Saturday, 2 April 2011

Learning what a dog is feeling...

How many times have you looked at a dog and thought I wonder what you are trying to tell me?

Well here is a clued up guide on what the doggy is actually trying to tell you by its body language.

The Dog is Confident
A Confident dog stands straight and tall with his/her head held high, ears perked up, and eyes bright. His/Her mouth may be slightly open but is relaxed. His/Her tail may sway gently, curl loosely or hang in a relaxed position.

The Dog is Happy
A Happy dog will wag his/her tail and sometimes hold her mouth open more or even pant mildly.

The Dog is Playful
A Playful dog is happy and excited. His/Her ears are up, eyes are bright, and tail wags rapidly.He/She may jump and run around with glee. Often, a playful dog will exhibit the play bow where the front legs stretched forward, head straight ahead, rear end up in the air and possibly wiggling.

The Dog is Submissive
A Submissive dog holds His/Her head down, ears down flat and averts her eyes.His/Her tail is low and may sway slightly, but is not tucked. He/She may roll on her back and expose His/Her belly. A submissive dog may also also nuzzle or lick the other dog or person to further display passive intent. Sometimes, He/She will sniff the ground or otherwise divert her attention to show that He/She does not want to cause any trouble. A submissive dog is meek, gentle and non-threatening.

The Dog is Anxious
The Anxious dog may act somewhat submissive, but often holds His/Her ears partially back and her neck stretched out. He/She stands in a very tense posture and sometimes shudders. Often, an anxious dog whimpers, moans, yawns and/or licks His/Her lips. His/Her tail is low and may be tucked. He/She may show the whites of her eyes, something called whale eye. An anxious dog may overreact to stimulus and can become fearful or even aggressive. However, be cautious - do not provoke Him/Her.

The Dog is Fearful
The Fearful dog combines submissive and anxious attitudes with more extreme signals. He/She stands tense, but is very low to the ground. His/Her ears are flat back and her eyes are narrowed and averted. His/Her tail is between her legs and she typically trembles. A fearful dog often whines or growls and might even bare her teeth in defense. He/She may also urinate or defecate. A fearful dog can turn aggressive quickly if He/She senses a threat. Do not try to reassure the anxious dog, but remove yourself from the situation calmly. If you are the owner, be confident and strong, but do not comfort or punish your dog. Try to move Him/Her to a less threatening, more familiar location.

The Dog is Dominant
A Dominant dog will try to assert Himself/Herself over other dogs and sometimes people. He/She stands tall and confident and may lean a bit forward. His/Her eyes are wide and He/She makes direct eye contact with the other dog or person. His/Her ears are up and alert, and the hair on His/Her back may stand on edge. He/She may growl lowly. His/Her demeanor appears less friendly and possibly threatening. If the behavior is directed at dog that submits, there is little concern. If the other dog also tries to be dominant, a fight may break out. A dog that directs dominant behavior towards people can pose a serious threat. Do not make eye contact and slowly try to leave.

The Dog is Aggressive
An Aggressive dog goes far beyond dominant. All feet are firmly planted on the ground in a territorial manner, and He/She may lunge forward. His/Her ears are pinned back, head is straight ahead, and eyes are narrowed but piercing. His/Her tail is straight, held up high, and may even be wagging. He/She bares her teeth, snaps her jaw and growls or barks threateningly. The hairs along her back stand on edge. If you are near a dog showing these signs it is very important to get away carefully. Do not run. Do not make eye contact with the dog. Do not show fear. Slowly back away to safety.

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