Dogs’ body language: signs of insecurity and fear

Dogs are able to express a wide range of emotions and moods through their body language, which includes their posture, tail position, ear position, eye direction and many other elements.

Dogs are good at signalling when they are unsure or afraid.

Below is an overview of how to recognise this through their posture and other body language cues.

  1. Posture of the dog

One of the most important signs to watch out for is your dog's posture. An insecure or fearful dog will often try to look smaller, as if trying to hide or pose as little threat as possible.

He will contract, with his belly close to the ground and his head down and/or turned to the side. The legs may shake, a sign of fear or uncertainty.

  1. The tail of the dog

The position of the dog's tail also tells you a lot about the emotional state of the dog. If the dog's tail is between its legs, it is usually a sign of fear or insecurity. If the tail is pointing stiffly to the side or downwards, it may also indicate similar emotions.

  1. The dog's ears

The position of the ears also helps to interpret the dog's emotional state. If the dog's ears are pulled back or point down and to the side, it may indicate that he is afraid or insecure.

  1. The dog's eyes

The dog's eyes can also be a tell-tale sign. If the dog's eyes are dilated and the white part of them becomes visible (called dilated-eyes), this usually indicates fear or insecurity.

  1. The dog's mouth and jaw

If the dog's mouth is tightly closed or its teeth are visible, it may also indicate fear or insecurity. A tight jaw and chewing or swallowing can also indicate insecurity.

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It is important to remember that all dogs are individuals and the expression of emotion may vary between dogs.

If you're unsure about your dog's behaviour, it's always a good idea to consult a professional, such as a vet or dog behaviourist!