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What These 10 Common Dog Body Language Signs Really Mean

Ever wondered what your dog is trying to tell you with that wag of their tail or those perky ears? Dogs communicate volumes through their body language, but interpreting these signals isn’t always straightforward. We’re breaking down some of the common canine body language cues to help you understand your furry friend better. From tail tucks to eye contact, you’ll become fluent in speaking ‘dog’!

Cheerful border collie dog hides his nose with his paw.
Photo credit: YayImages.

Tail Wagging

Happy dog wagging tail by a pool.
Photo credit: Pexels.

Tail wagging can convey a range of emotions. A relaxed wag usually signals happiness, a slow wag might show insecurity, and a stiff, rapid wag often indicates alertness or potential aggression.

Ears Position

A yorkshire terrier dog with a shiny, long-haired coat standing outdoors, with a blurred green foliage background.
Photo credit: Pexels.

The position of a dog’s ears can tell a lot about their mood. Ears forward usually mean interest or excitement, while ears laid back might indicate fear or submission.

Eye Contact

A white husky with striking blue eyes lying on the ground with patches of snow, looking directly at the camera.
Photo credit: Pexels.

Direct eye contact can mean a threat from a dog, or it can signal trust when accompanied by a relaxed posture and soft eyes. Avoiding eye contact often means a dog is feeling anxious or submissive.

Body Posture

A dachshund dog with glossy brown fur lying comfortably in a wicker basket lined with a soft cushion.
Photo credit: Pexels.

A dog’s body posture reveals their confidence level. A dog standing tall with a stiff posture may be asserting dominance, whereas a lowered body often shows submission or fear.

Mouth and Teeth

A person holding a dog's mouth open showing their white teeth.
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A relaxed open mouth can indicate a calm state, while bared teeth typically mean a dog feels threatened or defensive. Lip licking or yawning could indicate stress or anxiety.

Hackles Raised

Angry looking aggressive dog in the snow.
Photo credit: Pexels.

Raised hackles, the hair along a dog’s back, can be a sign of arousal due to excitement, fear, or aggression. It’s important to consider the context of the situation to interpret this signal accurately.

Tail Tucking

Dog barking with tail between its legs.
Photo credit: YayImages.

A tucked tail is a clear sign of fear or submission. It indicates that a dog is not feeling confident and is trying to appear smaller or less threatening.

Paw Lifting

Dog giving woman in a dress its paw.
Photo credit: Pexels.

Lifting a paw can be part of a dog’s normal behavior when pointing at something, but it can also indicate uncertainty or nervousness in a situation.


Working German Shepherd dog sniffing a suspecting package for drugs or explosives.
Photo credit: YayImages.

Sniffing the ground excessively can be a sign that a dog is trying to avoid a more stressful situation by engaging in a calming or distracting activity.


A brown dog with a black collar standing on a frost-covered trail, surrounded by white, frozen grass.
Photo credit: Pexels.

A dog that suddenly freezes during interaction is showing intense focus and might either attack or retreat, depending on what they perceive as a threat or challenge.

Do Dogs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

A beagle sleeping on a pillow with one eye open.
Photo credit: Pexels.

Sleep is a natural and essential behavior for all animals, including our furry friends. It’s during sleep that the body can repair itself, memories can be consolidated, and energy levels can be replenished. However, the way animals sleep can differ greatly from species to species. A commonly asked question is whether dogs can sleep with their eyes open. This intriguing question deserves exploration, delving into the realms of canine behavior, anatomy and sleep patterns.

Read it Here: Do Dogs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Why Do Dogs Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed?

A small black and white dog sleeping on a pink blanket at the foot of the bed.
Photo credit: Pexels.

“Why do dogs sleep at the foot of the bed?” is a question that dog owners often wonder as our furry friends seem to squeeze out all the extra space making it so we can’t stretch out in comfort at night.

The mystery surrounding this dog sleep behavior is intriguing for pet parents and dog behaviorists. We’ll look into the possible reasons behind why dogs like to rest at their owner’s feet and try to understand if there’s a psychological, instinctual or behavioral reasoning behind it.

Read it Here: Why Do Dogs Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed?