Emotional Behavior in Dogs to Watch Out For

Photo of author

Knowing how to communicate with your dog allows you to have the best bond possible. While we can’t have conversations with our dogs, we can find ways to communicate and understand what they’re trying to tell us. Canines use actions and body language to reveal how they’re feeling. Being aware of the emotional behaviors in dogs to watch out for allows you to boost your connection with your furry friend!


A crucial emotional behavior in dogs to watch out for is aggression, as this can be a danger to you or others. Your dog might get angry if you, someone else, or another animal does something to upset them, such as invading their personal space. Make sure you know the warning signs of aggression, which may manifest as:

  • Growling
  • Baring teeth
  • Snapping

If, for example, your dog has an accident in the house, don’t shove their face in it or yell at them, as this could result in negative behavior. Rather than yell at your dog, avoid negative behaviors whenever possible and offer plenty of praise and treats when he or she does a good job!


Dogs experience anxiety or fear when they’re uncomfortable. Some canines experience separation anxiety when their owners are away. This can lead them to exhibit destructive behaviors, such as destroying their bed or your furniture. Your dog may also show their fear through:

  • Constant yawning or licking
  • Attempts to hide
  • Pacing around

Moreover, scared dogs may flatten their ears or tuck their tail between their legs to show you how they’re feeling at the moment. Knowing the signs of stress is crucial to keeping your environment pet-friendly and giving your dog the best life possible. Just like people, canines experience fear for various reasons, ranging from uncomfortable situations to loud sounds.


There’s no better feeling than coming home after a long day of work and having your pup wagging its tail so hard that its hips wiggle! Recognizing positive emotions is just as important as understanding negative ones. A common behavior that dogs do when they’re excited is jumping up on you to say “hello.” Other signs of joy in canines include:

  • Relaxed ears and body
  • Playful behavior
  • Leaning against you

Happy dogs may also bow and wag their tails as a way of asking to play. Likewise, a dog that sleeps on its back is a pooch that’s comfortable in its environment. When a dog leaves its tummy exposed, it means that it trusts that you won’t attack it.