How to Interpret You Puppy’s Body Language


We tend to think of dogs as humans, don’t we? After all, they become “part of the family.” We talk to them. We play with them like we would play with a child… and we do our best to understand them. So how can you interpret your dog’s body language?

If you pay attention to several things, including your dog’s eyes, ears, mouth, and tail, you can kind of “read” your dog’s mood and emotions! Their non-verbal cues offer us dog owners some insight into how they’re really feeling at any given moment.

Take, for instance, a dog’s eyes. When a dog feels tense, his or her eyes may appear rounder than normal. Or you might notice a lot of white around the outside of their eye. If they’re feeling fearful, they might have glassy eyes with dilated pupils. Do you ever see a dog seemingly squint? They’re relaxed.

Speaking of relaxed, if a dog’s mouth is open with no facial/mouth tension evident, and, perhaps, casually panting, that means the dog’s relaxed. However, if the mouth is closed, lips are pulled back at the corners, and rapid panting is involved then that signals stress, fear or tension. By the way, if you notice your dog drools even when no food is around, that could signal extreme fear or stress.

When a dog is angry or wants to warn a human owner of danger, he or she may wrinkle their muzzle, pulling lips up vertically and displaying some front teeth. If their forehead looks tense, their eyes have a “hard look,” and they’re growling, then they’re not happy.

How about a dog’s ears? When they’re back or to the sides, their relaxed. If the ears move forward and/or point in a certain direction, the dog is intrigued to something going on nearby.

Speaking of arousal, if a dog is excited about something, his or her tail will typically rise above spine level. When the tail is moving side to side in short, quick movements, your dog is definitely excited about something! On the other hand, if the tail gets tucked between the rear legs, your dog is fearful of something.

These are just some of the things you can look for to figure out how your dog is feeling. It’s pretty amazing how much dogs can communicate without talking like humans do!

If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of owning a Australian Labradoodle puppy, contact us today.