Language of Dogs
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The Language of Dogs: the Signs of Calm

Decode canine communication! Discover the signs of calm in dogs and enhance your understanding of their language for a harmonious bond.

The language of dogs is the way they have to communicate their intentions, emotional state and needs. It is vital to understand and interpret the way you express yourself, to improve coexistence and the bond that unites us. They do not speak, but they express themselves using sounds and body language.

Their learning begins from the day they are born, along with their mother and siblings and continues during the socialization of the puppy, around three months of age. The lack or reduction of this period can have negative consequences such as the absence of guidelines for their social behavior.

After this, their learning continues throughout life. He learns from other dogs and from the humans around him.

Corporal expression intervenes in some messages

Relaxed and neutral tail plus ears in normal position

He feels safe and friendly. Do not distrust or be afraid

Posture of fear. Can respond with aggression

When a dog is afraid or feels cornered, there are some signs that tell us what happens. It is good to interpret this message to know how to act accordingly. The signals that stand out in these cases are:

  • Barks and / or growls
  • Bristleback hair
  • Rigid front paws
  • Shows teeth

Ears and eyes also send messages

  • ] When the ears are upright: you are attentive and you may be curious
  • If you are looking backwards: you are anxious or you feel insecure
  • If you have wide-open and large eyes: you are paying close attention to what you are doing and dices
  • When his eyes are half-closed: he may be ready to attack

His vocalizations are part of the language of dogsThe barking of dogs has different tones as it happens with our voice when we are happy, tired or angry, for example.

  • If he barks looking at the street door: he is warning that someone has arrived
  • The loud and sharp barking: indicate that he is happy and wants to play
  • The grunt strando the teeth: warns that you move away, intends to bite
  • A short howl can be a sign of pain
  • A long howl says that it feels lonely and strange
  • The siren howl responds to the howl of another dog
  • The regular howling is the one practiced by the races used for hunting
  • A moan indicates fear, cold or hunger
  • A sigh indicates boredom, frustration or weariness

What are the signs of calm ? At what point does the dog use them?

The signs of calm are part of the language of dogs . It is his way of warning that everything is fine and that he is calm. He communicates it to other dogs or to us. Observe our dog is what will allow us to recognize them.

Although the signs of calm are more than 30, we can interpret the most used:

  • When licking the snout: it is telling us that everything is fine
  • If you look askance : it is a sign of respect. To look fixed equals challenge
  • Yawn accompanied by ears back or look sideways: it tells us that it is uncomfortable, maybe because it does not understand what we want it to do
  • When licks us: it can be a demonstration of affection. Also if there is a tense situation, such as having received a challenge, for example, you can do it to reduce the problem
  • When your eyes are half closed: you are calm, you feel safe
  • Lying on your back, either in the floor or inside your dog house, with your belly up: it is a sign of respect, recognizes our authority
  • When pushing with his nose: he is looking to draw our attention. He is asking for affection
  • If he wags his tail and ass: it represents total joy
  • When he shakes completely: he does it because he feels stressed and in that way he seeks to loosen tensions
  • If he scratches himself as if he had fleas: it means that it stings him because he is nervous. It is a symptom that you may be stressed
  • When you enter a place where there are other dogs, you remain motionless allowing them to sniff it. This is done to show respect, allows them to come to sniff and recognize. He is telling the other dog that everything is fine
  • When urinating by raising his leg (male): he may be marking a place he is accessing for the first time. If he does it in front of another dog, the intention is to make himself known
  • He sniffs the ground when he reaches a place where there is another dog. It is informing the other dog that does not arrive to invade the space and does not want problems

Communication and learning are mutual and we must convey a clear message

We must also communicate with our dog so that he can understand us. For this it is convenient to follow some guidelines that will help to get us to understand clearly:

  • When talking to him do it low and in a high tone
  • Accompany your words with a gesture that your dog can identify
  • There are studies that show that it is more positive a prize than a punishment

At the moment of speaking, try to establish a visual contact

  • To give an order always repeat the same words and the same gesture accompanied by the same tone of voice


To obtain the best communication results, observing what your dog does will be the tool that will give you the best results. Remember that, as with human beings, there is no dog that is the same as another, each one has its own personality.

Knowing the language of dogs will help us to interpret what it is telling us. This way we can improve our relationship and enjoy a balanced and happy coexistence.

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