If a person wants to communicate their intentions and mood to you, their words and demeanor will generally get the message across quite clearly. Animals are not able to achieve such clarity, with humans instead reliant on their own intuition and knowledge to decipher the signals. Even pet owners might struggle to correctly read what their dog is trying to tell them, so it is with pleasure that we present to you the following infographic from Greyhounds as Pets.
Signs of Happiness
If your dog’s mouth is open and it looks relaxed, this is a sign that it is feeling good. A baseline posture of a slightly raised head, ears pulled back gently and a dropped or wagging tail also indicates that the dog is happy. In terms of its barks, high-pitched, spread-out sounds would indicate that the dog feels relaxed.
Signs of Aggression
Are your dog’s teeth visible, does it take a defensive stance and can you hear it growling? This combination strongly hints at an aggressive demeanor, especially if the head is notably raised and the dog is leaning forward as if primed to lash out. A stiff, raised tail and a quick series of low-pitched barks are also warning signs of aggression.
Signs of Fear/Submission
Is your dog looking sideways with a fixed gaze? This could hint at anxiety, while a withdrawn, recoiled pose suggests that it is very worried. Look out also for its tail being positioned between its legs or tightly-pinned ears, and take note if its barks are coming in quick, snappy bursts. These all suggest that your dog is fearful of what might be about to happen.
As dogs can’t tell us explicitly how they’re feeling or what they want, it’s up to us to interpret their signals accurately and, more importantly, to respond in an appropriate fashion. The infographic below should help with some common telltale signs.
What kind of dog behavior can you read?