Body Language

      Dogs communicate with one another using their bodies, vocalizations and some marking behaviors. There will be some variance based on individual dogs and breed characteristics, and it is important to observe the whole dog. Seek professional help if you are not sure about a behavior your dog is exhibiting.

      Calming Behaviors*

      • Lip Licking
      • Yawning
      • Shaking body (the same as after a bath)
      • Averting eyes, turn body away
      • Sniffing the ground more than normal

      *On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas

      Submissive, Appeasing, Fearful Relaxed, Calm, Confident Alert, Aroused, Tense BODY Back or lowered, hackles may be raised Vertical, standing straight,
      full height, body soft
      "Play Bow": an invitation to
      play; sending a message
      that behavior that might
      look like aggression is play. Forward, standing
      tall, hackles may be
      raised, body tense or
      stiff TAIL Tucked or curled under
      Neutral, fast wag Low and still
      Neutral, fast wag
      Neutral with a slow steady
      wag High, still, or fast wag EARS Pinned Back Back and Relaxed
      Forward and Relaxed Pricked Forward EYES Averted, no eye
      Squinting, eyes closed Squinting, eyes closed:
      happy greeting
      Soft, direct eye contact Eyes open wide
      Hard Stare MOUTH Lips back (may be a
      "submissive grin")
      Licking lips, yawing Lips neutral, soft Lips forward, may be
      lifted: possible
      intention to bite