How Do Dogs Communicate With Us? See The Top 10 Ways

Dogs can be hilarious animals that make us laugh with all the different things they do. However, do you know that your dog’s funny behavior might mean something as your pet is just trying to communicate with you? So how do dogs communicate with us? Let’s look at several ways dogs communicate with us today.

Ways Dogs Communicate With You
  • Save

The first step to take if you want to understand your pet is to learn what each dog behavior or action means, as most dog actions have a precise meaning. When you know what your dog is trying to say, you’ll be able to provide what your pet needs when he needs them. Here are ten behaviors dogs use to try to communicate with us, and as dog owners, we have probably experienced some of these before at one point or another. 


1. Dog Tongue Flicking 

When your dog makes a quick upward flick of his tongue, it means he’s anxious or not comfortable with what’s going on. For example, if a stranger comes around and carries your pet, he can flick his tongue to show he’s not comfortable being in the hands of a stranger. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Please note as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However all the information provided on this site are my own honest opinions.

tongue flicking as a means by which Dogs communicate with us
  • Save

Whenever you notice these types of tongue flicks, look for what’s making your dog uncomfortable and, if possible, remove it so you can put your dog at ease.


2. Dog Makes Eye Contact 

Have you noticed your dog staring at you repeatedly? He’s trying to show his affection through his facial expressions and letting you know that he trusts and loves you.

how dogs communicate with their eyes dog body language
  • Save

On the other hand, if your dog constantly avoids eye contact with you, this is usually caused by fear. It means he’s scared of you, or he’s doing something he doesn’t want you to find out. We’ve all seen the look on our dog’s face when we catch him peeing where he is not supposed to. Also, he might avoid eye contact if he isn’t happy with you.


3. Dog Raises Paw

Think of your dog raising his paw as a student in the class who raises his hand. Your pet wants one thing, which is to gain attention.

dog raising paw communication with a canine
  • Save

Whenever your dog repeatedly puts his paws in the air, he wants your attention. Most of the time, it’s either he wants to show you something, or he wants you to do something for him.


4. Dog Leaning In Different Directions

When your dog leans downwards in a yoga position, he wants you to cuddle and play with him. Also, it could be that he wants to be close to you. Dogs will only lean close to people they trust and love; they won’t do it with a stranger. So, you can also see this body language as a sign that your pet loves you.

However, if your dog is leaning arched back, it could be that your dog is in some pain and needs you to investigate further. Your dog could also whimper, whine or howl if in pain. See our post on how to help a dog with back pain for some pain management techniques you can use on dogs.


5. Dog Barking 

How do dogs communicate with us by barking? Well your dog’s bark can mean a lot of things. This is one of the most common ways dogs communicate with us. Some dog breeds bark more than others. However, according to various experts, barking is usually an alarm sound. In other words, he’s trying to alert you about something which is most likely a threat. However, these are typically high-pitched and fast barks. Midrange and short barks can be a form of greeting. 

Can dogs talk with you barking what it means
  • Save

On the other hand, solitary barks can mean your pet feels lonely. You may wish to invite a friend to bring their dog over for some company, take your dog out to a dog park or play some games with your dog. If you bring a visiting dog over, you may wish to see our post on how to introduce a visiting dog to your dog to make sure the meeting goes well without any dog fights.

If you are looking for a solution to your pet’s repeated barking, then see our posts on how to calm a restless dog at night and how to train a puppy to stop barking as they can help.


6. Dog Gifts You With Items

Does your pet constantly bring gifts to you? If yes, he’s showing affection. He might give you his food, treats, toys, etc., and bring them over to share with you.

In the case of toys, it could also mean that he wants to play. For example, he brings a ball and drops it at your feet. This action is most likely if you engage your pet in daily play sessions.


7. Dog Moves The Tail

The tail movement is another one of the most common ways dogs communicate with us. Your pet wagging the tail is an easy way to read your dog’s mood at any moment. 

Dog with upright tail canine communication
  • Save

If your dog wags his tail very fast, it means he’s very excited. If he’s wagging it slowly, it means your dog is cautious at the moment. There could be something or someone your dog is unsure of around nearby.

No tail movement means your pet is relaxed, but the opposite is true as your dog is charged and ready to attack if the tail is held high. He may also growl as a means of communicating a warning to the target before attacking. Finally, your dog is scared of something or someone if your pet tucks in its tail.


8. Dog Yawns

How do dogs communicate with us by yawning? Well your dog repeated yawning is a way of telling you that he’s tired and wants some rest. As a caring dog owner, you should arrange a dog bed for your dog to sleep in and let him lie down there when he is tired. You could also take him to your bed to sleep when he repeatedly yawns if that is where he usually sleeps. Check out our post on how to train a dog to sleep in a dog bed if you don’t know how to. 

Tired dog yawning in owners arms
  • Save

Yawning could also mean that your pet is hungry. If it’s been a long time since you fed your puppy or dog, you should bring out his dog food and let him eat. Also, see our post with the best dog food for malnourished dogs to see a list of nutritious and healthy dog food you may wish to buy for your pet.


9. Dog Licking

The licking behavior is one of the most straightforward actions to interpret. When your dog licks you, it simply means that your dog likes you. Typically, dogs would lick each other to groom, and they’ll only do this with other dogs they care about, often a relation. 

Dog communicates by licking to show affection
  • Save

Nevertheless, if your pet is licking his paws, he can be bored, or there might be an injury there. You may need to check the entire leg and feel for any tenderness or pain. See this document for other signs of pain in a dog. Take note the pain may be internal, so if the licking does not stop for a long time, you may need to see a vet.


10. Dog Moves The Ears

how dogs show they are listening dog ears
  • Save

How do dogs communicate with us using their ears? Well this is mostly used to indicate mood or interest. When your dog is charged and ready for action, you will notice his ears are flat against his head. It could be during playtime or if he’s about to get aggressive towards something or someone. If his ears are forward, it means he’s curious and paying close attention to something or someone.


Bottom Line 

Your dog cannot speak English, French, or any other popular world language. However, he communicates with you using face and body language just like we humans do on many occasions. I have listed ten ways your dog communicates with you, and I believe it’ll help you understand your dog better. 

So now, whenever your dog shows some sort of gesture towards you, you understand what it means and can reciprocate with the right action. See our post with 13 excellent tips on how to show love to a dog for more great ideas.

If you found this article on dog communication helpful, do share it with others.

ways dogs communicate with us
  • Save
Share via
Copy link