Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking when he’s interacting with another dog? Sometimes it can be really frustrating not knowing whether to step in when your dog is interacting with other dogs, or if you should just let them do their thing. You’d be amazed how many people misread their dog’s behavior – and yet reading dog body language is actually pretty easy – when you know how! Understanding a dog’s body language meaning as well as how to understand a dog’s behavior really just boils down to knowing the tell-tale signs. Once you know what they are, you’ll know, for example, if your dog is happy playing or if he’s feeling scared or distressed.
Dogs can read each other without any effort. It comes naturally to them. But for humans, it’s not so easy. It’s up to us to learn the different body language signals dogs use.
Check Out Doggy Dan’s Demonstration Video Later in This Article
Basic Dog Language Gestures
Below are some of the key gestures that you can look for to understand what your dog is thinking which I learned about on a website called, The Online Dog Trainer – run by world-famous dog trainer, “Doggy Dan.” The website consists of more than 250 videos in which Doggy Dan demonstrates training methods for every issue you can think of. At the end of this article you’ll see a video by Doggy Dan where you’ll get to see all the body language signals I’ll talk about in this article. You can see my review of The Online Dog Trainer HERE.
The Head Over – Placing their head over the back of another dog’s neck
This is one of the most common ways a dog will attempt to assert his dominance over another dog. It is neither good nor bad. Some dogs, however, will resist it if they are not happy being dominated. A dog who is not happy with this will definitely let the other dog know!
Returning To Play – A dog returning to play more with another dog
This is a sign that suggests a dog is happy to play. Often this simple behavior is overlooked by dog owners. Many times a dog may look like they are not enjoying things as they are being dominated and pushed around, but most times the dog is actually very happy and will run back for more!
This is a fairly submissive gesture that says, “I am submissive and nonthreatening.” The other dog may react in a number of ways, but this is generally a good sign.
Hackles Up – The hair on the dog’s back goes up
Very often people think that this automatically means that the dog is being aggressive or going to be aggressive. However, it can also just be excitement. It does mean that the dog is very alert, but this can be because they just love playing with other dogs. Keep an eye on your dog and don’t panic.
360 Degree Spins – The dog completes a complete spin.
The dog spinning almost certainly indicates that he is very happy and is trying to encourage play activity. When a dog turns their back on another dog, it shows that they are relaxed and not scared.
For More Information
There are so many little things to look for – some more obvious than others. One of the best places to learn how to read dog body language is Doggy Dan’s website The Online Dog Trainer. Dan even offers a 3 Day $1 trial of the site that YOU can take advantage of, so I suggest the next thing you do today is take a look inside the site! This video website is an excellent source of learning not only about how to understand your dog’s behavior, but also how to stop unwanted behavior and train dogs and puppies.
Here is just one fantastic example of his work, demonstrating the above dog behaviors and many more:
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