Dogs have their own way of telling you how they feel. You can recognize their feelings by watching their body language, especially their facial expression and body posture.
When your dog is scared or nervous about the current situation he/she is in or when your dog is tense or going to snap at someone, you have to look at your dogs shape and actions.
When your dog is relaxed, his/her ears are up with their head held high. Your dog’s mouth may be open with their tongue slightly exposed. Your dog will be flat on their paws with their tail down and non-tense. You may also find them rolled over on their back with their belly exposed for those belly rubs!
You know your dog is alert when their ears are forward and possibly twitching as they catch a sound. Their eyes are wide, and you will see a smooth nose and forehead. Your dog’s tail will be horizontal with no stiffness or bristling. You will see your dog’s mouth is closed while and they may slightly lean forward while their tail moves from side to side in a slow wag.
If your dog is dominant aggressive you will find that the hackles on their back rise, nose wrinkled and lips curling to show their teeth and possibly their gums. They will have a stiff stance in determination, showing their place. The tail is up, pointed and bristled. The forehead may show vertical wrinkles during the process.
Dogs react differently in different situations and surroundings so keep an eye on their body language. Always remember if it’s not your dog ask before petting and interacting with them. Dog’s can’t tell us how they’re feeling but you can usually tell if you pay close enough attention!