The Ultimate Guide to Dog Body Language

It's common knowledge that dogs possess a superior sense of smell, but did you know that odor is the primary sense that dogs use to perceive the world?

Your dog is much more interested in the smell of those freshly fallen, crunchy leaves on the ground than the beautiful colors or the way they feel beneath the paw.

Despite dog food boasting kibble that provides "the taste your dog will love", it would be more appropriate to say, "the smell your dog will love." But of course, kibble is being marketing to humans, not dogs themselves, and we rely more on taste than smell.

Dogs don’t just interpret the world vastly different than humans - dogs communicate quite differently too. While humans use language to talk with one another, dogs are much more reliant on body language and subtle, nuanced signals.

As kids we’ve all imagined a tech-packed gadget that could translate a dog's bark into words, with the dream of finally being able to ask Fido what he’s thinking. In reality though, such a device would never be able to function as intended.

Dogs don't really use barks to convey meaning (outside of some really basic messages like “Hey, there is something going on outside” vs “I’m excited and ready to play!”).

Rather than daydreaming about an ultra-advanced tool that could translate our dog’s barks, our time would be much better served learning a bit about canine body language. We have the tools already, we don’t need any fancy tech!

If you are ready to brush up on the basics of canine body language, check out K9 of Mine's Dog Body Language 101 Guide, where you can learn how to comprehend the most common canine communication signals.

Once you’ve read the guide, you can take the quiz below and see how well you can interpret your four-legged pal!



After getting the basics of dog body language down, you’ll be able to decipher if your dog is feeling relaxed or nervous, if he’s enjoying attention from the neighborhood kids or is beginning to get anxious.

Understanding dog body language can do wonders for keeping humans and dogs safe. Do your part to learn how your pooch is communicating with you for a healthier, happier relationship with your furry pal!

About The Author:

Meg Marrs is the founder of K9 of Mine, a website that works to help dog owners better understand their four-legged pals through educational resources and training guides. K9 of Mine also offers an online course, 30 Things to Teach Your Dog in 30 Days!

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