Canine Language: 15 Signs to Understand Them (Fundamentals)

Lenguaje Canino: 15 Señales para Entenderlos (Fundamentales)

How much do we really know our furry friends? There is a lot to know about canine language that we overlook. Therefore, on this occasion Waggy's will talk about what canine language is, its components, tips and much more. Stay and continue taking care of your pet because, I do love my pet.

What is canine language?

We can define canine language as the language that your pet uses to communicate with you, with the outside world and with others of its species to express how it feels at that moment.

Because it is important?

Canine language is important for the following reasons:

  • It allows you to understand the needs and emotions of dogs, regardless of the breed, whether brachycephalic dogs or PPP breeds , facilitating a more harmonious and satisfactory interaction between humans and canines.
  • By understanding dog behavior cues, you can avoid situations that could trigger unwanted behaviors or confrontations between dogs or other animals.
  • Understanding and responding appropriately to canine language helps build a stronger, trusting relationship between owners and their dogs.
  • Knowledge of canine language is essential for effective training and proper socialization of dogs, promoting desirable behaviors and positive interaction with other dogs and people.

How do dogs communicate?

Our furry friends communicate in various ways, using a combination of auditory, visual and body communication.

Auditory communication

Barking is the most well-known form of auditory communication in dogs, but they can also growl, whine, howl, and make other sounds. Each of these sounds can have a different meaning depending on the context.

Visual comunication

Dogs use a variety of visual cues to communicate. This includes eye contact, which can be a show of respect, challenge, or affection. Additionally, the position of the ears, tail, and overall body also convey important information about the dog's emotional state and intentions.

Body communication

Dogs can adopt a variety of postures to express their emotions and intentions. For example, a dog that arches and raises its fur may be trying to appear larger and more threatening, while a dog that crouches and makes itself smaller may be showing submission. Body movements, such as jumping, running, or staggering, can also have specific meanings depending on the context.

Dog expressions with ears

Ears up

When your furry friend has his ears raised, erect and with the ear opening forward, he is telling us that he is attentive. It may be that you have heard some noise, are curious or intrigued by something that is happening in your environment. However, when our pet has a high level of tension, is too excited or in danger of biting, its ears will adopt the same position. But we can't realize this quickly if our furry friend crosses paths with someone he doesn't like, right? Although it must be clarified that there are dogs that already have raised ears, for example mini toy dogs , so you have to pay close attention and be careful. In case you want to know more about why your dog bites everything , click on the link above.

Ears back

Generally when our furry friend has his ears back it is because he is showing us that he is in a state of submission or fear. This behavior is associated with situations in which we scold our furry friend because he bit something he shouldn't have or relieved himself in inappropriate places.

Relaxed ears

With relaxed ears we refer to their normal state, therefore it means that our furry friend is calm with everything. Without a doubt, this is the best position in which we want to see their ears since it tells us that they feel good and it is what we as responsible owners should strive for.

What does a dog say with its tail?

The tail is probably one of the most important parts of our furry dog ​​when it comes to communication since it is the part they use the most to communicate. Here at Waggy's we tell you what their movements mean:

Tail raised, rigid and immobile

This sign in our pets is not entirely good because it shows a state of stress, tension or pressure. Generally this is an alert posture so when our dog adopts it it is very likely that he will bark, growl or bite something. In these situations you have to help your puppy lower the levels of tension and there is nothing better than games, learn about the best games for dogs .

Tail tucked between its legs

When the tail is almost touching their belly, it is because they are in a nervous or scared state, which can generate reactions very similar to the last case since fear can lead them to want to defend themselves.

Tail raised and moving

This is clearly a sign of emotion, however, it is not always positive. If you notice that the movement is because you have just reunited with him, it is surely joy. On the contrary, if you notice this happening when he interacts with other dogs, it is probably a sign that he is extremely nervous.

Tail drooping and sideways

It means without a doubt that the dog is content and happy.

Meaning of barking in dogs

Barking is an important form of communication for dogs, and can have a variety of meanings depending on context, frequency, tone, and other aspects of the dog's behavior:

Alert or warning

One of the most common purposes of barking is to alert the dog to the presence of something out of the ordinary in the dog's environment. This could be the arrival of someone at the door, the presence of another animal, or any other situation that they perceive as potentially threatening.

Request for attention

Some dogs may bark to get their owners' attention when they want something, such as food, going for a walk, playing, or simply seeking social interaction.

Anxiety or stress

Excessive or persistent barking can be a sign of stress and anxiety in dogs . This can occur when the dog feels alone, confined, overwhelmed by the environment, or when experiencing some type of emotional distress. You have to help level this state in your puppy with Waggy's brand puppy treats because they contain CBD for dogs , a super effective relaxant, and Omega 3 for dogs , a necessary and essential component for the development of the puppy.


During play, it is common for dogs to bark as part of their excitement and expression of amusement. These barks are usually high-pitched and energetic, and are often accompanied by quick, playful movements.

What does it mean when a dog shows its teeth?

When a dog shows its teeth, it is generally a warning sign or sign of aggression in dogs . Dogs may bare their teeth as a way of communicating that they feel threatened, scared, or uncomfortable. This display may be accompanied by other warning behaviors, such as growling, raising the hair on the back, or adopting a defensive posture. If a dog shows his teeth, it is important to give him space and try to identify the cause of his discomfort to avoid a confrontation or possible attack. It is important that you know how to punish a dog

What is the language of dogs with their gaze?

Gazing is an important part of dogs' body language and can communicate a variety of emotions and intentions. Next, Waggy¿s tells you some situations that you should avoid:

relaxed look

A soft, relaxed look indicates that the dog is calm and comfortable in its surroundings.

Fixed or intense gaze

It can indicate that the dog is interested in something specific, such as a toy or food. It can also be a warning sign or that the dog is evaluating a situation.

Avoidant or averted gaze

If a dog avoids eye contact or looks away, it may be a sign of submission or discomfort. The dog may be showing respect or trying to avoid conflict.

Half-closed look

A dog that squints may be showing confidence or pleasure. It can also indicate that the dog is relaxed and happy.

Tense or fixed gaze with dilated pupils

This can be a sign of aggression or alertness. Dilated pupils may indicate that the dog is excited or stressed.

What happens if my dog ​​yawns?

When a dog yawns it can be due to various situations due to the context. Some of the most common are:

Relaxation or boredom

Just like humans, dogs also yawn when they are relaxed or bored. It may simply be a way to release tension or to indicate that they are not very stimulated by their environment at the moment.

stress sign

In some cases, dogs may yawn as a response to stress or discomfort. This can occur in new or challenging situations that make the dog uncomfortable or nervous.

Social comunication

Dogs may also yawn as part of their body language to communicate with other dogs or humans. It can be a signal of calm or submission when they are interacting with other dogs or when they are trying to calm a person in their presence.


Just like humans, dogs can also yawn when they are tired or sleepy. If your dog is yawning frequently, it could be an indicator that he needs more rest or sleep time.

What does it mean if my dog ​​licks me a lot?

This can mean:

Expression of affection

In many cases, dogs lick their owners as a way of expressing love, affection, and attachment. For them, licking is a way to show affection and connection with their loved ones.

Social comunication

Dogs may also lick as part of their body language to communicate with you and other family members. They may lick to greet, to show submission, or to establish and maintain social bonds.


Dogs may also lick to explore their environment and obtain information through their sense of taste. They may lick new or strange surfaces to investigate and learn about them.

Why is my dog ​​squinting?

If your dog squints, it may be a sign of relaxation, confidence, or pleasure. Your dog may be enjoying some quiet time or feeling relaxed in his surroundings. However, it is always important to observe the context and general behavior of your dog to fully understand his emotional state. As long as there are no signs of discomfort or pain, squinting in dogs is usually an expression of well-being.

How to respond to dog language?

  • Pay attention to the signals your dog is sending through his body posture, facial expressions, tail movements, ears, and other behaviors.
  • If your dog shows signs of discomfort, stress, or aggression, respect his space and avoid situations that might make him feel uncomfortable or threatened.
  • Don't ignore warning signs, such as growling, baring teeth, or avoiding eye contact.
  • Pet him, play with him and spend quality time to strengthen your bond.
  • It provides quiet shelter, access to fresh food and water, and opportunities to exercise and explore.
  • Train your dog using positive reinforcement methods to set clear limits and teach appropriate behaviors. Be consistent in your expectations and reward the desired behavior.


Understanding canine language is essential for effective communication, conflict prevention, strengthening the bond between humans and dogs, as well as success in dog training and socialization. Essentially, it improves the quality of life of both, promoting a more harmonious and satisfactory coexistence.

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