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Find out how your dog is trying to communicate with you
through the dog's own unique language of signs and expressions

Animal Behavior: What is my Dog Saying?
C. Bailey-Lloyd

Dogs are quite amiable creatures. Much like our human
counterparts, their speech is often amplified by their body
movements and facial expressions. If you haven't done so yet,
carefully study your dog's eyes. Watch his eyebrow motions. Often
times, we don't hear them speaking because we're too busy not
paying attention to their eye motions. When your dog is facing
you and his eyes shift suddenly back and forth, he's telling you
that he wants something. Whether it's, "...hey, Mom - let's
play,", "...come follow me, I want to show you something," or
"...I need to go pee;" well - that's up to the individual animal

Sometimes, dogs will look at you from the corner of their eye,
will loudly yawn and fall to the ground. This is an obvious sign
that they're bored and they want attention. Your attention.

Some dogs are rather bold with their sign language and will
literally come up to you and place their paw on your leg, arm or
hand. She'll either gently tap you or downright pounce on you.
When she taps you - again - watch her eye movements. Are her eyes
focused in one particular direction? Maybe the door, the empty
water bowel or the dog food bag? Or after she taps you, does she
press the side of her body against you? If she does, she wants to
be stroked and loved. If she pounces on you with her paws, this
is usually a sense of urgency. This usually means she wants to
play rough or she needs to go outside and inspect the premises.

One of my favorite communication signals from dogs is when they
lie on their backs, usually with forearms bent at the joints.
This is the common "white flag" signal. What does "white flag"
signal mean? Well, when dogs play with other dogs, this is their
way of saying to one another, "...okay, I give up - you win,
you're the leader..." But when they lie on their backs for you,
it's even more telling. This means that they are submitting. You
are the master and they willingly acknowledge this to you. In
general, when dogs lie with their backs toward you, this means
that they are quite content and totally comfortable in their

Don't be fooled by the wagging tail. Generally, dogs will wag
their tails when excitable. But it's how they wag their tails
that tells us exactly what they're feeling. When a dog wags his
tail, along with his entire body, he's usually happy and excited.
When a dog wags only his tail with short, fast strokes, this can
sometimes show a sign of aggression or fear. When dogs meet other
dogs for the first time, you will notice this short, fast-stroke
tail wag as well. This can either mean that they are unsure of
the other animal, or that they're going to become aggressive.
Either way, be watchful of this "tail-tell" sign.

Another body language sign to look for is in the ears. When a
dog's ears are back and flat against their skull, this can mean
one of two things: 1) If accompanied by a full-body tail wag,
they're happy to see you, or 2) if coupled with their tail
between their legs, they're afraid.

One animal behavior that many folks despise is the chewing and
destruction of personal belongings. This, too is animal speech.
What most humans don't know is that aside from the destruction of
personal property, dogs tend to chew things from their people
owners, whom they like the most. Yes, I said, "whom they like the
most." Dogs are fairly picky when it comes to chewing shoes,
clothing, etc. When there are more persons in a household, dogs
will specifically seek out personal items of people that they
consider to be their master. Although this is not the nicest
trait of animals, just remember that when you're scolding Rex
that he only did it because he loves you.

In closing, dogs are the most telepathic life forms on earth. When
you feel sad, they feel sad with you. When you are angry, they
try to resolve the situation with their loving and pawing. When
you're happy, they feel your happiness with you. Observe your
animals, they are picking up on your emotions more than you may
think. And always, love your animals - they're here only a little
while...perhaps to teach us the most vital communication skill in
the world - the ability to listen.

2004 - Animal Behavior: What is My Dog Saying?
by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot is the Public Relations' Director for
Holistic Junction -- Your source of information for Animal
Therapy; Animal Massage; Alternative Health Care; Insightful
Literature and so much more!

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