Understanding your Dog by watching dog postures

postures1 Understanding your Dog   Dog postures

Two Dogs Posturing

The word ‘pet’ comes from the Scottish Gaelic word ‘peata’, which means “to love by caressing and fondling’ for many dog owners, the dog’s role as an object for affectionate contact is a central part of the relationship.

Understanding how dogs communicate with other dogs and people is something that is very important to know for every one. This knowledge can prevent a dog biting you. Very seldom does someone get bitten without the dog first communicating their attitude.

postures2 Understanding your Dog   Dog postures

Five Dogs Interacting and Posturing

Dog postures are general descriptions: watch your own dog and watch other dogs.

You will learn the deferent moods and their posture communications.

Communication allows dogs and people to become familiar with one another, to bond with each other, and to live peacefully with one another.

Communications –the exchange of social information helps dogs express their emotional and motivational states.

Dogs Postures


Stiff legs and body

Ears back (may be forward)

Teeth barred

Hackles rose

Eyes fixed (or eyes narrowed)

Lips drawn back



A dog rolls over on his back with tail between his legs or tail down head lowered and licking up, ears flat or back


A dog resting his chin on another dog’s back, mount another dog to show that he is the alpha dog in the group. Tail up or back, sanding tall, eyes fixed ears up and forward.


Smiling, happy face.


Short, high-pitched barking accompanied by a relaxed facial expression

Tail wagging held out and up from body.


“Play bow” Leaning down tail waging happily.


Tail may move from side to side, standing tall, ears forward, eyes wide.

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