Yes, you most certainly do need to know. Knowing what different body movements mean can help you determine if a dog is warning you off or simply inviting you to play. It is also extremely useful when introducing several dogs together. You need to be able to read their body language so you can separate them before any fights break out. Knowing body language is again useful when training.
Every animal has and uses body language including humans. Knowing what they are how to read them and what they mean is very important. I not only use it with my dogs in training and day to day life with them but I also use it when I am out with horses not only when I am out in the pasture with them so I do not get into the midle of one of their spats but also so I can convay to them that I am lead mare. If I did not do it correctly then they would not respect me and look to me a boss and I could every easally get hurt. Dogs are no differnt. I also have learned to read cows. Very useful when riding a cutting horse or when you are trying to move them from one area to anouther.
Knowing how to read differnt animals can keep you from getting hurt or them from getting hurt.
Being able to read your dog thoroughly is very important. Even more so if your dog has issues like my Roxy. Even with Hades though, its' good to read him, as he is a little on the "scared" side during times, which can often make him react in fear.
With Roxy, it could be a life ending decision if I chose to allow her anywhere near a person when she's displaying uncomfortable body language. It's likely she could react and then be put down. Being able to read her has taken some time, but now I pretty much know her inside and out. I can tell when she's just being sassy or playful or when she's really in a grumpy mood.
There are simple signs, like the tail straight up, and about a quarter of the way from the top it hangs down. This generally means the dog is alert, and on guard. If they've heard a sound, or see something of interest.
A common misconception about dog's body language is tail wagging. Most people think that if a dog's tail is wagging their happy, far from the truth! LOL
Roxy has a very hard, furious wag when she's going off at something outside the house. She's not happy, she's not having fun, she wants to eat that dog pooping in her yard!
Other simple things are a dog's ears being back as a sign of submission.
I agree, I think everyone needs to learn how to read dog body language.
I was absolutely amazed by working at a vet and finding some people I work with cannot read dog's body language at all. That is very dangerous. It makes me very glad that I can read dogs pretty well. I have been working in our kennels the last few weeks and that includes walking, feeding, playing with and medicating all the boarding/hospitalized dogs.
This girl (and dog owner) that started a couple weeks ago seems to know nothing about dog body language! We have a dog right now who is VERY nervous of people and new things. She's very friendly and sweet but I always thought most people knew that a nervous dog could most definitely react by snapping. I go back there and this poor girl is backed into the corner of her kennel, tail down and ears back absolutely terrified. This girl was standing up and leaning over the dog to try and get the leash on her.
I was so scared she was about to be bitten and that poor dog would have been in trouble for it too! I just thought that people knew not to back a scared dog into a corner...to me nervous/fearful dogs are often scarier than aggressive dogs.
So yeah, I think learning their language is VERY beneficial.
Yeah ! I agree that when your dog's tail wagging . Most likely people will think the same as what i do before .
But i notice that sign a dog 's tail meaning a lot . When a dog 's tail down or tucked under, or start wagging in a quick action ; it probably show that your dog is in situation of fear or concern . In other way , if a dog's tail show up and wagging in a slower sweep , they seem show a sign of confidence .
Dogs say a lot through their body language and interpreting it correctly can help us to know when the dog is nervous, stressed or fearful, all of which are good signals on how the dog is about to respond. Check out this article on how to read dog body language.