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While your pooch doesn’t have the ability to verbally tell you how he or she feels, a lot can be interpreted from their body language. Psychology-based dog training teaches you to read that body language, as there are some obvious and not-so-obvious signs to watch out for. The question is, how confident are you that you can understand the body language of your dog?

Fortunately, the aforementioned dog training courses can be taken online and at your own convenience, which is great news for anyone wanting to enter the animal care industry or simply become a better owner. We’ll tell you how to access that training shortly, but not before we look at some of the common signs associated with certain canine emotions.

When dogs are happy...

A happy dog is typically fairly easy to spot, as they’ll be relaxed, open-mouthed and with their tongue hanging out. Other signs include loose, relaxed shoulders, possibly with their rump raised in the air in what’s known as a ‘Play bow’. Then there are other classic signs like a wagging tail and an exposed belly that both clearly point towards a contented pooch. 

When dogs are stressed...

As you’ll learn when taking dog obedience training, there are some obvious signs that your dog is stressed. These behaviours include lowered ears, over-preening and on some occasions, acting overly submissive and subdued. You might also see some unusual pacing around the home and even yawning when they’re not tired, which is usually accompanied by over-drooling. 

When dogs are aggressive...

An important emotion to be able to detect in your dog is aggression, which can manifest by your canine shifting their weight onto their haunches in a ‘ready to attack’ pose. This might be accompanied by a fixed stare or something is known as ‘whale eye’ where much of the white of the eye is showing. When experienced with growling and bared teeth, you should give your dog some room to calm down.

Spotting Those Subtle Signs

Ok, so some of the examples we’ve provided are obvious, of course, as you don’t need to take dog behaviour training to know that a happy dog wags its tail or that an angry one may growl, but many of the signs you’re looking for aren’t going to be quite so clear-cut. 

The fact is that the more time you spend getting to know your dog, the more likely it is you’ll be able to spot even the most subtle of non-verbal hints your dog is giving you. The good news is that adding to your knowledge is easy, affordable and your learning can fit around your day to day obligations.

Learn New Skills Online On Your Terms With OCA

If you’re looking to add to your knowledge to make yourself a better owner or to enter the animal care industry professionals, it’s now easier than ever to do so. At OCA, we offer a range of affordable, CPD-approved micro-learning courses like our Certificate In Dog Psychology, Behaviour & Training that can even be paid for in manageable instalments.

This is just one of many we offer in animal care and indeed, across a wide range of industries and sectors. Far from being boring, our video-based training is known for its stimulating nature - something you can find out more about by visiting us online at

However, if you’d like to speak to a member of our friendly team about your animal care training needs, just give us a call on 1300 611 404 today. 

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