Interpreting dog body language

I always thought it’s interesting how I’m not that great at reading humans, but since I’ve got a dog I’ve done a lot more reading about how to read dog body language. And I still have not read a single page or article about reading humans! Hah!

Anyway, I’m not an expert on this so I’m not going to write a textbook for you! :P

But suffice to say, keeping this blog going and taking pictures of Donna has made me more “in tune” to her body language, albeit looking at her pictures belatedly!! :P And hopefully with time, I get better at it!

What do I think her pictures are telling me? Take this giantsaurus background image of her here >>>
Did you know that lip licking can be a sign of the dog trying to calm herself? Perhaps she was a little uncomfortable with me holding my phone in front of her as I was trying to take the picture?

But I think slowly, as she gets more comfortable with us, I need not worry every single time her body language seems to be hinting at some level of unease (based on the textbook definitions I have been reading).

It was cold and rainy this morning. I offered to play fetch but she looked at the toy thrown across the floor and was simply uninterested. She wanted to go for her morning walk instead. She decided going back to laze in bed was a better idea since she perhaps understood there’s no chance of us going for a walk with the rain outside?

Although I do think she looked hopeful here. But once she realises I’m just going to stay there with my phone and there’s no hope of a walk, she settles down in her more cosy sleeping-donut position.

Here she is doing a whale eye:

But her forehead is not knotted with tension and her tail is relaxed. So I thought she was just not ready to move but she’s looking at what I am doing out of the corner of her eyes.

Usually if she doesn’t want the attention, she will move away and settle down with her back facing away from us. But in this case, she still doesn’t move away even when I went closer. Then I left her alone and she went to sleep.

And you know what, five months ago words like “whale-eye” and “lip licking” was not even in my vocabulary!! :D You can read all about it in my previous post – How not to test if your dog is child friendly I did say we were dog idiots many times on this blog, right?

So now, I shall direct you to the people who are more expert at dissecting and analysing dog body language than I am:-
– Is your dog comfortable with being petted? Take the hint: How to use the 5-second rule for petting dogs by Ahimsa Dog Training
– What does a fearful dog look like? The look of fear by Eileenanddogs
– Dog Body Language: How to tell if a dog is happy, frustrated, scared, annoyed – Part 1 and Part 2 – by Smartdog Blog

Hope this is helpful to you. Or if you are already expert at reading your dog, well I guess you would have clicked away even before getting to this line :P

Daily Prompt: Flip Flop/Transition – Pictures of my dog going from hopeful to bored/sleepy. Hah! And also transition from wide to close up shots.

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16 thoughts on “Interpreting dog body language

  1. I think Koda and Donna are related! Wow! Koda will do the same thing and curl back up on her bed – but her eyes follow me to see if I go near the closet with her leash and backpack. Great pictures!

    • Haha they must be long lost distant cousins… with the same doggy ancestor somewhere up the family tree… one never knows! :P I can just imagine Koda doing that… bet she comes running like a speeding bullet the minute the closet opens. At least Donna does :P TGIF, have a great weekend ahead!

  2. I’m familiar with those eyes in the 1st pic as I encounter that vision almost everyday with our dog. IMO, the eyesight represent expectation like what these 2-legs creature before me (aka the dogs) are going to do next. If the activities are interesting, Yeah!, if not, Booo! something like that.

    • Now where did the dogs learn to Boo!!! :D :D :D But yes, I agree, Donna definitely knows the concept of Booo!!!! :P

      Thanks for taking the time to write! You comment made me laugh! :D

      Awesome, TGIF and have a relaxing weekend ahead my dear ;)

      p/s I agree, the dog expects something!!! :P

  3. Lovely shots again Mrs. P. I love seeing Donna! :D
    That first photo you can see she was really disappointed. They don’t care about the rain..lol. It’s fun! Ask Simba! :D
    She looks ready for a nice nap in the second photo and love the third shot! She’s got such beautiful eyes! :D

  4. PS: I was so thrilled by Donna’s pics that I forgot to tell you that I loved your post. LOL! Well written as usual and great tips for those that doesn’t know their dogs that well. :D *hugs* to you and Donna. xxx

    • Haha you are right and it befuddles me, how can a dog that sometimes react badly to the rain at home can be absolutely heedless of the rain when outside? I don’t understand dogs. Hahaha, oh well. She can dream about playing outside in the rain instead. :P It’s a good thing disappointment in a dog is quite temporary :D Thanks for your kind thoughts and attention as always. Have a great weekend ahead :D

      • Whahaha! You said it! But Simba will tell you quickly he likes the “soft rain” … not the “heavy” ones. LOL! Yes, luckily their memory is just as short spanned as mine…hahahahah
        You are welcome hon. You and Donna and Mr. P must have a great weekend too. :D *big hugs*

  5. Well done! The only thing I really know about Ruby is that she’s very good at disguising her intentions about everything. Of course I’ve picked up on the ‘nose in the air, running around like a mad dog’ which means I must run and catch her othewise she’ll be off with some dead animal – that is easy to spot! Despite being a water dog, Ruby hates rain – very sad face on when we go out in it…

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