Animal Communication: How Your Dog Is Communicating with You through Their Body


Do you ever feel like you have full conversations with your dog…and somehow they can understand every word you’re saying? 

They really are man’s best friend…

Dogs comfort us when we’re sad…

And even respond when you say the word “walk” or “outside.”

It seems like they’re actually UNDERSTANDING our language. In fact, I’ve encountered so many interesting stories about dogs who just GET IT – like the woman whose dog knew she was pregnant before she did

But then there are other times when it seems like you’re speaking a completely different language. 

You tell your pup to get off the couch, and they continue to lounge away. 

Or you call them to come in from the backyard, and they barely even glance your way. 

Animal communication can be a challenge…because you aren’t speaking the same language as your dog. 

But there are so many ways that dogs communicate with us. 

Through their body language, their behavior, and even how they vocalize their wants and needs. 

When you can decipher those signals, you’ll begin to understand that your dog is always communicating with you!

They can tell you whether they’re happy, stressed, or fearful. 

You can even tell when they’re about to lash out or act aggressively. 

The best part…

You don’t even have to be an animal communication expert to hear what they are saying! 

“Listening” to your dog is so important! So, how do you find out what they are saying?

Keep reading to find out…

Animal Communication: How to Understand What Your Dog Is Saying to You


Wouldn’t it be nice if dogs could talk? 

They could let us know when they need a potty break, or when they’re hungry, and even if they feel afraid of something. 

Instead, we must rely on their body language to tell us exactly what they’re feeling. 

And a dog’s body language reveals so much, you just need to be attentive to your dog to understand it. 

A dog communicates with us in a wide variety of ways, and they’re nearly all physical. So it’s important to be paying attention, always. 

Look at their stance…

The position of their tail…

Their ears, eyes, and mouth…

Even their movement (or change in movement). 

Animal communication is a real thing! In fact, your dog is CONSTANTLY communicating; you just need to know what to look for. 

Which is why I want to show you just a few common ways that dogs “talk” to us. 

If you want to dive deeper into animal communication, listen to my podcast where I discuss this topic with someone who actually talks to animals.

Check Out The Position of Your Dog’s Tail


The position of your dog’s tail can tell you a lot. 

Are they happy, scared, or stressed? 

Just look at their tails! 

This is just one way that they are always communicating with you. 

So, what does each position mean? 

Tail Wagging: Your dog is feeling happy or excited. 

Tucked Tail: This is a sign of fear. A tail tucked between your dog’s legs is also a submissive stance, meaning that they don’t want to fight. 

Curved, Tall Tail: This is a sign of fear. A tall tail means your dog is feeling threatened and they may lash out by snapping or biting.

Watch Your Dog’s Mouth


Observe what your dog is doing with their mouth – this is another way they communicate with you! 

Here are some common body language signals.

Relaxed, Open Mouth: This means your dog is happy. 

Tightly Closed Mouth: When a dog clenches their jaw, it means they are cautious or suspicious of something nearby. 

Nose and Lip Licking: When it’s not mealtime, these behaviors indicate your dog is fearful or anxious. 

Yawning: This is a fearful response, meaning your dog is scared of a situation or something nearby. 

Panting: When a dog is panting (and it’s not a hot day), it signals that they are stressed or worried. 

Your Dog's Eyes Say It All


Much like humans, looking into your pup’s eyes can tell you a lot about what they’re feeling. 

They communicate so many emotions through their eyes!

Here are just a few of them. 

Wide Eyes with a Direct Stare: If your dog is staring at something, they are about to lash out at something, especially if you can see a lot of white around their pupils.

Avoiding Eye Contact: If your dog avoids any eye contact at all, they are trying to avoid a threat. They may even be trying to avoid getting caught (ahem: when you ask them who ripped open the pillow). 

Soft Eyes with Relaxed Lids: This means your dog is calm or happy.

Dogs Can Vocalize Their Feelings


Dogs are always trying to SAY something. 

Whether it’s by barking, whining, or growling, they can literally communicate with us through their words. 

And the pitch of your dog’s voice can help you understand what they’re trying to say. 

So how can you “hear” them?

Here are some common vocalizations and what they mean. 

High-Pitched Sound: Typically shows excitement and playfulness. 

Low-Pitched Sound: These barks or growls usually come out when a dog feels threatened, and they may lash out aggressively. 

Repetition: The more often your dog repeats a specific sound, the more urgent the situation. When there’s a lot of barks in a row, it’s usually directed at something, like the dog walking outside or the mailman coming by. 

Whining: This is your dog’s way of telling you they need something. If they’re near the door, they probably need a potty break. If they’re by their food bowl, it’s probably hunger. 

Howl: Howls are not threatening, but they’re often a way that a dog communicates with other dogs or responds to nearby sirens. 

These are just a few of the many ways that dogs communicate with us every day!

We often tend to anthropomorphize, which means that we search for ways to attribute human characteristics or behavior to an animal. And in some cases, dogs actually do experience the same emotions we do. Listen to an episode of my podcast, where we find out what dogs are REALLY THINKING!

I find it truly remarkable that we are able to read their emotions and can even respond accordingly. 

As a dog trainer, I’m well versed in all areas of doggy speak, which is why it’s a main component of my Dog Calming Code program. 

It actually uses many of these signals to help you respond to your dog and speak its language, so you’re both on the same page throughout the training process. 

If you’ve been finding that other training programs are falling short, and you can’t seem to kick bothersome habits like pulling on the leash or not coming when called, the Dog Calming Code is the program for you!

But don’t take it from me; take it from the 88,000+ dogs that I’ve helped using the Dog Calming Code

It’s all about effective communication, and when your pup speaks I want you to be able to understand them. 


Doggy Dan Signature 

~ Doggy Dan 😄

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

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