Are You Paying Attention to Your Dog’s Signals?

Do they feel ill, anxious, bored, angry, disappointed, bereaved, sad, bewildered, or some combination of these? It can be quite irritating for your dog if you ignore the cues it gives you.

“Oh, hey there! What I’m saying right now…”

If you don’t make an attempt to grasp your dog’s mode of communication, you might end up costing your dog his life.

When our dogs misbehave, we sometimes attribute their actions to “doing poorly out of revenge” or “becoming old and grouchy.” Your dog would never intentionally do anything to make you unhappy.

If their conduct suddenly changes, you should have a serious talk with them to figure out what’s going on with them mentally or physically. Just what do they know that you don’t?

Your dog will often give you one of three indications when they need you to pay full attention to them

Read more here: 7 Benefits of Having a Dog – Why Dog Makes Your Life Safer

Pay attention to your pet’s cues, since he’s telling you something…

1. I’m Hungry

When a dog is hungry, he or she may let their owners know in a number of ways. Examples of canine hunger cues include:

If your dog is hungry, you may notice that they have begun to whine or bark, especially if mealtime is drawing near or if they have been waiting for food for a while.


Nudging or licking: When a dog is hungry, it may begin to nudge you with its nose or lick your hand or face.

Pawing or scratching: Dogs that are hungry will often try to get your attention by pawing at you or scratching at their food bowl.

Smacking lips or salivating: When a dog is hungry, they may start licking their lips or drooling more than usual.

Following you around: As a sign of their hunger, dogs may follow you around the house, especially when it’s getting close to mealtime.

Tail wagging: Some dogs’ tails will wag excitedly when they see or smell food.

However, not all dogs will show the same behaviors when they are hungry. Some dogs may have more understated ways of letting their owners know they need food. Understand your dog’s individual communication style by paying close attention to his or her actions.

2. I can’t eat this food

Do you find that your dog is suddenly becoming picky?

It’s nice to consider your dog’s preferences, but when they’re in a good mood and healthy overall, a dog will eat just about everything you put in front of them.

If they’re refusing to eat from the dish, it’s because they don’t trust you to provide for their nutritional needs, as when they steal that nice bit of cat faeces from the sidewalk when you’re walking them.

Be sure the food isn’t spoiled before eating it, but if it’s fine? If so, that’s a major red flag for dogs.


The issue need not be digestive in nature. Perhaps they are experiencing jaw discomfort or stress related to the events occurring in the lives of their human.

Ulcers, issues with the liver or the kidneys, or stomach disorders are all possibilities. It’s possible they’re feeling ill, or that they just ate something harmful or temporary.

Among animals, dogs are among the most perceptive. Are you anxious because of upcoming life changes, such as relocating, a new job, or the termination of a relationship?

All of these items are recognizable to your dog because…

If your dog abruptly stops eating, you should take them to the doctor. However, taking the time to talk to them may shed light on any anxiety or discomfort they may be experiencing on your behalf or internally.

Without asking, you have no way of knowing the full scope of their experience or understanding how they feel.

And once you have that information, you can handle it the right way… together.

3. Need to go Potty:

Dogs will show signs that they need to go outside to relieve themselves. The following are some of the most typical signs that your dog has to go outside:

Barking or whining: When a dog needs to use the restroom, it may make noises like these, especially if it has been confined indoors for a while or if it has an urgent need to relieve itself.

Barking or whining: When a dog needs to use the restroom, it may make noises like these, especially if it has been confined indoors for a while or if it has an urgent need to relieve itself. When a dog has to use the restroom, they may show their discontent by pacing or circling.


Sniffing or circling: The need to relieve themselves can be signaled by the dog’s behavior, which may include sniffing or circling near certain places (the door, for example, or a particular part of the yard).

Scratching or ringing a bell: Some dogs are taught to scratch at the door or ring a bell to alert their owners that they have to go outside to relieve themselves.

Sign of restlessness or agitation: Dogs that need to use the restroom but are confined may exhibit restlessness or agitation by whining or scratching at doors or walls.

Holding their tail low or crouching: Dogs that have to use the restroom may crouch or hold their tail low to signal that they need to go. That usually means they are ready to give something up.

Remember that not all dogs have the same methods of communicating their needs, and that some may be more subtle than others. Understand your dog’s individual communication style by paying close attention to his or her actions.

4. Stay away from me!

Have you ever noticed that your dog averts his eyes whenever you reach for a pat? A toothache, headache, earache, etc., might be the cause of this discomfort, but it could also be a social problem involving dominance or submission.

If they can’t see, anything coming at their head will be a major source of discomfort.

Consciously attend to such bodily signs. It’s not random if they suddenly stop letting you pet their back or legs or move away when you try to pat them.

Your dog isn’t avoiding you because it’s cold and unfriendly; rather, it’s a warning that something is wrong with his health, his psyche, or his surrounding environment.

And you’re the one they’re going to have to call on to assist them straighten things out.


5. I’m a bit frightened.

For this, you’ll have to go against your natural inclination.

You may feel compelled to comfort and coddle your dog because of how terrified it seems. You offer words of solace in an attempt to ease their pain.

Unfortunately, you’ve only reinforced your pet’s worried behavior without solving the underlying problem.

Dogs showing signs of anxiety or worry should have their perceived threat removed as a top priority, not comforted by being coddled or treated like a baby.

When they are in a fragile, terrified state of mind, praising them for their actions with attention and compassion tricks them into thinking they are doing the correct thing.

Although well-intentioned, this will only serve to increase their anxiety.

Keep in mind that every year there are 6,000 known incidents of dog maltreatment, but it’s impossible to know how many more cases go unreported.

Abuse may come in a wide variety of forms, from a neighbor yelling at your dog to industrial-scale breeding facilities and underground dogfighting networks.

Responding to Your Dog’s Warning Signals

Once you’ve determined that they are safe from imminent physical harm, or dealt with the situation so that it no longer poses a concern, you may begin working to refocus their attention away from their fears and onto their strengths.

  • Your role as a leader of the pack is to reassure your dog that you will discover and eliminate whatever danger there is and that they are secure with you.
  • Dogs may send messages in a variety of ways, some of which are more evident than others, such as when they start barking and growling when you try to touch them on the head.
  • Dogs show “something is wrong” cues such as physical tightness or an inability to fully relax.
  • Remember that your dog is picking up on your mood and health as well as a close buddy would.
  • Your dog shares your anxiety if you’re through a major life change, fighting an illness, or fretting about money.

In other words, if your dog suddenly begins acting strangely or inappropriately, take it for what it is: a warning that something is wrong in their world, or maybe in yours.



In conclusion, paying attention to your dog’s signals is crucial in building a strong and healthy relationship with your furry companion. Dogs communicate through a variety of means, including body language, vocalizations and behavior.

Understanding these signals can help you to understand their needs, emotions, and overall well-being. Noticing and responding to your dog’s signals in a positive way, whether they are happy, sad, stressed or in pain can help you to create a better bond with them, and also make sure they are comfortable and secure.

Remember that every dog is unique and may have different ways of communicating, so it’s important to take the time to learn and understand your dog’s individual signals. By being attentive to your dog’s signals, you can help to ensure that your dog feels safe, loved and respected, and that both you and your dog can enjoy a lifetime of happy companionship.

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