Dog body language
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Thread: Dog body language

  1. #1
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    Dog body language

    Well, the guy we bought the dog from told us that when they raise their back leg their uncomfortable, is that true? Also, is it the same thing with the front leg? or does that just mean "Please, Scrach my belly!" ?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member MyCharlie's Avatar
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    Re: Dog body language

    You mean when they are standing up? You don't usually see dogs doing that, just standing there holding one of their back legs up, so I guess it could mean they are uncomfortable, like maybe their foot hurts or something is stuck in their paw like part of a stick or something. How did this come up, does your dog do this often?

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    Re: Dog body language

    He's affraid of men, and sometimes when I get too close to him if he's tired or something (When he's lying down) he raises it.

  5. #4
    Senior Member MyCharlie's Avatar
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    Re: Dog body language

    in that case, nope, I wouldn't think it means he's uncomfortable. Maybe just moving about or (like you suggested) wanting a belly rub!

    If he were afraid of you when he was laying down and you came too close, he would most likely get up and move away.

  6. #5
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    Re: Dog body language

    He moves away sometimes too I dunno if lifting his back leg means that he wants a belly rub, I was talking about the front leg when he wants a belly rub, lifting his back leg when he wants one wont help very much?

  7. #6
    Senior Member klip's Avatar
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    Re: Dog body language

    To quote my dog body language bible - "canine body language" by Brenda Aloff:

    Paw lifts are used in many different circumstances. If a dog is curious, she will often lift a paw. Whe a dog is uncertain, she will often lift a paw. When a dog is stalking or "pointing", she will lift a paw.

    A paw lift accompanies a moment of stillness


    And then she goes on to list some different types:
    Anticipatory Paw Lift - a dog who is alert and waiting for an event like a ball that will be thrown.
    Anxious Paw Lift - dog is in a position that makes them nervous - a sort of negative version.
    Submission Paw Lift - can be used to signal calming and submission when the dog feels its in a potentially fraught situation.

    Stalking Paw Lift - when a dog is stalking a prey, or in a game.

    So I think, yes, it could be a signal that he is a little nervous
    The best way to get someone to listen to you - is to listen to them.

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    Re: Dog body language

    Okay thanks =)

  9. #8
    Junior Member King Pup's Avatar
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    Re: Dog body language

    I would have thought that if the dog is lying down and raises it's back leg, at least you know they feel confident about you. In raising their back leg they're exposing themselves more, no? Not something I feel a dog would do if it was suspicious or afraid of you.
    "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck

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    Re: Dog body language

    Quote Originally Posted by King Pup View Post
    I would have thought that if the dog is lying down and raises it's back leg, at least you know they feel confident about you. In raising their back leg they're exposing themselves more, no? Not something I feel a dog would do if it was suspicious or afraid of you.
    I agree, all the dogs that did that for me were just showing respect by being submissive ( a compliment) or simply asking for a tummy rub.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Filnyyena's Avatar
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    Re: Dog body language

    Lol usually my dog, when laying down, lifts his back leg when he sees me coming over to pester him, usually meaning "pweease don't bug me. I am tired. Go away.." or "Oh great, here she comes again to bug me" and then he three-snort sighs at me, his word for "leave me be or I bite you"

    So I agree, I believe it means they are uncomfortable. But it could vary dog from dog, situation to situation.

    I bug him anyway.. I am not a good listener


    The stare of love
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Lonewolfblue's Avatar
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    Re: Dog body language

    You also have to see what other signals the dog is giving as well. Without seeing the dog actually doing it, it's really hard to say exactly what he's trying to do, whether it's due to being uncomfortable, a calming signal, etc.


    Shelter dogs aren't broken, they've simply experienced more life then others. Don't pity them...HELP them!

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