning: Calming signal. Stress reducer of personal stress levels or stress levels in a social group. Generally seen at vet’s office, groomer, before walks (excitement).
- Shaking: (Appears exactly like dog is shaking off water after a bath.) Stress reliever. May possibly see this after your dog has a frightening or very thrilling experience.
- Tail positions: Elevated – confident. Over back: extreme confidence or dominance. Down – relaxed, submissive. Between legs – afraid. Wagging with entire body/hips – joy. Wagging without body – stress, interest, hostility, excitement, dog is thinking. Hooked tail pointed downward – excitement.
- Piloerection (raised hackles): Feels endangered. Over-stimulated. Excited.
- Shivering: Fear, tension, over-stimulated.
- Kissing of the Mouth: (Dog licking the mouth of dog, human) Puppy behavior, peaceful intentions, submissive behavior. Probably the most common reasons dogs jump during greeting rituals.
- Blinking: Calming signal, peaceful intentions, sleepiness.
- Paw lift: Weight distribution toward the front of body – peaceful intentions, begging. Weight distribution toward the rear of the body – fearful, distrustful, unsure.
- Smile: Relaxed jaw muscles, tongue exposed. No visible creases on face, forehead.
- Closed Mouth: Precedes bite, to gain better scent, convey seriousness, thinking.
- Open Mouth: Relaxed.
- Grimace: Tense jaw muscles. Mouth pulled at corners back exposing molars or all teeth. Visible creases at corners of mouth, forehead – fear, tension, excitement. Looks like an exaggerated or forced smile.
- Whale Eye: White of eyes visible, dilated pupils. Fear, aggression.
- Averted Gaze: Peaceful intentions, polite behavior, fearful.
- Staring: At an object – claiming, intention to claim. At another dog – challenge. At a human – challenge, begging
- Presenting The Belly: Laying squarely on back with floppy paws over center of chest – submission, trust. On side, lifting one hind leg or one front paw (or both) – fear, stress, anxious submission, doubt. Urinating while doing either: excitement or fear. This is a puppy behavior that some adult dogs will engage in when over-excited or afraid. It’s a way to express puppy-like intentions and that it is not a threat.
- Sneeze: during pleasant activity – laughter.
- Bowing: Playful.
- Breathing: Through stomach – relaxed. Through chest – excited.
- Panting: Cools body down, exhilaration, fear.
- Scraping Earth With Paws After Elimination: Low self-esteem, marking both visually for other dogs to see and with sweat glands on its paws.
- Sweaty Paws: Dog is too hot, fearful, stressed. Frequently seen in the crates of dogs that have fears of confinement.
- Sniffing Ground: Calming signal. Peaceful intentions, stress reliever.
- Freezing: Contemplating fight or flight, alert. Point of reactivity/threshold.
- Drooling: Presence of food – hunger. Stressful circumstances – fear. Frequently precedes vomiting.
But… It seems some dogs are learning to speak human language! Elliot is learning how to say ‘Mom’: