Unlike humans who use words to communicate, dogs try to convey their messages through body language. Therefore, dog owners will have to adopt their pooches’ “language” in order to communicate, as dogs certainly can’t learn enough words to convey messages to their humans.
But the thing is, when adopting a pet, some tend to be more keen on learning dog training tips for new owners, eager to teach their pets to listen and obey basic instructions. But what most owners miss is the fact that before they could teach their pets anything, they have to be familiar with their behavior first. This is what makes reading dog body language important.
In decoding dog body language, you have to understand that their energy level is parallel to their intention and emotion. Their energy, intentions, and emotions all work together for them to be able to communicate properly through their body language.
Such communication can be seen in how one dog plays with another. Illustrating this perfectly is in their “play bow,” where they have a forward motion but with their bodies low to the ground. The emotion, as seen in their forward movement, shows excitement; but the intention, as seen in the low position of the body, is friendly, so they have a playful energy together.
However, similar behaviors can mean different things. For instance, a happily excited dog and an aggressive dog can both move forward toward another person, but one could be playful while the other may be seen as more threatening. This playfulness or assertiveness can also show how dogs can run away from another in fear or start a game of chess with them.
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Understanding Dog Body Language
In learning to communicate with dogs, it is important to watch out for the head, ears, tail, and back; the higher these are, the more dominant the personality of the dog is. If they are positioned lower, they tend to be more submissive or uncertain of their feelings. Another point to check is the tension, especially in the back and legs.
Interpreting dog energy can be difficult. This is why it is important to observe their body language properly. For instance, many tend to get scared of dogs baring their teeth, but an astute observer looks past the canines and takes in the rest of their body language. For instance, bared teeth, but with ears pulled back along the head, together with squinting eyes, lowered body position leaning away would show a dog in an act of submission. Similarly, a dog that comes charging at a human but with a relaxed body, leveled, wagging tail, and lack of tension is showing excitement, not aggression.
Dogs will not be able to tell their human caretakers what they’re thinking or feeling, but the way that they express themselves constantly should be an indication to how pet owners address their needs. Once we understand dog body language, a whole world of pet love and loyalty opens up for dog lovers. You have to admit, there is nothing so bad in the world if we can go home to a happy, cheery pet to bring back a bit of sunshine.