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    HOW TO INTERPRET YOUR DOG'S BODY LANGUAGE, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND VOCALIZATIONS

    HOW TO INTERPRET YOUR DOG'S BODY LANGUAGE, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND VOCALIZATIONS

    There are many different ways to tell how your dog is feeling and what they are communicating to you or another animal. Learning how to differentiate between each stance, expression, and sound will help you understand your dog so much better. Dogs can't talk, so they communicate through body language, facial expressions, and vocalizations. Here are some examples of dispositions and examples of how the dog might react:

    ALERT

    Ears: Perked up. Turning like antennas to catch sound

    Eyes: Open normally or wide

    Mouth/teeth: Mouth closed or slightly open with teeth covered

    Body: Normal. Possibly standing on tiptoe. Slightly dominant position

    Tail: Up and possibly wagging

    Vocalization: None, low whine, or a small bark that is somewhat continuous

    AGGRESSION

    Ears: Back and close to the head

    Eyes: Narrow or staring thepe

    Mouth/teeth: Lips open and drawn back to expose teeth bared in a snarl. Possible jaw snapping.

    Body: Tense, upright in a complete dominant position. Hackles, which are the hairs that stand up on the back of the neck are up.

    Tail: Straight out from the body and it is fluffed up.

    Vocalization: Snarl, growl, and a load bark.

    ANXIOUS

    Ears: Partially back 

    Eyes: Slightly narrowed

    Mouth/teeth: Mouth closed or slightly open in a grin

    Body: Tense and slightly lowered in a submissive position

    Tail: Partially lowered

    Vocalization: Low whine or moaning-type bark.

    CHASE, BEGINNING STAGE

    Ears: Perked up and forward pointing

    Eyes: Wide opened and very alert

    Mouth/teeth: Mouth is slightly opened with an excited panting

    Body: Tense, crouched low in a predatory position. Legs bent and poised to run

    Tail: Extended straight out from the body.

    Vocalization: None

    PREDATORY

    Ears: Alert and held forward or backward to catch sounds.

    Eyes: Wide open, staring and focusing.

    Mouth/teeth: Mouth closed

    Body: Rigid and low to the ground, ready to spring forward. They are quietly sniffing the air.

    Tail: Straight and low.

    Vocalization: None, so the prey won't be alerted.

    CURIOUS/EAGER/EXCITED

    Ears: Perked up in a forward-pointing

    Eyes: Wide open

    Mouth/teeth: Mouth open, teeth covered with possible panting

    Body: Normal stance with possible wiggling, standing on their back legs, or pacing

    Tail: Up and wagging

    Vocalization: Excited short barking and whining

    DOMINANT

    Ears: Up and straight or forward

    Eyes: Wide open and staring

    Mouth/teeth: Mouth closed or slightly open

    Body: Very tall posture and the hackles may be up.

    Tail: Stiffened and fluffed. Up or straight out from the body

    Vocalization: Low assertive growl or grunt.


    SUBORDINATE (SUBMISSIVE)/FEARFUL

    Ears: Down and flattened against the head

    Eyes: Narrowed to slits or wide open, whites showing.

    Mouth/teeth: Lips pulled way back from teeth in a grin. Nuzzling or licking other animals or people on the face.

    Body: Lowered to the ground with the front paw raised, lying on their back with their belly up, possibly piddling, which is urine leaking. 

    Tail: Down and between the legs.

    Vocalization: None or a low worried whining. Possible whining/yelping in fear.

     

    PLAYFUL/FRIENDLY/HAPPY

     

    Ears: Perked up, forward, or relaxed

     

    Eyes: Wide open and alert with a sparkly/merry look

     

    Mouth/teeth: relaxed, slightly opened with some excited panting

     

    Body: Normal posture, relaxed, possibly their butt is wiggling, the front end of their body is lowered, rear end is up in the air in a play-bow. Excited bouncing and jumping up and down. Circling around and running forward in an invitation to play.

     

    Tail: Wagging vigorously

     

    Vocalization: Excited barking, soft play growling, yapping, or a short, high bark.




     

    References by http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Dog-Behave-Solutions/dp/B0027MPM8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1307220928&sr=8-1

     

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