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What Is Your Animal Companion Saying?

Written by Michelle Kretzer | November 6, 2012

We owe it to our animal companions to learn a little “dogese” or “catish,” so here are the meanings of some of the most common animal behaviors:

Now that you’re fluent in your animals’ language, read up on how to be a great guardian.

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  • Bill Ingram says:

    My Ridgeback moans and stretches when he lays down to sleep and flops his tail when I pat him. In evening he sleeps with his head on my foot or let. Early morning he has reversed direction and is laying head to head with me and as close as he can get. When I get up he reverses direction and waits for me to go to the bathroom, etc., and to get dressed. Each time in enter the room he looks up and thumps his tail on the bed but won’ t actually get up until I head out to the kitchen.
    PS. When asked, he will run into the house and fetch the telephone and bring it to me outdoors.

  • hannah says:

    cats r embarrassed too? cute:)

  • Romy22 says:

    I once had a dog who wagged her tail up and around instead of the usual side to side :)it was adorable!

  • Wolf Figurines says:

    A good information for someone who has not been around animal. I think this would be great for kids.

  • maggie says:

    What a great info-graph. Love reading my dog’s body language. Especially when she gets embarrassed! Thanks for sharing.

  • arman efendi says:

    i love cute pets ..

  • Dezi says:

    I am a dog trainer and I have been working with dogs for over five years now. All that stuff about the tail is very misleading, I would only trust tail signals of a dog you know very well! Dogs tails don’t mean as much as we think they do. For example my Pit holds his tail in a high fast wag when he is happy to see someone he loves. He tucks his tail when he is unsure. My boarder collie has a low fast wag when she is doing something rude (like muzzle punching another dog). She never raises her tail high even when she is being a jerk. My Rottie wags fast when she is nervous. Her whole butt wags when she is happy (similar to aussies or corgis). So, when looking at tails, bear in mind that every dog is different.

  • Joyce says:

    The only one I really don’t agree with is when it says dogs feel submissive or afraid if they show their tummies. My dog is generally saying “Give me a belly rub,” when she does this. There are other forms of communications my dog gives as well, but this may be dependent on the breed or her training. For instance, if I lay my arm down with my hand out, my dog will put her paw in my hand as a sign that she wants attention or as a sign of affection depending on the circumstance. Dogs are amazing animals.

  • Evie says:

    My cat sometimes wags his tail. He wont act annoyed, and will still be friendly. He just wags.

  • silverdragon says:

    I don’t know about other dogs but my dog shows his tummy to strangers because he wants them to rub it, but he is a an Aussie. they do love there belly rubbed even if it is a stranger.

  • Ra says:

    My two dogs would probably do nearly anything for me. I know they trust me completely. I love them so much and I think they love me. I think we understand each other pretty well. May cat would probably push me down a flight of stairs just to see what happened if I didn’t have thumbs. That’s basically all she needs me for most of the time. However, even though she pushes my buttons, she’s still randomly affectionate to me.

  • Friend of Animals says:

    My cat just told me all of this advice is correct. She says thank you. :0)

  • some user says:

    If your cat has puffed up tail, that doesn’t necessary means afraid or aggressive. It could also be happy and crazy.

  • Pam Schlumberger says:

    I have many animals and have my whole life. I’m retired and my husband disabled with 2 kids and a grandson. We had jobs that less then 2 hours a day they were home alone. And they all new our schedule and would be waiting for us to get home. They are our kids and they know all our names and they are all friends. there is 7 cat’s 2 dog’s and for some reason all the strays seem to find us.They love use and we love them. They all communicate with us very well and we have to spell things and it doesn’t work to well for some words like ride and walk. You can whisper it in the other room and they come out when they here it. They are all very intelligent. And they are all different with there things they do like and do. We love them all for there individual selves.

  • Paige says:

    To skorne14, the laser is just reinforcing the scratching of your bed because your cat likes that. Now he or she will scratch your bed whenever he or she wants to play. They have adhesive that you can put on your bed that is clear but will discourage the scratching. Also, if you put some catnip by your cat’s post, that will encourage him or her to use it, especially if you reinforce that behavior with something he or she likes.

  • Bass says:

    …What about fish?

  • Kimberly says:

    This adorable! Love it(:

  • Caitlin says:

    My cat and I give each other the love blinks all the time. It always makes him purr louder and nudge my face with his

  • skorne14 says:

    Humans understand NO dog words because there ARE NO dog words… lol. Hey can anyone tell me how I can get my cat to stop scratching my bed and start using her post? I been using a laser and letting her chase it around then shining it on her post so she will dig her claws in it, but she still scratches my bed. I dont want to kick her out of the bedroom completely. Any suggestions?

  • Dave says:

    My dogs are French Poodles. No wonder I can’t understand them. Now I get it. God Bless You!

  • Keyra says:

    Thats weird my cat does all but the medical one… But yah Elizabeth is right its super duper cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alex says:

    This is one of the cutest things I have seen. Good advice and great display too 🙂

  • Barbara Verdonck says:

    Great start on understanding pets. Dogs spend their entire lives trying to understand their “owners”. Body language and tone are far more important and easy for dogs to understand than words alone. My advise to dog owners: Imagine your dog is a 3 year old child from a foreign country with a completely different language than your owm. How would you communicate? What tone would you use? How would you make the child feel safe and at ease? How would you encourage good behavior? What would yelling and screaming communicate to the child? **if you own a dog, please read “The Other end of the Leash”, it’s brilliant. You will recognize your dog in the book.

  • wendy joseph says:

    I love my dog with all my heart, but she is the first dog that I have ever had to be responsible for. I am sure that I make mistakes through ignorance. Thank you so much for your basic Dog grammar… Folks like me need all the help we can get in order to be the best possible companions that we can…

  • Elizabeth-O says:

    I love this!!