Get a Clue With Dog Behavior Cues

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We often like to pretend like we know what our dogs are thinking. We even give them voices – sometimes in full monologues to really drive home the idea. Whether we’re accurately depicting their thoughts or not is a different story. But believe it or not, your pooch is giving you plenty of clues to help you through the process – in the form of dog behavior cues.

Every expression and movement your dog makes is a hint into what they’re thinking. Use these clues for dog behavior cues and get a better understanding of how your dog thinks.


dog behavior cues happiness

Happiness is often the easiest to spot of dog behavior cues. When dogs are happy they have almost a bounce to their step. Their expressions take on a smile-like shape and their tongue may hang out. Their ears are relaxed and their tail may even be wagging. Take note though, rapid tail wagging is good but slow tail wagging may be a sign of anxiety for some dogs.

Fear or Anxiety

dog behavior cues fear

When dogs are uncomfortable in a situation they give very distinct dog behavior cues. Their ears tuck back along with their tail that tucks between their legs or lightly wags at the end. They may look like they’re cowering and they might possibly start panting with their tongue hanging out. The fur between their shoulder blades stands at attention. Their jaw might tighten or they could start shaking and they may seek refuge in a safe spot or beside their owner. Some dogs may also yawn, drool, whine, or whimper when they are anxious.


dog behavior cues curiousity

When your dog is intrigued, they’ll show it. Curiousity is a dog behavior cue that may recognize based on the adorable head tilt but there is often more to it. Often times, dogs will turn their ears towards the direction of any sound that catches their attention. They may approach the curious source but if they’re unsure they may crouch close to the ground.


dog behavior cues playful

If your dog is feeling playful, it’s very likely you’ll find them in a bowing position with their rump high in the sky as they’re ready to pounce. Their tail is likely wagging happily as they approach another dog or a human. This dog behavior cue signals that they’re ready to have fun.


dog behavior cues agression

When it comes to aggression, dog behavior cues aren’t always as obvious as a crouching and barking dog. Often times, these cues are very similar to anxiety signs which can serve as a warning to pending aggressive behavior. Their body will tense and they may snap at the air or even make contact without really intending to harm. They may growl and their lips and jowls may appear to vibrate. These dog behavior cues should be given close attention, particularly if the behavior is shown towards a child or another dog.

While we often personify and rightfully treat dogs as members of our families, it’s important to remember that their species reacts differently to scenarios. Dog behavior cues should be respected so they are able to remain comfortable as companions in our lives.

To find out more about dog behavior cues and how to handle situations, turn to the professional trainers at Circle K9. Our friendly staff is available to answer questions and to assist you with all of your training needs. Reach us online or call (281) 259-3564 today.

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