Dogs communicate with us in a variety of ways. Sadly, we often miss the more subtle communication or humanise their communications.
There are lots of resources on the internet showing us how to read our dog's body language.
A number of behaviour problems would be avoided if we just took the time to understand what our dogs are saying to us and how they feel.
Dogs communicate mainly through a complex language of body signals—nonverbal gestures and movements. Dogs take cues from their environment and are often able to “predict” what we are about to do. This is because they are very aware of our body language.
Being able to read canine body language allows us to identify signs of fear, anxiety, and stress, change our interactions with dogs, and prevent the communication from escalating to aggression.
Dogs almost always will communicate their uneasiness with a situation if we choose to listen. Conflict or appeasement behaviours are considered “polite” communication between dogs. But because humans don’t always recognise the signals, miscommunication can lead to problems.
Communicating signs of fear are obvious to most – pupil dilation, whale eye, ears pinned back close to the head, crouching, cowering, trembling, leaning away, tucked tail, or fear related urination. Yet signs of anxiety or stress can be extremely subtle.
This link will download a PDF showing the spectrum of signs of fear and anxiety