What your dog’s body language is telling you

Human beings have lived closely with dogs for maybe 30 or 50 thousand years. And yet we still don’t understand their communications. They use posture, tail position, eyes, ears and mouth to let us know what’s up with them.

If only we understood…

Completely Submissive-Very Fearful or Passive Submission Posture.

Completely Submissive-Very Fearful or Passive Submission Posture.

Ohio State University have an excellent page that explains how we can understand what our dog is telling us. Visit and learn.

Dogs have a complex system for communicating. They communicate through vocalizations, smells and scents, body language, and direct contact. Below are some examples of different behaviors dogs display when they communicate with people, other dogs, and other animals. A dog does not express all of these behaviors in each situation. Remember to observe the complete picture within the dog’s environment when interpreting these behaviors. Variations between individual dogs, as well as between breeds, must be considered when interpreting behaviors.

[Each of the following is explained in detail:] Relaxed Posture, Alert Posture, Playful or Play Bow Posture, Submissive-Fearful or Active Submission Posture, Completely Submissive-Very Fearful or Passive Submission Posture, Aggressive-Dominant or Offensive Threat Posture, and Aggressive-Fearful or Defensive Threat Posture.

[Via 4-H PetPALS. A program of Ohio State University, 4-H Youth Development.]