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Body Language Bites - Examples

Make your observations! What do you see first? What else can you spot in this photo which may provide context?

Face: ears somewhat back and curled in a "C" shape, eyes and forehead soft but eyebrows raised and pulled slightly together, mouth closed

Head: normal height, looking somewhat between the door and the camera person

Body: fairly loose, in motion

Tail: wagging with the base close to his behind

Context: snow on the ground, dog near the door

Please review the above body parts and compare with the photo to spot these cues yourself before reading further.


This photo was taken at my home some years ago. It wasn't extremely cold, but the dog had been standing around as I shoveled. The dog was not scared of or reacting to my shoveling, there were no people, dogs or loud noises in the area.

What's your conclusion?


Based on the snow on the ground, mild signs of concern or to anthropomorphize, perhaps even pleading, in the dog's eyebrows, curled ears, tail held somewhat near his bum and his posture directed partially towards the door, it's safe to guess this dog wants inside! This is supported further by the background info that there was nothing concerning in the environment, plus the fact that he's a short furred dog who was standing around.

When dogs are cold, they may get a little tenser, tuck body parts in a little more (a leg lifted and held close, a tail held low or tucked) and reduce extraneous movement. When dogs want something, they are often excellent at drawing attention to the desired area or object they'd like us to interact with.

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