Dogs are very social animals – and always want to be part of – and accepted by – their family.
Understanding the ways your dog communicates with you can help identify times when your dog is happy, sad, asking you for something, or just having fun!
Here are 6 simple ways your dog communicates with you!
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1: Tail Wagging
The rule is usually – if it is up and totally wagging: that’s great – your dog loves being with you and wants to have your attention. Whatever you are doing right now – it loves and wants to carry on doing.
Tail up but not moving much, or down – they aren’t on board with you right now. Best stop interacting with them and move away or try something else.
It doesn’t mean they are aggressive necessarily – it just means they are having a think.
2: Belly Rubbing
Rolling on to their tummy is seen as a lovely thing by owners – and we always go straight in for the rub of course. But dogs who roll over are sometimes a bit frightened actually.
Confident, boisterous dogs hardly ever roll over voluntarily from standing for tummy rubs.
If your dog says hello and rolls over early on – all fine – but what they do next is the key. If you stop rubbing and they get up and expect more cuddles – they are just a happy but shy dog.
If they get up and walk off, or don’t immediately get up – they are doing this out of fear or lack of confidence. Both easily fixable with gentle training.
3: Eye Balling
Being stared at by your dog when you aren’t eating something yummy is unnerving – but it is actually a secret command.
Your dog is actually using the power of suggestion to get you into action! Don’t believe it? Well, what do you do when your dog stares at you? Exactly.
We do what they want. Without caring what the answer is we get started on the guessing game. Do they want a toy (we go get a toy).
Do they want food (we give them a treat). Do they want to get through that closed door (we open a random door).
We will do a whole host of things for them without them really asking for anything – we just keep going until either they do what we thought they wanted – or we give up trying.
Either way – eye-balling means they get our attention (and maybe something fun out of it too).
4: Taking A Bow
This one is simple – a dog who bows down with their head to the ground and their bum in the air wants to play.
They often do the bow with something in their mouth or a favorite toy. They might want to just play where they are, or it might be their way of saying ‘let’s go to the park?’.
5: Giving A Paw
Giving the paw is quite similar – it is a way of asking for something. It isn’t always something obvious for sure – and quite often it isn’t welcome.
This is ironic of course – as when we are ‘doing something important’ we are of course ignoring them – probably why they want to get our attention.
They might need to toilet, want some food, want a walk, or just want a cuddle.
You never can tell with just the paw – but if you are super occupied already – then take this as a warning that you may have forgotten something that they rely on in their schedule!
Have you ever noticed sometimes that when your dog is doing something on their own – like chewing a toy, eating a treat, or playing with a ball – and you come close – they freeze? They stop like a statue and only move their eyes. Nothing else.
This means one of two things depending on your dog themselves. It either means ‘leave me alone’ or ‘I’m ready’.
Always plum for Option 1 if you weren’t interacting with the dog beforehand – best avoid any issues and always give your dog some alone time anyway.
Only if you were already playing with your dog is Option 2 likely. As you reach in to steal their toy for the 4th time – they may freeze as a way of saying – I am ready to run off again – or hold on tighter.
All part of the game.