5 More Tips to Understanding Your Dog’s Mouth Gestures
Understanding dog body language can save you a world of woe. Thousands of years of domestication have allowed dogs to blend in with our lives and so it easy to forget that we must pay attention to their own special sign, signals, and ways of communicating. One of the ways in which dogs speak to us is through body language, and it important that we recognize important mouth positions and their meaning.
1. Mouth relaxed and slightly open, tongue may be slightly visible or even slightly draped over the lower teeth: This is the dog equivalent of the human smile. It means “I am happy and relaxed.”
2. Yawn: While it is usually interpreted by humans as meaning fatigue or boredom, it is actually a stress-related signal, best interpreted as “I am tense or anxious.”
3. Lips curled to expose some teeth, mouth still mostly closed: “You are annoying me!” This is the first sign of menace or threat.
4. Lips curled up to show major teeth, some wrinkling of the area above the nose, mouth partly open: “If you do something that I might interpret as a threat, I may bite.” This is the next stage of threat but may also indicate fearfulness. Pressing a dog at this stage may lead to an aggressive attack.
5. Lips curled up to expose not only all of the teeth but also the gums above the front teeth, visible wrinkles above the nose: “Back off!” This is the full threat display that indicates a dog is ready to release a violent attack. If you are ever confronted with this display, you should not turn and run: the level of arousal is so high that your movement will probably produce a pursuit-and-attack response. Instead, cast your gaze slightly down (a slightly submissive eye position), open your mouth a bit (a bit of a counter-threat), and back off slowly.
Find out more about dog behavior and how to train your dog like a pro.
[tags]dog lip postions,dog mouth postions,dog behavior,dog growling and what it means,dog body language[/tags]