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CenTex Humane Society
“Second Chance”
No-Kill Animal Shelter

5501 Clear Creek Rd., Killeen, TX 76549

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 (254) 526-6200

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Dog Body Language 

  Monday-Friday Noon to 5pm • Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm

Did you know?

Understanding a dog’s body language

When you see this paw, you can click on it to learn more.


Brandi, the dog in the picture to the right, is nervous and fearful! You can tell by her ears folded back, the licking of the snout, and the hidden tail. Her back is arched. She is looking for safety from her handler, as you can tell by her leaning into the person who is holding her.

More on dogs’ body language

Axel, on the left, looks up to his handler for guidance. He is not quite sure what is expected of him, as you can tell by the dropped back ears, and the hunched back.

Confident / Relaxed
Missy (above) is comfortable. Her ears are relaxed but listening, her tail lays on her back. She is slightly interested in something on her right, as you can see by her body leaning in that direction.

The folded back ears on an aggressive dog are folded flat against the head, almost “tucked under”. This comes from their readiness to fight: They fold the ears flat against the head, so the opponent cannot bite them off.

Smokey (right) is interested in something in front of him. His body leans forward, his ears are a bit open to hear better, and his mouth is slightly opened. His legs are spread apart a bit. He is ready to get in the action if there should be any.

Hardy (above) is very afraid of the camera flash. He is making a mad dash to exit, his ears are folded back in apprehension and his eyes are wide open, like a kid’s when he gets caught doing something wrong.

TC (left) is letting other dogs know that he will not be messed with. His mouth is open, his teeth can be seen, his ears are tight (not relaxed), his tail is stiff and pointing upward. TC is ready to show anyone who’s the boss.

Skeeter (above) wants to know what’s going on behind the fence. His whole body is relaxed and the mouth is wide open in a playful mood.
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