The friendship between a person and their dog is a special bond that transcends species and language. Many dog owners are convinced they know exactly what their pet is thinking—and in many cases, they’re probably right! However, there are some signs that even long-time pet owners may get confused. Today, we’ll be looking at some commonly misinterpreted body language signals that your dog may be giving you.
Most of the time, you’d be right to say your dog is just happy to see you when he wags his tail! However, sometimes tail wagging can mean a more negative kind of arousal. Your dog may wag his tail out of frustration, or even as a warning sign to other dogs. Some research suggests that tails wagging more to the left indicates a negative feeling, with greater wagging on the right reserved for positive feelings.
A growling dog can certainly be an appropriate cause for concern. If you’re with an unfamiliar dog, keep a safe distance if it begins to growl. A familiar and friendly dog who is otherwise demonstrating playful cues may just be there to have a good time. It’s important to also consider the position of the dog’s ears and tail and be ready to switch to a more relaxed activity if things are getting too rowdy.
As with humans, yawning can be a sign of sleepiness for dogs. But your dog may also yawn out of stress or confusion. Yawning may help them calm themself in moments of tension or uncertainty. In fact, in the same way that yawns are “contagious” amongst humans, dogs can also catch your yawn! In stressful situations, it may even help to yawn at your dog so that he will yawn back and possibly feel more at ease.
The professional trainers at Chicago Canine Academy are well-attuned to complex and unique ways dogs express themselves. If you’re looking for dog daycare in Chicago, we offer a fun and productive environment that’s perfect for your pet! Contact us today to learn more.