PetPsych

Animal Behavior & Training

Canine Body Language

Although dogs and humans have lived together for many centuries, the potential for misunderstanding between the two species remains enormous. Dogs have a remarkably wide range of body language gestures and facial expressions that, while universally understood by their canine counterparts, are often totally misread - or even unnoticed - by their human counterparts. If we only understood our dogs better, there would be far fewer behaviour problems. It is actually a testament to the dog's ability to adapt and read the signals we give off (both consciously and sub-consciously) that it manages to live with humans so successfully. See also Research Papers - Canine Body Language and Let's Be Friends.

Have a look at the pictures below and see how well you know your dog (answers bottom of page)...

1. This dog is saying:

a) I'm very happy
b) I'm angry and self-confident
c) I'm angry, but unsure 

2. This dog is saying:

a) I'm angry
b) I'm about to bite
c) I'm alert

3. This dog is saying:

a) I'm self-confident
b) I'm very angry
c) I don't like this

4. This dog is saying:

a) I'm about to bite
b) I'm friendly
c) I'm scared

5. This dog is saying:

a) I'm angry, but unsure
b) I'm just happy
c) I'm angry and self-confident

6. This dog is saying:

a) I'm very angry
b) I'm submissive and harmless
c) I'm having an identity crisis

7. This dog is saying:

a) I'm very happy
b) I'm scared
c) I'm very angry

8. This dog is saying:

a) Life's great!
b) I don't like this
c) I'm angry, but unsure

9. This dog is saying:

a) I'm paying attention
b) I'm so sad
c) I'm aggressive

Answers

1) b
2) c
3) a
4) b
5) a
6) b
7) b
8) b
9) a

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