15 Jun 7 Messages Your Bully Is Communicating to you
Do you have trouble understanding your bully? Your bully can’t verbally tell you how they feel, but they do use body language. By moving their ears, eyes, mouth and tail in a certain way, they can let you know what’s on their minds. Understanding your dog’s physical cues can help you keep them safe and happy.
“What’s Going On?”
When your bully is alert or assessing a situation, his ears will be forward. He may also twitch as he tries to catch sounds you may not hear. He will stand tall, leaning forward, with eyes wide and mouth closed. His tail will be horizontal, but relaxed, moving side to side.
Observe your bully’s body language as he assesses his surroundings. He will immediately relax, or show signs of playfulness, fear, or aggression.
“Life is good!”
A relaxed, approachable bully will have his ears up, but not forward. His mouth may be open showing his tongue or panting, and his tail will be down and relaxed.
When a dog wants to play his ears will be up, eyes wide, and mouth open, much like the approachable dog. His front end will be bent at the forepaw, and his tail will be wagging back and forth. He may break from this position to run in circles. Your bully may also charge and retreat, and bark in a playful manner.
“I don’t feel so good”
When your bully is signaling general stress, he will pull the ears and the corners of his mouth back. He may also display a rapid panting or whining, and lower his body or put his tail down. On a walk, he may dig into the ground, refusing to go any further.
“I don’t want any problems”
Fearful dogs will show signs of submission to the more dominant animal confronting them. They will display indirect eye contact, with ears pulled back and a smooth forehead. They may also lick at the face of the other dog or human or raise a paw.
In extreme cases, the fearful dog will roll over onto his back exposing his belly and neck. He may sprinkle a few drops of urine, and avoid all eye contact.
“Don’t Mistake My Kindness for Weakness”
Some bullies may display signs of fear and aggression. This means he wants to avoid a conflict, but will act out if he feels he has no other option.
He will pull his ears back, wrinkle his nose and curl his lips to expose his teeth. He will also keep his weight centered over all four legs because he is still considering fight or flight. He may cower and tuck his tail, and the hair on his back will stand on end.
Your bully may retreat if given the chance, or if the other dog backs off, may nip at him as he retreats, then recoil. Use caution approaching any dog, even your own, when he is displaying signs of aggression.
“I’m about to SNAP!”
The aggressive, confident bully holds his ears forward and spread in a V shape. His will wrinkle his forehead, brows and nose. Your bully will also raise his hackles and curl his lips to expose his teeth and gums. He may snarl, growl, and bark in a low, serious tone.
He will put most of his weight above his forelegs in preparation to lunge. His tail is also raised, stiff, bristled and he may move back and forth, appearing to quiver or vibrate.