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Interpret The Dog’s Language

Like humans, dogs communicate. Partly with other dogs and partly with the people around them. We humans use body language, although we may not always be aware of it, as it is primarily words that govern our way of communicating with other people. Dogs mainly use body language . Many times we want the dog to understand our language and signals, but we have a lot to learn from the dogs as well.

Signals in the dog’s language

Many would probably say waving the tail, growling and barking like the dog’s language. However, the signals a dog sends out are much more than that and may not always be easy to understand.



That tail wagging does not, as most of us believe, mean that the dog is happy and wants to play. A dog waving its tail with the body lowered while almost sneaking up on a person, signals that it perceives the person as angry or upset and wants to calm the person in his moving way.

Another soothing signal is if the dog is licking its mouth or nose. So does the dog if it feels unsafe in the encounter with another dog or a human.
That the dog yawns has about the same meaning as licking its nose. So it doesn’t have to be that the dog is tired, it can be a disarming maneuver from a dog who either wants to calm himself or calm his surroundings.

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Both of these can be used by the dog owner and can be done if you want to calm your dog.

Contrary to these signals in the dog’s language, the growling is a warning signal. The dog growls when it wants to tell someone to stay away. The growling doesn’t have to be aggressive, but just a way of saying that another dog, for example, should stick to their own dog bone.

The bark can make the dog for slightly different reasons and, like in humans, the tone and intensity determine what it is for a kind of shell. The dog can bark as well when it is happy as when it is angry or stressed. Barking is a normal dog behavior that can sometimes be a problem for the people in the dog’s environment. The dog naturally gives a shell in case of danger, for example, but too persistent barking can mean that the dog is stressed.


Along with the shell, the dog, if in a leash, can simultaneously make an outcome. As a rule, it happens in the encounter with other dogs and is often misinterpreted as being tough and supportive. In fact, the dog feels insecure and threatened and needs the help of the person holding the leash to get away from the situation.

By turning his head, the dog turns out to be peaceful. Dogs in between often make use of the signal. 
To completely turn away and turn the back to the other means that the dog wants to be at peace. It is a friendly way of the dog to say away, for example when an older dog thinks a puppy has become too hard.
If the dog, on the other hand, wants to play, it waves the tail and lowers the upper body. 

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