20 Ways Your Dog Communicates with You

Sep 17, 2018 by apost team

Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking or feeling? You may have noticed your dog behaving in an unusual way or exhibiting some strange characteristics that have caused you to stop and take notice. You can even discern different things about your dog just by observing the position that it sleeps in.

If you’d like to learn more about your dog and the ways that it communicates with you, then here are 20 common behaviors that are explained in way that you can understand what they are trying to tell you. 

1. Putting their head out of the car window


When your dog hangs its head out of the car window, it is taking the time to observe its surroundings and smell all of the new scents that are around.


2. Scooting their butt 

Some people find this funny, but it certainly loses the humor when a pet is scooting their butt across the carpet. If your dog is scooching his butt on the ground or floor, then it may just be trying to clean their behind.

But it could also mean that your pet has worms or a problem with their anal glands, so if the behavior continues then you may want to consult a veterinarian. 

3. Trashing the Furniture


If you’ve noticed that your pet tends to ransack your home while you’re away, then your dog has separation anxiety. Most dogs learn to adjust and get over this condition, but it helps to take your dog on regular walks and to make sure that they get plenty of exercise to help them burn off their excess energy, especially before leaving them home alone.

4. Staring


Even a low maintenance pet needs some attention from time to time. If your dog is staring at you, this is their way of trying to communicate their need for your attention. While the intense stares may be creepy, make sure that you’re taking the time to give your pet the attention that they need.

5. Wagging their tail with their front half lowered and their mouth wide open

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This is a sign that your dog is enjoying themselves and having some real fun.

6. Making intense eye contact


If your dog is maintaining intense eye contact, then they are focused on only you. It means that they are alert and ready to read your expressions and figure out what you want from them.

7. Hanging their mouth open while keeping a relaxed tail and their ears high

If your dog is maintaining this posture, then that means it is feeling relaxed, neutral, and secure with its surroundings. If a strange dog is in this posture, then it is mostly safe to approach.

8. Keeping their ears forward and their tail pointed straight


In this posture, your dog is curious about something in its surroundings. There might be a new sound or smell that it is curious about.

9. Hanging out their tongue

If your pet’s tongue is loose and floppy, then they are totally relaxed without a care in the world.

10. Baring their teeth while snarling with their ears back


This behavior is pretty obvious, but it’s good to remind people not to mess with a do that is exhibiting aggressive behavior. If your dog is behaving this way, then it must be feeling threatened enough to give a warning.

11. Barking in a rising tone


If your dog starts with a low bark that gets higher at the end, then they are excited and ready to play.

12. Howling

Your dog usually howls because they’ve heard a high-pitched sound, such as a train whistle or a siren, so they are howling back at it.

13. Growling in a low tone


If your dog makes a low growl, then they are feeling anxious or afraid. A scared animal is mostly unpredictable, so be careful in these situations.

14. Sleeping with their legs in the air

If your dog sleeps with their legs up in the air, like a dead bug, then they are submissive and vulnerable. This means that you have a laid-back, independent dog that is secure with its environment.

15. Sleeping on their side

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While dogs don’t typically sleep in this position, they will sometimes nap this way. If your dog is sleeping in this position, then it is probably a happy, carefree dog with strong familial bonds and plenty of trust in you.

16. Sleeping sprawled out on their belly

If your dog sleeps sprawled out on their belly, like superman, then they are probably an energetic pet that finally passed out. This is a common sleeping position for puppies.

17. Sleeping on their back with drooping limbs


This position may be a cause for concern, since dogs sleep this way when they are overheating. If your dog is sleeping on their back with their legs draped over their body, then they are probably trying to cool off.

18. Sleeping on their belly with their paws tucked in


If your dog is sleeping on their belly with their paws tucked underneath them, then they are not getting a good, restful sleep. A dog cannot reach the REM stage of sleep in this position because their muscles are not fully relaxed. A dog that is shy or gentle will usually sleep in this position.

19. Sleeping in a curled position

A dog will sleep in a curled position with their paws underneath them and their tail turned toward their face when they are cold. This position helps them to preserve body heat. Another reason that dogs sleep like this is if they are apprehensive of their surroundings.

20. Sleeping back to back


Dogs sleep back to back with one another when they completely trust each other. In some cases, a dog will even sleep back to back with their owner. If your dog sleeps this way with you, then that means that they trust you implicitly. 

How well are you able to communicate with your pet? Share your stories with us!