How to Understand What Your Dog Actually Wants

How to Understand What Your Dog Actually Wants

The most direct way of communication is through verbal cues. However, human beings are the only species that could relay clear signals through words. Dogs, on the other hand, have no means of verbalizing their emotions. Instead, they convey feelings through various sounds and body language.

Importance of understanding dog’s body language

As an owner, it is necessary that you understand what their actions mean. This will not only help you maintain a better connection with your pet but also keeps the bond stronger in the long run. Additionally, grasping their message allows you to discipline your dog the best way.

Studying canine’s behavior is sure a long process. Their instincts and responses over things need to be fully evaluated and analyzed before human can truly understand them. This certain research shows how extensive the studies was.

Several experiments are done. However, by the end, the experiments were also able to prove that certain body languages of dogs greatly affect their level of adaptability to learning and training.

There are several classifications of canine body languages. Understand how each of the signs directly relates to their current emotional state and mood:


Sounds that your dog makes can vary from tolerable to highly disturbing noises. It can be in the form of distress, hunger, irritability, excitement, and more. You being able to interpret the noises they make will help you directly ease whatever feeling they may be experiencing.


Dog barking is a sign of intense expression. It can be compared to human’s way of shouting when angry or alerting someone in danger. An act of barking depending on the range of its pitches is a way of getting a dog’s feeling out.

The pitch of your dog’s barking often signifies different meanings. For instance, rapid and unbroken barks are usually a form of an alert. They often do such noises when they notice strangers within the premise; it is also their way of informing owners about the possible danger they are sensing.

On the other hand, a sound of yelping usually means distress and pain. Once you hear your dog doing yelping barks, it may be injured or hurting somewhere. You need to immediately seek help from your vet.


A howl is a form of annoying barking since its pitch is in noticeable higher range. This uproar is actually your dog’s way of communicating with other canines around the corner. It’s their unique means of declaring presence.


A quiet pant shows a typical calmness and relaxed feeling; it almost seems like normal breathing. However, heavy panting may tell you various facts about what your pet feels physically. This can be a sign of suffering from illness or experiencing trauma.

Dogs also pant when they are exhausted. It would be best to let them rest in a cool place until their breathing turns back to normal. If letting them rest won’t, calling your vet would be necessary.


Although dogs do not usually shed a tear or two; they have tendencies of crying as well. This is very common to puppies; you could hear it in a form of subtle to aggressive whimpers. Such noise is apparently their means of demanding for either food or attention.

Other than that, whimpering may also be a reaction to stress. Dogs typically cry when they are injured, hurting, or feeling any sort of discomfort. Though interpreting the types of whimpers is tricky, the best way for you to learn more of this is to study their body signals at the same time.

Body Language

Aside from noises and sounds, your dog’s body posture, in general, may indicate various clues about what they want. It will also tell you more about what they exactly feel.


One of the easiest indicators of dog’s emotional state is their tail. When he does the wagging, it normally means, he is ecstatic. Wagging of your dog’s tail tells you how happy and energetic he is. That should be the perfect chance for playtime since they are in their best mood.


The way your dog positions his head is a cue you should take note of. Ever wondered why they weirdly tilt their head as you verbally speak to them? It actually is their way of listening and understanding what you are trying to tell. You should be happy as an owner because it also means they are trying to empathize with you.


How your dog’s ears are positioned can either be a fair warning or signal too. You usually find it amusing how their ears direct from one angle to the other, but truth is, it tells you other things like:

If it is down and back, he wants to be petted or cuddled. This is his way of telling you how comfortable and relax he is with you and that he’d love to have some attention and loving. Make sure to grant his simple request.

However, when ears are down but with other body signals, it can be a defensive stance. Once you notice them showing their teeth while their ears are down, he may be sensing something dangerous and is either ready to protect or attack.


Dog’s posture and body forms are also an indicator of their intent and mood. Interpreting these forms is very important so that you know whether or not it is best to approach them.

Dogs arching away but keeping their bodies slightly closer on the floor means they are either calm or scared. Petting them while doing such a stance is the best thing to do. It will pretty much ease their fears and anxieties.

Tightening of his muscles is definitely an alarming look especially if they also are trying to make themselves appear bigger. This is entirely their way of establishing dominance. Approaching them during such a stance may result to aggressive responses so it should be best if you let them calm down first.


Understanding what your dog really wants, by taking into careful consideration their body language and the noises they make, is an essential aspect every pet owner should have. This will help you, as a pet owner, know when to be alarmed or when to cuddle and play with your dog.

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