Humans mainly communicate what they want or how they’re feeling through speech. Unfortunately, dogs don’t have that ability. They use the second way of communication; and that is body language. Dogs have many ways of communicating. Some are obvious, through which their desires can be easily perceived; and others, not so much. Here are some tips of what your dog may be trying to tell you through his body language.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is a commonly used method for dogs. Regular eye contact indicates that they are showing their love and trust. It is adoration. It’s a human’s “I love you.” When eye contact is avoided, it is a negative sign indicating that your dog is scared, uncomfortable, or guilty for doing something bad.

Tail Posture

Tail posture can mean a variety of things. A wagging tail can mean happiness, but it can also indicate anger. One can use their perception to know which it means, depending on the situation. A high-held stiff tail means that your dog is alert. A dog holding its tail between its legs mean that he is scared, or being submissive.

Yawning and Sneezing

Dogs can make themselves yawn or sneeze to get your attention. This act can either mean that they are uncomfortable, or comfortable. The way of discerning which is to look for irregular yawning in irregular situations – that will tend to mean that they are uncomfortable.

Belly Exposure

Belly exposure indicates a dog’s submission, and usually welcomes a belly rub!


If a puppy is pawing in the air towards you, it means that they are seeking for attention. As a dog gets older, they will put their paw on you to tell you that they want your attention/affection.


If a dog stops mid-chew with a toy or with their food, it means that they are uncertain and want some space – especially with food. Be sure to give them the space, and to not be all up in their face.

Bringing Toys

Bringing a toy is probably always thought of as a sign of a desire to play – and it could be. But it can also be a simple gift from your pet to show appreciation.


Dogs normally don’t physically hug like a human would. Instead, they show their desire for cuddling by leaning against you, sitting on you, etc. Be sure to accept their hug and give one back!

These are the most common signs for the most common breeds, but remember, dogs can be different. The person who knows best about a dog is its owner. Continue to do research, and to watch your dog and his mannerisms to learn more about his communication methods; and never fail to communicate back to your dog – they perceive more than you might think!

By Staff Writer – Erika Smith