Saying hello in the human world is much different than in the doggie world. We humans like to greet each other directly with eye contact and usually moving in quickly for a hand shake or hug. Doggies take a little bit of a different approach with a polite sniff and possibly a play-bow.
When that first meeting of new doggies friends happens, it is so important to watch the body language of them both so it can be full of romping and tail wagging. These points are also important when you bring your doggie friend to a dog park.
Signs of a relaxed dog
Posture: relaxed, weight carried evenly, may see a play bow or body wiggle.
Tail: relaxed and in a neutral position may be wagging.
Ears: neutral position, relaxed.
Mouth: may be open, tongue may be hanging out, may be closed with lips relaxed over teeth.
Eyes: soft, relaxed, eyebrows neutral, normal pupil size.
Signs of a defensively threatening dog
Posture: muscles tense, low to ground, may roll to expose belly holding one paw up.
Tail: stiff, usually tucked or low to the ground, may be wagging slowly or rapidly.
Ears: pinned back against head.
Mouth: excessive panting, lip licking, chewing, yawning, possibly growling
Eyes: vigilant with pupils dilated, eyebrows furrowed, darting eyes.
Remember, having a social doggie is important part of his/her life. So whether it’s meeting new doggies or people, body language is the key to a happy social life.
Questions? Give Animal MD a call 299-5700 and we will do our best to answer them for you.