5 Ways Your Dog Asks For Help

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In a perfect world, your dog would be able to tell you exactly what he needs, when he needs it. Unfortunately, dogs lack the language skills to communicate and ask for help when they need it.

But just because they can’t communicate with words doesn’t mean they don’t communicate at all! Your dog will definitely find a way to get the point across when he needs something from you. And the main way he’ll do it? Body language.

5 Ways Your Dog Asks For Help

In a perfect world, your dog would be able to tell you exactly what he needs, when he needs it. Unfortunately, dogs lack the language skills to communicate and ask for help when they need it.

But just because they can’t communicate with words doesn’t mean they don’t communicate at all! Your dog will definitely find a way to get the point across when he needs something from you. And the main way he’ll do it? Body language.

Dogs use their bodies as a way to communicate. And if you can learn to read your dog’s body language, you can figure out exactly what it is your dog needs, whether that’s a refill of his water dish, a game of fetch, or just a good, old-fashioned belly scratch—no words required.

But how can you read your dog’s body language to figure out what, exactly, he wants or needs? Here are five ways your dog asks for help (and how to recognize each):

Your dog shies away from petting

Typically, dogs love a good belly rub or ear scratch. But if your dog flinches or pulls away when you try to pet him, it could be because he’s in pain.

Now, your dog could just be telling you that he’s not in the mood—but if your dog shies away from petting, especially if he usually loves it, he might be trying to tell you that something hurts.

If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, pay attention. Does he only shy away when you try to pet a certain area of his body? Does he flinch when you touch him in a certain spot? These are all signals that your dog is in pain—and that he’s trying to tell you he’s hurting.

Your dog exposes his belly

On the flip side, if your dog rolls over and exposes his belly, he’s sending a very different message—and that message is “I need a little attention, so please, please, PLEASE give me some pets!”

Exposing the belly is a submissive behavior for dogs. If your dog gives you the belly, it’s his way of telling you that he trusts you—and, of course, that he’s in the market for some good, old-fashioned belly scratching.

If your pet rolls over and shows his belly the next time you walk by, make sure to stop for a minute and give him the love and attention he’s looking for.

Your dog stares at you

Have you ever been sitting on the couch, minding your own business—only to look up and see your dog staring at you intently?

If your dog is staring at you, it’s because he needs something—and he’s using the direct eye contact as a way to communicate his needs. Staring isn’t correlated to one specific want or need; your dog could be staring at you because he’s hungry, because he needs to go outside and use the bathroom, or because he’s ready to call it a night and go to bed.

If you notice your dog is staring at you, spend some time trying to figure out what he might need. When you figure it out, he’ll be sure to let you know (most likely with a bark of recognition!).

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SOURCE: Rover, Deanna deBara