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The Secret Language of Dogs

by Sarene Maev Butao September 23, 2019

The Secret Language of Dogs


Bark! says your dog as if they’re trying to say something to you. Did you know? That barking alone isn’t enough for dogs to express what they feel? Most of you probably know by now that they use body language to let you understand what they’re trying to talk about. Unlike humans, where speaking alone is already enough to make or break a person, just kidding!

Dogs utilizes body language as a means of communication with their owners. This body language can be a result of various emotions such as fear, happiness, excitement, and among others. Below, we are going to break down few body languages that dogs do.

Relaxed Mode

In this body language, dogs are content and doesn’t feel threatened in his/her surroundings. 

  • Ears: Up
  • Tail: Pointed down/relaxed
  • Mouth: Opens slightly and tongue is exposed a little bit
  • Eyes: Completely normal
  • Head: Also rests at a relaxed manner


In this one, your dog wants to play with you, especially if you’re gone for the day and just came back home from work. 

  • Ears: Up
  • Tail: Up and wags
  • Mouth: Opens and exposes tongue
  • Eyes: Pupil are dilated that expresses the feeling of excitement
  • Head: Mostly pointing straight towards you


This body language is where your dog started to feel something bad around his/her surroundings. They may have detected something in the area that threatens them which resulted into this body language. 

  • Ears: Pointed backwards
  • Tail: Down and wags slightly
  • Mouth: Slightly open and sometimes uses the tongue to lick its own face
  • Eyes: Can’t look directly into the owner
  • Foot: May leave sweaty footprints because of fear


Your dog will probably attack at some point in this body language. It will give this pose directly into the individual he/she is seeing as a threat. It can be difficult to calm down when your dog is in this state and it shows based on his/her body language.

  • Ears: Pointed backwards
  • Tail: Tucked in with little to no movement at all
  • Mouth: Showing teeth aggressively that’s ready to bite and lips are slightly curled
  • Eyes: Pupils dilated in an angry manner
  • Fur: Hackles raised to show dominance


There are plenty of factors why your dog gets stressed and two of the most common ones are because of its environment and the people he/she is with. 

  • Ears: Pointed backwards
  • Tail: Down
  • Mouth: Rapid panting with the corners of the mouth back
  • Eyes: Pupils dilated while eyelids are slightly down as if it’s sleepy
  • Foot: Sweaty pads that may leave footprints 


When your dog is posing this kind of body language, he/she may have detected something suspicious in the area it’s in. In most cases, it’s best not to disturb your dog in this state and let him/her do its thing for a while.

  • Eyes: Wide open 
  • Tail: Positioned in a horizontal manner without being stiff
  • Mouth: Closed 
  • Ears: Pointed forward and may twitch at some times
  • Stance: Slightly leaning forward and standing tall in its toes

PetClever has all the dog friendly advice you need! Find more here.

Sarene Maev Butao
Sarene Maev Butao

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