Your dog will have his own character and special way of communicating with you. Everything from his nose to his tail can help express his emotions, his moods, and his wants. You can interpret this as a kind of ‘dog language’ that helps him tell you how he’s feeling, and if you know how to read it, you can better understand him and his needs.

Your bond with your dog will be strengthened when you play together, when you train him, and when you groom him, but learning to understand his forms of dog communication can also help strengthen your relationship.


Although dogs don’t experience more complex emotions such as contempt, they’re certainly capable of happiness, fear, and many things in between. You can usually interpret your dog’s body language without even thinking about it, but here are some common signals to look out for.



  • • If your dog’s tail is wagging and his body is lowered at the front end, he’s eager to play and have some fun.


  • • If his tail is horizontal, and his ears and body are leaning forward, he’s taking an interest in something close by.


  • • Your dog is very happy if he’s rolling on his back, or has his front legs stretched and head on one side.


  • • Dogs usually show fear by having their tail down or tucked under. Their ears will also be back, their body or head lowered, or their body leaning backwards.


  • • If their tail is wagging or tucked, with ears down, your dog is showing submission. His body might be lowered to the ground or leant backwards, with his head lowered and tongue licking the air.

When you’re observing your dog’s body language, take into account your surroundings and what’s going on, as it might better help you understand what he’s conveying. In all, understanding basic dog communication can give you an even better grasp of his personality and make the bond between you even stronger.