Dog behavior and body language can sometimes be a bit of a head-scratcher. Being unsure about whether or not your dog is happy, sad, scared, or angry can lead to confusion and panic.
It is important to be able to decipher what your dog is trying to tell you with his or her facial cues and mannerisms. It can help create a better dog/human bond!
A helpful way to think about positive behavior in your dog is to look at how they stand and the way their muscles are working. A dog that is relaxed and comfortable with the surroundings will be calm and at ease, the muscles will not tense up and they will have a general serene disposition to their appearance.
A happy dog may playfully wag their tail and have their tongue out a bit to indicate playfulness, and be standing with their legs loosely apart and the head held high.
Conversely, a frightened or angry dog can take on an entirely different stance and it is important to note specific features. Ears back, a crouched position, a raised tail with a stiff stance are signs that your dog may be becoming agitated or scared. Furthermore, a wagging tail does not always mean happiness.
A dog with a lowered body and ears bent back with a slowly wagging tail could indicate fear which may turn into aggression as a means to protect himself.
All dogs are created differently, but their behaviors are pretty universal. Dogs respond differently to stimuli and it is important to understand your dog and be aware of how you can make him or her the most comfortable in any environment.