Learning to speak dog

Aug 08, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a conversation with our dogs? It would be so much easier to figure out what they want, and no doubt they would have a very unique perspective on the world.

Unfortunately dogs haven’t developed the ability to speak, but they can communicate through body language and facial expressions. With a bit of know-how, it is possible to figure out what they are thinking – or at least get a rough idea.

Some dogs are easier to read then others, but if you can learn to identify when a dog is uncomfortable you catch potential problems and help your dog work through them.

Below is a set of common behaviours and what they might mean. We have this poster by Dr. Sophia Yin hung up at the breeding and training centre for easy reference. Download a copy from her website.

Body Language of Fear in Dogs

Cartoon dog slightly cowering before someones feet

Slight Cowering

Cartoon dog cowering in front of someones feet

Major Cowering

More Subtle Signs of Fear & Anxiety

Cartoon dog licking lips

Licking Lips
when no food nearby

Cartoon dog panting

Panting
when not hot or thirsty

Cartoon dog with a furrowed brow

Brow Furrowed, Ears to side

Cartoon dog walking slowly

Moving in Slow Motion
walking slow on floor

Cartoon dog yawning

Acting Sleepy or Yawning
when they shouldn’t be tired

Cartoon dog looking hypervigilant

Hypervigilant
looking in mnay directions

Cartoon dog refusing a bone

Suddenly Won’t Eat
but was hungry earlier

Cartoon dog walking away from food

Moving Away

Cartoon dog pacing

Pacing