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What's Your Dog Really Thinking? Psychology Tips To Transform Your Training

Have you ever wished you could know what your dog is thinking?

It wouldn’t just be a cool party trick, but it could help you and your pup build a stronger, healthier relationship – and at Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, we know how crucial that is for successful training.

The good news is you don’t have to be a doggy mind-reader to get an insight into what’s going on in their head. 

With a little bit of knowledge, you can learn to interpret your dog’s behaviour and even their facial expressions.

The all-important bark

Dogs learn early in life that barking gets a reaction from their human. But not all barks mean the same thing.

It’s important to listen carefully to your dog’s bark to work out what they are trying to communicate.

For instance, low pitched growling usually indicates aggression – and acts as a warning to other dogs not to come near. On the other hand, high pitched barks can show playfulness and a willingness to be approached.

The length of each bark is also interesting. A long sound can mean the dog is standing its ground and won’t back down, whereas shorter growls or barks can indicate the dog is experiencing fear and isn’t completely confident in its environment at that time. 

Frequency matters

It also important to pay attention to the frequency of your dog’s barks. If a dog barks rapidly with short gaps in between it can safely be assumed to be a warning or alarm that something is up. Of course, it could just be the postman delivering mail – but the dog is barking to flag up something for further investigation.

Long barks or howls with deliberate pauses in between can indicate that a dog is lonely and longing for you to pay it more attention. 

Look into my eyes

But it’s not all about the bark. You can also learn a lot about how your dog feels and what he is thinking from his facial expressions.  

For instance, have you ever noticed your dog’s eyes squinting when you play with him? It means he’s feeling happy and enjoying himself.

On the other hand, if you notice your dog showing the whites of his eyes and keeping his mouth either tightly closed or slightly snarling, it’s a sure fire sign that he is feeling anxious and even angry.

Drool and dribble 

It’s common for dogs to drool when they set their sights on something tasty, but excessive drooling out of context can indicate that a dog is feeling intimated or scared. 

You probably know all too well when your dog is feeling happy. She might be prancing around and wagging her tail. But you can also tell when your dog is feeling content from her face. Her facial muscles will all relax, her eyes will become blinky and you might even spot the curl of a smile on her lips.

Want an excuse to put a smile on your dog’s face? Check out our range of dog training toys that have all been given the doggy seal of approval.

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