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Canine Body Language: Your dog is trying to tell you something

You probably talk to your dog. He doesn’t reply. Or so you think. Dogs are actually very talented at communicating their wants and needs, their happiness and fear, and quite effectively, their warning signals. Dogs convey their messages primarily through body language (though barks, growls, and whimpers have distinct meanings). So it’s important to recognize what it means mean.

Here we provide a translation. Think of it as a dog-to-human dictionary.  As with any successful relationship, better communication means a stronger bond.

About this Series

At the AKC, we know better than anyone that your dog can’t be treated like a car or an appliance, but we’ve named this series “A Dog Owner’s Manual” because sometimes you probably wish your lovable companions came with one.

These concise guides give you the tools, tips, and direction to be a responsible and confident dog owner who brings out the best in your dog. Give them a test drive!

Find a dog trainer near your location and take the Canine Good Citizen test for your dog.
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Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

This program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. In CGC, dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test can earn a certificate and/or the official AKC CGC title.
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