Do you ever wish your dog could just talk to you? Like tell you when they need to go to the bathroom, when they’re hungry, or most importantly, when they’re in pain?
Sometimes it can be hard to notice what our pooch wants to tell us. But it’s our job as dog owners to learn all the signs and signals to best understand what our dogs need.
To make it easy for all of us furparents out there, here’s a quick guide to help read your dog’s behavior.
Sniffing the floor and walking around in a circular path
This is the easiest sign to tell if a dog needs to do their business. If you see this happening in the house, it’s best to grab the leash and take your dog outside to potty.
Sometimes dogs also sniff the floor to relieve stress and anxiety, or to investigate new areas and things. It’s up to you to determine the context.
No appetite, uncharacteristically quiet and lethargic
Don’t panic, but this usually is not a good sign. Any time a dog refuses to eat for a prolonged period of time is means to call your vet and head on over (with proper observation of other symptoms).
Excessive panting, shaking, sneezing and coughing are just a few of a dozen subtle signs that show your dog is not faring so well. Dogs that also sleep more than usual and groom themselves excessively may be in pain.
It’s always best to keep watch for any differences in your dog’s behavior because only you will be able to tell if something is out of the ordinary.
Low and high barks, whining, howling
Yup, your dog is talking to you, but in his or her own doggy language. Each bark means something different for each dog, but there are basic ways to tell what the general barks mean.
Low barks can be seen as warning barks (or “boofs”). You might catch them doing this to the stranger at the door. They can sometimes be aggressive barks, or can regress into growling. High-pitched barks are usually excited barks and can mean your dog has entered a playful mood.
Whining can mean your dog is in pain or is trying to catch your attention (perhaps, for an extra chewy treat). Howling can also mean that your dog wants your attention, or it can mean that your dog has a bit of separation anxiety or is bored.
Body language in the tail and ears
Your pet’s body language can tell you a million things.
A straight tail with ears perked up means that your dog is alert, while tail down or in between the legs and ears down means that your dog is scared and fearful.
A wagging tail doesn’t always mean a happy tail as it can indicate a high-energy and high-strung dog, or a dog that’s very anxious. Be sure to read these signs and act accordingly in the presence of children or other dogs.
Eyes are fully on you, staring
That is, if you don’t have a treat on you. If there are no food or treats in your vicinity and you find your furry pal staring at you long and hard, chances are he’s showing you that he loves you.
If you look back and engage in a staring competition, then congrats! The feeling is mutual and you and your pooch share healthy affection for one another.
There are many other ways to see how your dog communicates with you and if you study up and do your research, you can find it fun to “talk” with your dog. They respond best to your tone of voice and hand motions, so be sure to keeping engaging and trying to understand your dog!