Understanding Dog Behaviour or: A Guide to Interpreting Your Furry Friend’s Body Language

Understanding Dog Behaviour or: A Guide to Interpreting Your Furry Friend’s Body Language

Dogs are loyal and affectionate companions, and they communicate with us in a variety of ways. From their wagging tails to their barks and growls, dogs have their unique language, and it’s crucial to understand their behaviour to ensure a positive relationship. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common dog behaviours and what they mean.

Tail Wagging

One of the most iconic dog behaviours is tail wagging. However, it’s essential to understand that not all tail wags are the same. A loose and wide wag often indicates that the dog is happy and relaxed, while a stiff and fast wag could mean that the dog is alert or feeling threatened. If a dog’s tail is tucked between its legs, it’s a sign that the dog is scared or anxious.

Body Posture

Dogs communicate a lot through their body posture. A dog that is standing upright with its ears perked and tail up is likely feeling confident and ready to engage with its surroundings. On the other hand, a dog that is cowering or hunched over could be indicating fear or submission.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is another important aspect of dog behaviour. A direct gaze often indicates that the dog is confident and relaxed, while avoiding eye contact could suggest fear or submissiveness. If a dog is staring and not breaking eye contact, it could indicate aggression or dominance.

Barking and Growling

Dogs use barking and growling as a means of communication, and they can have different meanings depending on the context. For example, a dog that barks excitedly when its owner comes home is showing happiness and excitement. However, a dog that barks or growls at a stranger could be indicating that it perceives a threat.


Dogs often lick themselves, other dogs, or their owners as a way of communicating. If a dog licks another dog’s face, it’s a sign of submission or affection. If a dog licks its owner’s face, it’s a sign of affection and respect.


Understanding dog behaviour is crucial for building a positive and healthy relationship with your furry friend. By learning to interpret your dog’s body language and behaviour, you can better understand their needs, emotions, and intentions. By paying attention to their tail wags, body posture, eye contact, barking, growling, and licking, you can communicate with your dog more effectively and create a strong bond that will last a lifetime.

Jaiveer Talwar

Animal lover, web developer, foodie and photographer. I have written over 115 articles in the field of pets.

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