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Is the dog's look a means of communication? How to interpret it?

Dogs have this incredible ability to communicate with their owners by adopting various attitudes, yawning or emitting different sound signals in chosen tones. But there is another form of language which he has the secret, just as eloquent, but sometimes more difficult to decipher. It is the look that he always uses wisely. Let's see how to interpret it.

The dog expresses many feelings through his eyes


Dogs can express all kinds of emotions through their eyes. We can, for example, read social interest, aggressiveness, sexual interest, anger, submission, fear, incomprehension or even disinterest as the following examples show.

Attention: the gaze fixed on a person translates the strong interest that the dog has for him. This is one of the looks that a caring owner usually sees in his dog. If he wants to capture the attention of the animal so that it turns away from another person or a congener, it is necessary to impose to a dog that it fixes its gaze on his master, because they are both linked by an emotional feeling.

This is a technique widely used by dog trainers to whom owners entrust their animals with behavior problems.

  • Misunderstanding: the dog looks away to indicate that it does not understand the command that has just been given.
  • Appeasement: when a sideways glance is accompanied by a yawn, it means that the dog is appeased. Appeasement can also be expressed by a downward glance.
  • Dominance: A stare is a sign of dominance when it is particularly intimidating and when it is accompanied by other attitudes such as the curling of the lips and the bristling of the back hair, or the ears pressed back and the muzzle wrinkled.
  • Aggression: This state can also be expressed by a fixed look, especially if the eyes are wide open and the dog emits growls in the lowest tones. This is an attitude that many dogs - especially males - adopt in front of other dogs.
  • Submissiveness: A shifty look reveals a submissive attitude, whether it is towards a dominant fellow dog, its owner or a trainer.

How to learn the meaning of your dog's looks?


A dog's language skills deserve all the attention of a master who wants to understand his companion at all times and in all situations. It is a good solution to anticipate the dog's reactions in many cases and to solve certain behavioral problems.

If you feel you have a moderate ability to read your dog's eyes, it is highly beneficial to contact a behavioral veterinarian to learn more about the subject. You can also ask a dog trainer. This professional is used to dealing with dogs with behavioral problems, and for him, the look of each animal is a real means of communication. We can therefore finally deduce that the dog speaks (partly) with its eyes.