August 26, 2020 3 min read

What’s My Dog Saying?

Understand Your Dog’s Body Language for Better Communication

Hi, hoomans! Mozart here. Did you understand that? We’re not always sure you know what we’re trying to tell you. George and I have often wondered how smart hoomans really are, because sometimes we try to tell them something, but they don’t always understand.

So, George and I decided we would put something together here to help you understand your dog’s body language. That way, you hoomans will understand your hounds. That will make everyone happier.

First, though, let’s look at how you read your dog’s body language. 

 How Do People Communicate with Pets? 

Despite the language barrier, the primary means hoomans use with their pets is vocal language. We hounds wish we could sit and have a conversation with you too, but we usually can’t. Some dogs understand more people language than others, but we can’t use it to talk back. We use other ways to tell you we love you or we want to eat. Sometimes we yip and yap (especially the little guys), like when we’re nervous or lonely. Or we might bark to get your attention. But mostly we use body language.

Let’s talk about a dog’s body language. We’re a lot smarter than we sometimes get credit for, even if we don’t speak the same language. Sometimes using our bodies is the only way we can let you know what we want and need.

What Kinds of Things Are Pups Trying to Tell You?

Twenty-six year old speech language therapist, Christina Hunger decided to create an adaptive device for her Catahoula/Blue Heeler mix, Stella, and taught her to use buttons to communicate her thoughts. In a little less than a year, Stella was able to use 29 words through the device and communicate such things as wanting to play, take a nap, or even when she wants to see her favorite hoomans. If all dogs had something like that, some of us might talk your ear off!

 Here are a few things we do to let you know what we’re saying to you:

             When We Want Snuggles:

  1. We might press our noses up against you. You know, just to remind you we are here.

  2. We’ll place our paw on you. In case you forgot we were here.

  3. If we show you our belly, you better rub it!

            When We Want Food:

  1. We might move your hand with our snout.

  2. We might hold a paw in the air.

  3. We will stand on our back paws.

            When We Want to Play:

  1. We’ll start by quickly giving you our paw and pulling back. Fun game, huh?

  2. Or we will squirm in between you and the boring thing currently taking your attention away from us.

  3. We’ll give a play bow, which sometimes just looks like a big stretch to hoomans.

            When We Want to Go Out:

  1. Paws off the ground, and then onto you!

  2. Or we might jump up and down in the same place.

  3. We might paw at the door we usually exit through.

Especially be on the lookout for these indicators that we might not feel well:

  1. Sleeping more than normal.

  2. Eating differently than normal (more or less).

  3. Scratching or licking paws more than normal.

  4. Growling more than normal.

  5. Drooling more.

  6. Groaning more.

  7. Really, anything we do that’s not normal.

 We know you want to know a dog’s body language and understand what we’re telling you. Your goal is to make your pups happy and comfortable and to show us that you love us unconditionally too. And that makes us wag our tails. Guess what that means!

 Tell us about what your pup has been telling you over on our Huge Hounds Facebook page.

Expect big things!

Hugehounds signature


George Gwartzman
George Gwartzman

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