Doggy talks - Decoding pet communications (Part 2)

Wag Wiki, last updated 09th, Jun 2015, Neha Manchanda

In our article Kitty Talks - Decoding pet communications we discussed how cats communicate their moods and emotions through changes in their body language and voice modulations. We continue our series on decoding pet communications by bringing you a brief about how dogs communicate with us.  If you are a new pet parent to a dog or pup, this article will help you understand and decode the many moods and emotions that your pup or dog might be going through.



Dog Barking

Barking is the primary means of communication for most dogs. Dogs bark when

  • They notice an intruder or a person or an animal who is not known to them
  • They fear an invasion of private space or territory by a human or an animal
  • They are surprised by something
  • They want to express an emotion – anger / excitement / curiousness

Dog Tail wagging

tail wags are a dominant means of communication for all dogs

  • If a dog’s tail is held high – the dog is alert
  • If the tail is between the legs – the dog is frightened
  • If the tail wag is slow – the dog is curious
  • If the tail wag is fast – the dog is excited

Dog Whining

Dogs whine to express

  • Separation anxiety 
  • Desire for something
  • Call for attention

Dog Growling

A growling dog is a cautious dog and may express

  • A desire to play
  • Territorial dominance
  • Possessiveness over a toy or person

Dog Ear twitching

Ear twitching is a common means of communication

  • If the ears are pulled back – the dog is friendly
  • If the ears are high – the dog is alert
  • If the ears are in a natural pose – the dog is relaxed

Dog Eyes

Those deep dark eyes have so many secrets that are difficult to fathom.

  • If the eyes are wide open – the dog is alert
  • If the eyes are relaxed – The dog is friendly and comfortable
  • If the eyes are droopy – the dog is sleepy and tired
  • If the eyes are lowered – the dog is uncertain / showing avoidance behavior

Dog Howling

Howling or howls are another means of communication for dogs. Dogs may howl to express

  • Separation anxiety
  • General communication in a bunch of dogs

We hope you find this article helpful! In our next article we will elaborate on how you and your body language affect the behaviour of your pet.

About the Author


"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

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