Dogs are a type of animal that has been domesticated by humans for thousands of years. They have evolved to be our companions, hunting partners, and toys. They are also very expressive animals who communicate with us in ways other animals cannot. Dogs use body language more than any other form of communication to tell us what they are feeling or thinking without actually speaking out loud.
Here are 11 things your dog says without saying a word.
- Dog is yawning: Dogs will often yawn when they are stressed or even tired of being around people too long. They also tend to yawn when you come home after being gone for some time, which makes sense since dogs rely on us as their pack leaders and need reassurance that all is well in the world before settling down again. It’s not unusual for humans to mimic this behavior by “returning the favor” with playful barking or yawning back at them!
- Dog stood very still/stiff: If your dog appears over-excited one moment and then suddenly becomes rigidly stiff, it may be an indication he has had enough excitement for the day and would like to take a break. This is especially common in puppies who are still learning how much stimulation they can handle before getting overwhelmed.
- Dog is licking its lips: Dogs lick their lips for many reasons, but one of the most common ones is that they’re trying to figure out if you’re friend or foe. Licking also releases calming pheromones, so it can also be seen as a sign of submission or appeasement. If your dog does this frequently around people he doesn’t know, it might be a good idea to start socializing him more!
- Dog cowers/submissively urinates: A dog who cowers may have been abused in the past or may not have had positive interactions with people in general. They are also scared of being scolded or punished for something they did wrong, so it’s important to be gentle and never raise your voice when disciplining them. Dogs who submissively urinate after having done something naughty may simply need more exercise before their bladder becomes too full to hold onto any longer!
- Dog is shaking/trembling: An anxious dog will often shake because he is afraid of what might happen next, especially if the owner doesn’t take steps to make him feel better about his situation right away by giving him some extra attention. It can also indicate that a dog has been over-stimulated already, particularly in puppies less than six months old who are still learning how to cope with too much excitement.
- Dog’s ears are back: When a dog’s ears are pulled all the way back against his head, it usually means he is feeling scared or threatened by something. This could be another animal, person, or even a loud noise. If your dog does this often, you might want to begin socializing him more so that he becomes less afraid of new things.
- Dog rolls over on its back: A sign of complete submission, this gesture basically means “I give up! Do whatever you want to me!” It can also indicate that a dog trusts and respects you very much. So if your pup starts rolling over for no reason whatsoever, be sure to give him lots of praise and maybe even a belly rub!
- Dog is wagging its tail: A happy dog will usually wag his tail from side to side when he sees you, which is an indication that he’s excited to see you and wants to be around you. It can also mean that your pup is feeling playful. If the wags are more erratic and happen very fast, it could mean that the dog is feeling nervous or scared instead.
- Dog has its hackles up: This one is pretty easy to spot – when a dog’s hackles (the long hair along their spine) are standing on end, it means they feel threatened by something and are prepared to fight if necessary. If your dog starts to look like the hackles on the back of his neck are about explode, it’s time for you and him to take a little break.
- Dog is standing with its tail down: When a dog holds their tail level or lower (not tucked), they may be feeling anxious or stressed. You might see this when dogs first enter an obedience class in order to learn commands, but if your pup does this in everyday life it could indicate that he needs more exercise before getting overwhelmed by too much excitement!
- Dog is licking another animal/person: While many people assume this means one animal/person likes another, what really happens is that both parties release calming pheromones through their saliva so everyone feels comfortable. If your dog is licking another animal or human non-stop, it could indicate that he’s trying to release some of his anxiety about this situation!