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Reading Dog Body Language

Here are a few tips on how to read a dog's body language. This is only a guide - please exercise common sense and caution whenever you approach a dog.

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"I'm Feeling Relaxed, Normal ... "

My posture is calm and relaxed, just kinda standing around. Please ask my owner before you approach me or pet me, just to be on the safe side.

"I'm Afraid!"

My tail is probably tucked between my legs, and the front part of my body may be a little lower to the ground. My ears may be down or back as well. I'm feel scared or threatened by something or someone ... please give me some space, because I'll bite if I think I need to.

"Stay Away!"

I'm feeling protective ... I kind of look like I'm afraid (which I might also be) because my tail is tucked between my legs ... but you will notice that my hackles are raised too. Keep away from me - I might bite!

"Will You Play with Me?"

My tail is wagging and my forequarters are on the ground, my butt in the air. Please remember to ask my owner first if you can play with me - just to be safe!

"I'm a Shy Dog ... "

I'm a little timid. I will probably roll over on my back to show my submissiveness. Please ask my owner before approaching me - I may be a little frightened too.

"I'm Feeling Aggressive!""

My hackles are raised, my teeth are showing, and my tail is all fluffed up. Don't run away from me - stand still and be calm, and do not make eye contact. I could bite!