Body Language of Dogs and Cats

body language in dogs and cats, Pet Healthcare, pet insurance, animal behaviourist, friendly dog, friendly cat, aggressive dog, aggressive cat, pet communication, BODY LANGUAGE 101

What does your dog or cats' body language say?

The good news is, it can be very easy, and all you need to do is be observant.  By looking at the body of your pet, you can tell a lot about it:
Is the pet uncomfortable, relaxed, tired, or aggressive? Take some time to learn about their body language, and you will enjoy understanding your pet better. 

Which part of their bodies indicates their emotions and intentions?

The best body parts to check for signs are the eyes, ears, tail, and mouth.   It is important to remember that cats and dogs convey different messages through similar postures and actions. 

body language in dogs and cats, Pet Healthcare, pet insurance, animal behaviourist, friendly dog, friendly cat, aggressive dog, aggressive cat, pet communication, BODY LANGUAGE 101

The Body Language of a dog

The Happy Dog: When a dog is happy, they tend to wag their tails in circular motions. During this moment, the mouth is slightly opened, and they appear to be smiling. For the ears, they are maintained in a natural posture.

The Alert Dog:  During such moments, the dog maintains a rigid eye gaze while keeping all the balance on its fours. The ears are sharply pointed to the angle of alert. As for the tail, it remains immobile as the dog tries to maintain as much focus as possible.

The Friendly Dog: If you are wondering whether a dog is trying to befriend you, you will notice that the dog keeps on looking up to you while jumping up and down. Some dogs are so accommodating to the point of bringing some of their toys to the people they want to befriend. This is one of the signs that the dog likes you.

The Fearful Dog: A scared dog will always coil its tail between its hind legs as it retreats from the scene that frightens them. In addition to this, their ears flatten besides appearing to have reduced in size.  These dogs often could be confused for aggression, but in fact, they are very scared and will do anything to protect themselves - which could include snapping or biting.

The Submissive Dog: This kind of dog will try to remain as low as possible. The dog may walk beside you, appearing as small as possible. A more submissive dog avoids direct contact with a human being.

The Aggressive Dog: We have all encountered aggressive dogs that happen to bark at people or things in a way that make the situation frightening. Even in cases when the dog is on the leash, people will still walk cautiously as the posture and actions make the dog fierce. Such dogs are known to give a blank stare in a very intimidating pose. When you come across a dog giving a threatening growl, never stare at it. Make your way past it as soon as you can.  Never scream or run away from an aggressive dog, rather be as quiet as possible and move away in a calm manner.

body language in dogs and cats, Pet Healthcare, pet insurance, animal behaviourist, friendly dog, friendly cat, aggressive dog, aggressive cat, pet communication, BODY LANGUAGE 101

The Body Language of a Cat

The Happy Cat:  A happy cat will have its eyes closed, or half-closed as it kneads its front paws. Most cats straighten their tails as a sign of contentment from their masters. Once you notice a cat with flat-laid fur stretching, know that the cat is happy.

The Alert Cat: An alert cat will always have its eyes widely opened as the ears remain sharply angled towards the source of the alert.

The Friendly Cat: Cats show their love through their eyes. Blinking eyes is a good sign of love.

The Fearful Cat: Cats get scared through a simple action by an outsider. You will know that your cat is worried if it tucks its tail behind the hind limbs and rushes away to a safer haven. The pupils become full as the ears move sideways as a sign of cowardice.

The Docile Cat: Pets are known to be the most docile creatures. A docile cat will remain as small as possible with its ears flattened.

The Aggressive / Angry Cat: When a cat becomes angry, its tail thrashes as the claws become more visible. The fur stands on ends, showing signs of instant attacks from the narrowed pupils. Once you notice these signs, run extremely fast as a cat is known to act very fast when faced with any danger. Aggression leads to scratching which might leave ugly and painful marks behind.

body language in dogs and cats, Pet Healthcare, pet insurance, animal behaviourist, friendly dog, friendly cat, aggressive dog, aggressive cat, pet communication, BODY LANGUAGE 101

Conclusion

These are the most common signals your pet will display to communicate. Always be on the lookout for mixed signals, it is advisable for you to become familiar at their behavioural display, before making any fixed conclusions.  

However, if you encounter problems while trying to understand them, it is recommended to visit a professional animal behavioural consultant to give you more insights into their behaviour.   We hope that this will help you to improve your relationship with your beloved pet, to now understand them a little better. 


 

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