Skip to content

How To Read Your Dog’s Body Language

  • Fun


Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” for a reason. They are loyal, loving, and always happy to see us. But did you know that dogs also communicate with us through their body language? If you can learn to read your dog’s body language, you will be able to better understand what they are trying to tell you. Here are some tips to help you determine what your dog is feeling or thinking!

Look At Their Eyes

Dogs can’t tell you what they are thinking or how they are feeling, so it’s up to us to pay attention to the details. One of the most important things is to look at their eyes! While looking at your dog’s eyes, you should note whether they are relaxed and smooth, or wide and darting. If they are relaxed, your dog is most likely calm and happy.

If their eyes look wide and darting, it is a telltale sign that your dog feels uncomfortable, anxious, frightened, or threatened in some way. You should also take note of the color of their eyes: if they have black dots around their eyes, you are most likely dealing with an aggressive dog that is ready to attack. If their eyes have redness around them or look watery, this could be a sign of some type of infection.

How To Read Their Tails

You might think that the placement of a dog’s tail would be enough to determine what they are feeling or how they are feeling, but this is not always true. While the position of their tails can tell you if your dog feels happy and relaxed, there are many other factors to consider in order to get an accurate reading. Some dogs hold their tails high when they are happy, while others hold it low.

Some dogs hold their tails straight up when they’re curious and investigating something new, while other dogs might hold their tails lower while being interested in a situation or person. These can all be signs that your dog is feeling positive about something that is going on at the moment.

Restless Behavior

One of the most common signs that dogs give when they are feeling anxious and fearful is restless behavior. If your dog is constantly shifting their weight from one leg to another, or if they seem like they don’t know what to do with their bodies, this could be a sign that something has them feeling uncomfortable. Some dogs might wag their tails a lot when they are feeling nervous, while others might hold their ears back or try to move away from the uncomfortable situation.

Look Out For Unusual Behavior

It is important to stay on high alert for any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior as well as any ongoing issues they may have. If your dog suddenly stops eating their food and you find that they are vomiting it back up, this could be a sign of illness. If your dog has never had any accidents in the house before and now they are having frequent accidents or even if they start to display behavior such as urinating outside the normal areas, these could be signs of some type of anxiety disorder.

Running Around & Barking

If you find that your dog spends a lot of its time anxious and barking, this could be due to several factors. Some dogs bark when they feel threatened or want something. Other dogs may bark because they are bored, while others might start barking when they are playing. If your dog loves other dogs and starts barking at them when they are in the distance, this could be a sign of jealousy. If your dog starts barking at certain objects or people around the house, this could be a sign that they are threatened by these things.

Sudden Bad Behavior

While aggressive behavior from dogs is rare, it does happen and can’t always be predicted. Some of the most common symptoms of a suddenly aggressive dog include sudden snarling, snapping at the air, or biting at things that they would normally not feel threatened by. If your dog has never exhibited any of these symptoms before and all of a sudden they start displaying them, it could be a sign that something is upsetting them.

Reading Their Posture

When dogs feel threatened, their body language will change and they may go into a ‘freeze, fight, or flight’ state. This means that your dog might start to look stiff and their movement might slow down while their breathing increases. Some dogs will also appear to shake or shiver when they are feeling uneasy about something around them. If your dog starts to look stiff and their ears start to go back, this could be a sign that they are uneasy with something going on.

Panting And Shaking

A lot of the time when dogs get nervous or scared, they will begin to pant or shake even if it isn’t very hot out. If your dog starts panting for no reason or if they start shaking when there are no signs of being too hot outside, this could be a sign that they are feeling nervous. Some dogs even start to drool when they are nervous, so keep an eye out for excessive amounts of saliva coming from your dog’s mouth. However, this could also mean that they are feeling very hungry.

Lip Licking

Dogs will often lick their lips when they are excited to see someone, or if they are trying to get rid of a flavor that is on their mouth. If your dog starts licking his or her lips repetitively, this could be a sign that they are trying to calm down or alleviate some type of anxiety they are feeling. Sometimes this nervous licking behavior can become excessive though, so watch your dog’s body language closely to determine what is causing this anxious lip licking behavior.

Whining And Whimpering

Dogs whining and whimpering are very common when they are anxious or nervous about something. This type of behavior is often used when dogs are seeking comfort from their owners. If your dog starts whimpering or whining when they are not playing, this could be a sign that they are uneasy about something in their environment. If your dog whimpers when you leave the house, this could be a sign that they are anxious about being left alone.


So as you can see, reading your dog’s body language is an important tool that all pet owners should have. Dogs are not always so good at communicating their feelings, so it is our job to be able to determine when something might be wrong. Setting up a vet appointment if your dog’s body language seems off can help you ensure they are feeling fine and taking care of any issues before they get too serious.