Understand your Puppy’s Behavior

Dog folks love to watch their fluffy babies exhibiting the most amusing antics. But all the seemingly idle behaviors a dog demonstrates bear a meaning. Simply put, a canine uses its body language to interact with all the species around it. If you thought your fur child’s excited hopping on two paws or sudden withdrawal from activities they once enjoyed was nothing more than a phase, then let us tell you that you are mistaken. Every action a dog does has a point, a hidden message that needs to be deciphered.

From frantically wagging the tail to sulking around like an upset child, there is a lot that a canine companion communicates through their body language.

Never gave this idea much of a thought? That’s okay! Not many people do. But now that you know that your cuddle buddy is actually expressing themselves when they react in a particular way, you should learn what some of their go-to moves mean.

Here is a list of dog cues and their meanings to help you understand your puppy’s behavior.


As the famous saying goes, eyes are the window to one’s soul, and a dog’s eyes are no different. Of course, they might not give you a peek into your fur child’s soul, but they can surely tell you what your little bud is thinking.

Droopy Eyes

Half-lidded eyes or excessive squinting, means your pup is getting immense pleasure from a particular activity, such as belly rubbing.

Sharp Unfaltering Gaze

If your sweet fur baby has their eyes wide, they are alert and scanning the area for any signs of trouble.


When puppies stare for a long duration without backing down, it means they are trying to assert dominance.

Dilated Pupils

Always pay close attention to your little one’s pupils; if they appear enlarged, know that your snuggle bear is gearing up for an attack.


Standing tall: pretty much like humans, dogs puff out their chests and stand tall when they want to come off as a bigger being. They might also wave their tails ever so slightly to exhibit an I-mean-business demeanor.


When you see your fur child crouching down (which may look like sulking), you should know they are being submissive, and most likely, someone (or a dog) has told them off. In other words, when your little bud is embarrassed or upset, they will curl up into themselves or lay on their back.

Tail Wagging

Contrary to popular belief, tail wagging in dogs signifies more than just friendliness. If you find your snuggle monster wagging their tail stiffly, it’s most likely because they are tensed, angry or nervous. Another telltale sign indicating nervousness in dogs is pacing around.

Now, if you’re wondering what happy tail wagging looks like, let us tell you that when you see your four-legged partner waving their tail wildly, they are expressing unrestrained happiness.

Reading The Paws

While dogs do not use their paws too often, they do hoist them in certain situations. If you see your fur child raising their foot in the air, it’s your cue to get moving and prepare for some spirited play. A paw-pledge gesture is the go-to sign of most dogs to tell their parents it’s time to play fetch or run around the house or whatever works for both parties.



Erect ears are mostly an indication that your furry friend is alert and looking around for intruders.


When your snuggle bud has their ears flat against their body, they are either being submissive or enjoying themselves too much to care for anything else.


A dog’s mouth is perhaps the most prominent and easily understandable form of communication. Here is a list of all the possible mouth shapes and tongue placements in a dog.

Half-Open Mouth With A Lolling Tongue

Everyone knows a happy dog is a slobbering dog with its tongue exposed to the world. So, naturally, if your four-legged partner has their mouth partially opened with their tongue lolling out like a yo-yo, they are pretty excited and enjoying whatever it is that they are doing.

Quick Licks

Does your dog like to lick you often? Do you find your baby flicking their tongue trying to lick a surface? If so, then your pup is a people-pleaser.

Unlike the sycophantic humans who use flattery to secure favors, dogs appease others by licking.

So if your fur child licks you up frequently, it’s their indirect way of saying ‘like me, love me, pamper me.’

Exposed Upper Teeth

If your fluffy friend has their lips pulled up, exposing the upper teeth, you should know they are trying to assert dominance. Another way of doing that is grabbing or nipping at another dog’s mouth.

Hoarse but stifled growling may also sometimes accompany the mouth gestures indicating aggression.


You might think, what could a dog say with its fur? Well, plenty!

A dog’s fur is the canine equivalent of the hair on the human body that rises whenever a person is excited, angry, or nervous. Likewise, when a dog is frightened or alert, the fur on its back, also know as hackles, rise.

Excessive Chewing

Most puppies begin gnawing at everything they can reach when they are teething. When they grow old, and all the nibbling becomes a bit more aggressive, it’s a sign that they are becoming an adult.

You might want to be extra careful when your little bud starts chewing things aggressively because they might attack you or anyone around if the irritation in their gum doesn’t go away with eating away at their chew toys.

Jumping And Hopping

Jumping or hopping is possibly the most commonly observed dog tricks that canines do to get attention or express their excitement. House dogs typically jump when they meet their owner after a while and wish to seek attention. So, understandably, you’ll find your fur baby moving around all excited when you return from a long day at work. When you see them, you must shower them with hugs and kisses to make them feel at ease, soothing away any insecurity that might have surfaced while you were gone.

Raising a dog is quite similar to raising a baby; in both cases, you need to pay attention to the body language to understand what’s going on with your child, fur, or human!

by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:  puccicafe.com/adoptions