Your puppies body language

We know how important body language is in communication between humans, so as your puppy can’t speak to you, it is even more important to understand what your puppy’s body language is telling you. Understanding your puppy’s signals is not always easy, but here we look at four key stances to recognise and advise on how to react when you see them.

Uncomfortable puppy


Ears flat, tail down, dog panting, blinking or raising paw These are signs your pet is uncomfortable and could escalate into growling or biting. Take your puppy away from the situation and give them something calming to do, such as a gentle training exercise they are familiar with.  

Excited puppy


Busy, with an active tail A dog wagging its tail may be feeling happy, but could also be over-excited. Be wary of dogs that you don’t know doing this and learn to recognise the difference in your puppy.  

Happy puppy


Lips and muzzle relaxed, even stance In a happy stance, the dog will be standing evenly on four legs, with a relaxed face. A dog leaning back or forwards is a sign they want to get away from a situation, or feel anxious.  

Frightened puppy


Rolling on back, tummy exposed, releasing ‘submission’ urination A shy dog will do this when feeling threatened. Don’t tower over them. Instead, lead them to a safe place. Remove your puppy from the situation and use a gentle distraction such as a quiet puzzle feeding exercise to help them recover.

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