Does your dog ever do something that leaves you scratching your head and wondering, “Why did he (or she) do that?” If so, you’re not alone. Dogs tell us important things all the time, but sometimes we don’t “get the message.”
Dogs communicate in different ways and at different levels. Sometimes they “talk” with their tails, or their ears, or their posture. Sometimes they “talk” by barking, or yelping, or whining. Sometimes they use subtle signals that were used in wolf packs to “keep the peace.” These messages can include licking their own lips or yawning.
But dogs frequently communicate with their behavior. A dog’s actions speak louder than words. The trick is to figure out what the actions means. It can be obvious. For example, when your dog sits and begs while you’re eating a piece of steak, there’s no mystery in the message. But many messages are much more subtle than that. Here are some ways you can try to “break the code” and understand what your dog is telling you.