Body language is how dogs communicate with other dogs, and they can also communicate with you the same way.
Ears lowered and slightly back: Your dog is saying it is calm. Their mouth should be closed, and their eyes are calm as well.
Their ears raised and eyes are open, possible panting and tail wagging: I heard something I like, or I want to play.
Ears forward, alert eyes, pulls ears toward their head: I don't like it, and I don't want any part of it.
Eyes narrow, teeth showing, ears flat, tail held high for balance: I am going to bite it if it/he/she gets any closer. This is not a safe situation. Your dog feels threatened and wants to get away.
Standing tall with tail up: Confident, possibly thinking of playing.
Hunching over, trying to look small, tail between legs, pupils dilated: Your dog is afraid.
Front legs lowered, bottom in the air, tail wagging: Your dog is saying he wants to play.
Stiff legs and rigid body, ears flat back, hair on their back stands up on end: Your dog is showing aggressiveness, or dominance.
Charlene Little is the mother of three wonderful boys and a volunteer foster mom for her local animal shelter. She enjoys working with various breeds of dogs and cats in learning social behavior, training, and how to be the successful member of a fur-ever family. She enjoys studying animals' behavior and finding solutions to behavior problems that the everyday person can handle. She covers topics from various forms of aggression and small problem behaviors. Every problem behavior has a solution, and the solution is never to give up on your pet! Love, kindness, and small adjustments could be just what you need.