START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

3. “Play” position. Let’s say your dog, after the usual preliminary sniffs, suddenly bounces down on its chest and elbows with its ears flattened and its rear end in the air. Unless the dog’s owner recognizes your dog’s body language, he or she may snatch the animal away protectively, misinterpreting your dog’s behavior as aggression. Your dog was giving off perfectly clear signals–”Let’s play“–yet was misunderstood. A dog that merely wants to play may also jump excitedly and bark, grin and wag its tail, run around in circles, and roll over.

4. Submissive postures. Sometimes a dog will lie on its belly with its ears flattened and the fur along its back flat and smooth. It looks away and may roll over onto its back. Is it afraid–a coward, a wimp? In most cases not–it may well only be showing submission. It is probably saying, “I am recognizing that you are the boss (pack leader).” Or it could be telling the other dog, “I’m not into power–I don’t want to fight.” A dog that avoids confrontation in this manner usually makes a good city dog.

5. Signs of fear. A frightened dog lowers its body, with its tail hanging low or tucked between its legs. Its head is down, its ears are laid back, and its hackles are usually raised. The dog may instinctively crouch close to the ground to protect its belly, and it may approach you and your dog in circles. Because a scared dog can quickly become a fear-biter, the best course is to stand still with your hands by your sides and refrain from looking the animal in the eye. Don’t corner it or turn your back on it, but speak to it in a soothing voice. Unless it gets over its fear, relaxes, and shows friendliness or submission, it’s best to move away quietly.

Adapted from City Dog, by Patricia Curtis (Lantern Books, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Patricia Curtis. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.

Related:
Is Your Dog Happy?
If Animals Could Talk
Smiling Dogs (cute pet pics)
Do Dogs Understand Words?

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pets, Safety,

Adapted from City Dog, by Patricia Curtis (Lantern Books, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Patricia Curtis. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

Go to the Source

City Dog

Choosing and living well with a dog in town.buy now

40 comments

+ add your own
1:48PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Okey dokey; still challenging.

4:05PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

good to know

6:14AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

Thanks makes sense.

8:21AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Noted

3:25PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Thanks for the article!

3:11PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

tks

2:42AM PST on Dec 26, 2011

Excellent article - thanks.

3:56PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Thanks.

5:23PM PST on Dec 28, 2010

thanks

1:27AM PST on Nov 27, 2010

Thanks for the article.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I too could do without musical cards, but cats like to play with and scratch at paper as well. Me pr…

It may become legal but it still won't be moral.

Laughing my butt off ! Hahahahahaha :) :) ,just so darn CUTE ! Can't get any better then this,Pups a…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.