A dog is not a person. Partly for this reason, dogs and people differ greatly in the way they communicate. It is important to have some insight into the different ways of communicating with the dog, in order to better understand the dog and avoid misunderstandings in handling.
When dogs communicate with their peers, all senses are used. They use a combination of instinctive and learned behaviors to communicate. Miscommunication between owner and dog often forms the basis for behavioral problems in the dog.
In addition to behavior, people also have the language at their disposal to express their thoughts and feelings and to communicate with each other. Dogs have it a lot more difficult in that respect, they ‘only’ have their behavior and bark.
Related: How do cats communicate with each other?
dog language for dogs communicate
It is very important that you have some insight into the behavior of the dog and the signals it sends. This avoids major problems (which are often the result of miscommunication).
A dog excited by meeting a friend has a relaxed facial expression. The mouth and ears are slightly retracted and the tail makes wagging movements.
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A confident dog has a lifted body position and keeps the head, tail, and ears upright.
An insecure dog is characterized by a somewhat lower, more bent body position. The tail and ears are low and close to the body.
An aggressive dog will try to enlarge its body by straightening up completely, keeping the tail upright and the ears straight forward. The dog can focus its gaze on an individual and bare its teeth. The dog pulls his lips slightly so that the teeth become visible. Some dogs also growl.
A fearful dog will be submissive and try to make his body as small as possible. He crouches, puts the tail between the legs, and keeps the head low. Eye contact is avoided.
A playful dog slumps slightly through the front legs and presses his upper body against the ground, keeping the hind legs upright. This gives the dog a kind of “bow posture”.