How to become a bird dog scout

Understand dog language and correctly interpret 12 signals

In order for the coexistence with a four-legged friend to run harmoniously, as a dog owner you absolutely have to master the dog language - i.e. learn how to correctly interpret dog behavior and body language. Dog training is only possible when you know how the dog is and why he behaves in certain situations in one way and no other.


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1. Staring

In all likelihood, if your dog is staring at you, he is not trying to hypnotize you but is telling you that he needs attention.

2. Tattered couch

Your dog will also want to tell you something with a tattered couch or an overturned trash can. Either he suffers from separation anxiety if you leave him at home alone, or he is under-challenged. If possible, you should gradually get him used to being alone. Another way to prevent couch massacre is to take the longest and most demanding walk possible before you leave him alone.

3. Incessant barking

If your dog barks comparatively quietly and then increasingly louder - without there being any external reason or sources of interference - then it probably wants to play with you.

4. Jump

Depending on the situation and severity, dogs can have different reasons for jumping. For one, having your dog jump on you when you get home can be a mixture of excitement and domination. But it can also be a skipping act if your dog feels stressed, e.g. when you are outside and there is another dog with whom he does not get along one hundred percent.

Understand dog language

5. Tongue hangs out loosely

If your dog's tongue is hanging loosely, it is usually a sign that he is very relaxed (or has just licked his mouth).

6. Make "gifts"

Hard to misunderstand: When your dog brings you a “gift” - whether it's a shoe or a dead animal - it is a gesture of affection.

7. Hang out of the car window

If a dog pokes its head out of the window while driving and is pointing its nose to the wind, it's a pretty sure sign that it is enjoying the drive and curious about the area.

8. Baring your teeth

It's self-explanatory, but when you are dealing with people who are not quick markers, you should say it again to be on the safe side: When a dog bares its teeth, it generally feels threatened and is aggressive. There is one exception, however: when the rest of the dog's body signals joyful excitement, baring teeth can also be a (more or less successful) grin.

9. Growl

A dog usually expresses uncertainty or fear by growling. The growling can also serve to defend acoustically or to assert one's own interests, e.g. if someone comes too close to him or his food bowl.

10. Lick your face

Licking the face has different functions in dogs: They can show affection and submission, calm their counterparts or themselves, and collect information (e.g. about what you have just eaten and what or who you have touched).

11. Bow

The fact that a dog bows often has to do with joy and excitement, e.g. when you are in the middle of a game. Some dogs also use this behavior as a gesture of humility to beg for something.

12. Tail wagging

Most people associate the wagging of the tail in dogs with joy and excitement. But that doesn't have to be right and can lead to serious misunderstandings. It always depends on the context in which the dog is behaving. In and of itself, wagging its tail just means that the dog is entering into interaction with someone. For example, it can also happen that a dog wags its tail when a stranger walks past the property, or when it meets another dog that it owns Not is friendly.

Of course, dog language is not only relevant for all those who have a dog themselves. As far as possible everyone should know the basic things in order to be able to behave appropriately towards dogs and to avoid conflicts.

You can find even more interesting facts and tips for everyone who has and loves dogs in the following articles:

Thumbnails: © Flickr / Vitor Yamada © Flickr / robsimmon