Angel Dogs BBB Business Review

Dog Body Language

Whenever you are around dogs it is important that you learn their body language to prevent getting bit, avoiding fights between dogs, knowing when your dog is calm, nervous or assertive. Dogs do not talk as you well know but they do communicate with their bodies. It is always a great idea to learn their language for than you will truly know what your dog is saying.


  • Ears up
  • Eyes moving, not fixed
  • Lips relaxed
  • Head up, hair down
  • Weight equally distributed
  • Tail stiff and horizontal
  • Tail moving slowly as aroused
  • Non-verbal



  • Ears up
  • Eyes relaxed
  • Hair down
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Front foot may wave a target
  • Tail wagging high, broad, fast
  • Animated, exaggerated, bouncing movements
  • May pant, bark or whine



  • Ears forward at first, out and down as escalates, back when attacking
  • Eyes fixed, staring at target
  • Lips raised, mouth slightly open
  • Nose wrinkled
  • Head high
  • Hair raised over rump and back of neck
  • Leaning forward, weight shifted to front
  • Body stiff, tense
  • Front leg may point a target
  • Tail stiff and high over back, tip may quiver
  • May growl, snarl and bark



  • Ears down
  • Eyes down
  • Lips down, retracted horizontally
  • Head down
  • Hair down
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Tail may wag horizontally, hang down or be tucked close to body
  • May whine


Passively Submissive:

  • Ears down
  • Eyes down
  • Lips down
  • Hair down
  • Head down
  • Lying on side or back
  • Tail tucked close to body
  • May urinate


Fearful: (displacement signals

  • Ears back and down
  • Eyes wide open and fixed (whale eye)
  • Mouth open slightly
  • Head down
  • Hair raised over neck
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Tail tucked tight under abdomen
  • May tremble and defecate or urinate
  • Makes fast moves if threatened
  • Looks for escape routes
  • Whines
  • Excessive sniffing the ground
  • Hair will start to fall out
  • Paws can start to sweat
  • May try to look small by hunching
  • Drooling

About Eileen Tonick

Angel Dogs, provides dog training, puppy training, dog agility training, dog obedience training and therapy dog training throughout the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area.
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