What Is Your Dog Telling You

Veterinarian In Fox Chapel | What Is Your Dog Telling You Part 1

Dogs tend to be very responsive to humans, and especially their owners, says Richard Linkenheimer, the veterinarian in Fox Chapel. Linkenheimer started his veterinary clinic because he was so passionate about helping animals, and thought it was important to have his own clinic, to give him the freedom to show pets and their owners all the love and compassion they deserve.

Linkenheimer has been the owner and veterinarian of this clinic for over 25 years and loves nothing more than meeting each and every pet and owner that walk through their doors! He has discovered that dogs respond well to cues and have body language that is usually very easy to read. In part one of this two part series, find out about what your dog is saying with their head movements and mouth movements.

Learning Dog Language

However, while many dog behaviors are easier to read, like tail wagging and growling or barking. There’s a reason why Ceasar Milan – the famous dog whisperer has a huge following, even over a decade after his show stopped being filmed.

That’s because you want to know what is your dog telling you. Dog owners want desperately to know what their furry family member is saying! When it comes to visual signals, there are several areas that dog owners can look at, according to the expert veterinarian. Learning what each area of the body can convey helps pet owners gain important insight into what their pet is saying.

Look at the Head

The head has a lot of important information says veterinarian in Fox Chapel. The dogs eyes, mouth, ears and even how they hold their head communicates a lot! A dog that is looking directly at another dog or person is in a threatening position. While many pet owners believe that the dog is interested, their behavior actually doesn’t support that.

A non-threatening dominant dog will turn their head away from other dogs or people that aren’t threatening, because a turned head is not one that is ready to attack. A submissive dog on the other hand will approach other people and dogs with their head down, indicating they are not interested in a fight.

Veterinarian in Fox Chapel | Pay Attention to the Mouth

Next, pay attention to the mouth, it speaks a lot, since a dog has no words. A slightly open mouth with a visible or hanging out tongue is the mouth of a happy and relaxed dog. When the dog has their mouth closed, they are either assessing the situation or are indicating interest in what is going on. Next, when a dog curls back their lips, exposing teeth or gums is warning a threat to them to back off. If this is aimed at you, leave the dog alone suggests veterinarian in Fox Chapel.

Finally, a dog has a “smile” that indicates their contentedness. A dog smile is one where their mouth is open, wide mouth panting, perhaps their tongue is out. Especially when this mouth shape is paired with a soft gaze, with slanted eyes, the dog is indeed content, and is happy the way things are at the moment. Yay!

What Is Your Dog Telling You

Not Bored Or Tired

Yawning is another behavior of the mouth that can say a lot. While dogs will yawn when they are just waking up, or ready to sleep, veterinarian in Fox Chapel says that yawning can also be a sign of stress, so do some investigating around why your animal might be out of sorts. Yawning is also a way that dogs signal to others that they are not a threat, and can defuse a tense situation.

Love Those Puppy Kisses?

Who isn’t familiar with the soft, wet tongue of their dog? But did you know, asks veterinarian in Fox Chapel that licking behavior has many meanings? Licking can be a way of greeting, or lick where the smell is the strongest to gather information. Dogs ready to engage in mating will engage in vigorous licking. Licking is also a pacifying behavior, and a dog that may be stressed can often be seen licking aggressively. Look at who is present when licking behavior starts, or what environment your pet is in to determine what the licking means.

Contact River Valley Veterinary Hospital

Ultimately, since you love your pet, you want to know what they are thinking, and they want that too! If we could magically know what our pets want, most dog owners would be thrilled! But since we can’t, we need to watch, and take action when our pet needs it, or if their actions indicate they might need the help from a veterinarian in Fox Chapel like River Valley. They will be more than happy to answer questions, meet your pet and do an assessment any time. Thank you for reading part one of this series about the body language of man’s best friend.

In part two, learn about what a dog says with their ears, tails and eyes. If you have any questions about your best friend’s behaviors, please contact the experts, like veterinarian in Fox Chapel at the River Valley Veterinary Hospital. They will be able to answer your questions, and even have your pet in for an examination.