Dogs, they’ve been our buddies for as long as we can remember. Recall the ice age, little buddy? Yes, you were there. You helped us overcome the most critical moments of our evolution to become the apex species that we are today. So the least we can do is return the favor, right? A warm bed, food, and, of course, emotional support.
And speaking of emotional support, how can we tell if our dogs are sad or happy? Unlike human beings, reading a dog’s emotions does not rely on facial expressions. Rather, it’s an art developed from experience.
While some dog emotions are highly recognizable from the onset, others are a little too complex to read and may require more time and effort to understand.
Nevertheless, there are some subtle cues that will help you understand your dog’s emotions and we will go about covering them.
When it comes to fear, your dog will typically experience this emotion when he or she is introduced to an unfamiliar environment, hears an unfamiliar noise, or is triggered by an unprecedented event. The most common bodily response to such a situation will be to:
- Turn away from the situation and avoid any eye contact
- Have erect hairs on its back
- Move to a crouching position coupled with violent shaking
- Your dog tucks its tail
- The dog will attempt to yawn to release tension, or even lick its lips.
If you’re a great dog owner, here’s how you can tell that your dog adores you more than life itself.
- Your dog tends to have a goofy posture around you
- Your dog has erect ears to show excitement in your presence.
- Holds its tail up high or hangs it naturally to show how comfortable it is
- Loves to hump you, even though it’s embarrassing!
- Open mouth with frequent panting
- And of course, who can forget wagging of the tail?
So Rudy just broke a glass, and she knows you’ll be coming hard to punish her. We’ve all been there when our dog’s gotten a little mischevious and we’ve caught them in the act. Here’s how they usually behave
- Licks her lips repeatedly to reduce tension
- Does not want to meet your eye, loves to distance herself from the situation
- Tucks her tail to show submission or guilt.
When your dog feels like its territory or personal space has been violated, he or she is most likely to respond angrily and exhibit the following characteristics:
- A piercing stare focused towards the aggressor or the target of discomfort
- The dog pulls back its lips to display its teeth, unleashing a terrifying grimace
- Crouches instinctively as if to pounce on the aggressor
- The back hair stands erect to show anger
- Alert ears that focus in the aggressor’s direction.