How Do Dogs Communicate With Humans?

By: Two Dog Zoo

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Ever notice how some dogs seem to be more talkative than others? Many factors contribute to this, but one of the most significant is an individual’s ability to understand and interpret the dog’s body language. In other words, communication between dogs and humans is often reliant on a dog understanding whether or not its owner has the desire or attention necessary for them.

Dogs, like people, use face and body language to communicate, but their body language is quite different than ours. Taking time to study your dog’s actions and movements can be incredibly beneficial to you and your dog’s happiness; it also allows you to recognize anxiety or discomfort before it becomes worse.

Let’s learn how dogs communicate with humans using different body language signs:


1- Eye contact

Canines communicate in subtle ways with their faces, specifically by using their eyes. The constant eye contact from your pooch is their way of showing their trust and affection towards their owners. Think of it as an understated ‘Love you.’ On the other hand, avoiding eye contact is a sign that your dog is uncomfortable, scared, or cowering after doing something naughty.

2- Tail Posture

A dog’s tail is like a mood ring – its position and movement can tell you a lot about how your pup feels. A relaxed, wagging tail usually indicates that your dog is happy, while a low or tucked tail often means that they’re scared or feeling submissive. An erect and stiff tail held high in the air is a sign of aggression.

3- Ears folded or lowered

Did you know that dogs have over 18 different types of ear shapes? The positioning of their ears can clue you in on how they’re feeling. For example, alert and perky ears generally mean that your dog is happy, whereas flattened ears often indicate fear or aggressiveness. Dogs usually fold or lower their ears as a way to show how they feel about something. They can use this to show submission to other dogs, potential threats, or even just as a way of physically displaying displeasure.

4- Mouth

Dogs will also use their mouths to communicate how they’re feeling. A slack jaw and tongue lolling out to the side usually mean your dog is panting due to heat or exercise, but it can also be a sign of excitement or happiness. On the other hand, bared teeth with a closed mouth are often a sign of aggression.

5- Body Posture

The position of your dog’s body can also give you some insight into how they’re feeling. For example, a dog standing tall with its chest out is likely feeling confident, while a dog crouching down low may feel scared or submissive.

6- Tongue Flicking

Tongue flicking is your dog’s way of putting out a warning to people and other animals. It’s often used to communicate between them and humans or between them and other dogs. It can also be a sign that they’re feeling excited or anxious.

7- Sneezing and yawning

These are both ways your dog can express their need for a break. When dogs sniff each other, they’re often doing it out of curiosity or identifying a strange smell, but if your dog shows signs of boredom or stress, they may start sneezing or yawning.

8- Belly exposure

Belly exposure is a sign that your dog is feeling submissive or uncomfortable. This means that they may feel the need to expose their belly and expose their throat as a way of showing their submission.

9- Raising a paw

This is a way that dogs communicate to show dominance or submission. When they raise their paw and show it to you, they usually ask you to do the same. You should avoid raising your paw to them as it can be seen as a challenge, but you can try gently touching their paw with one finger for them to sniff.

10- Bringing things to you

Occasionally, your dog may bring you a ball, stick, or another toy. The majority of individuals would interpret this as an invitation to play, which is very well might be. However, if your dog brings you one of his favorite toys and drops it at your feet, he is most likely offering it to you as a gift! This is how your dog shows affection for you by sharing his favorite things with you.

11- Play bowing

If your dog goes into a bow with his front legs on the ground and his butt in the air, this is known as the play bow, and it’s your dog’s way of telling you that it’s time to play. Try playing bowing back at him if you want to make your dog’s day! Your basic downward dog yoga position will do the trick, and your pup will be thankful that you’re attempting to communicate with him in his own language.

Learning how to interpret your dog’s body language is essential for building a strong bond and understanding between you and your furry friend. Pay attention to the signs they’re giving you, and you’ll be able to better communicate with them – no words necessary.


Q: How do I know when my dog is sad or depressed?

What you have to understand is that dogs have different emotions and moods, just like we do. A dog may be sad at the drop of a hat, but he’s not going to let on. He’ll still act as though everything is okay and will eventually get back to his normal happy self.

 Q: How do dogs express excitement?

Dogs may show excitement by whining, barking, running around in circles, and even jumping.

 Q: How do dogs act when they are angry?

ogs usually show anger similarly to how people do it – by showing aggression toward people or other animals. An angry dog may also make a low growl or bark, act defensive around its food bowl, and even seek attention from its owner excessively.

 Summing Up

Dogs have a complex set of emotions that we tend to understand. It is difficult to understand why dogs show emotions differently, and at times, it is hard to do so. But if you pay attention carefully to them, you will be able to understand your dog. You should always remember that they are trying their best, and when they act aggressively, it is because they like the attention they get from their actions.

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