31 Things Your Dog is Telling You – A Picture Guide

You humans can be so oblivious at times. What do you mean you wish we could talk? Just pay attention. We’re trying to talk to you. What’s your dog telling you?

Dogs have very specific body language and set mannerisms that translate directly to specific requests. Learn these dog signals and not only will your bond grow, but an intensified mutual form of respect will develop. After all, communication is key in every relationship.

I want to outline in this article some of your dog’s most frequent facial expressions and quirks.

Allow me to take you down memory lane, show you some different pictures and let you know exactly what I was thinking in each of them. Start watching for these particular looks or actions from your dog so you’ll be better equipped to oblige.

Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.

What Exactly Is Your Dog Telling You?

Learning to communicate with your dog could be one of the toughest things to overcome in the beginning. Talk about a language barrier. However, overtime, you will find the barrier shrinks and you can almost read each others thoughts.

I want to show you how easy this is.

Keep scrolling.

Husky in a playful position in a dog park
1. This is Callie’s play pose.

Play Time

Here’s a good one to start with.

When Callie, or any dog for that matter, strikes this particular yoga pose, they mean business. Play time business, that is.

Notice her tail is up (it was actually wagging, even though that particular detail would be inadmissible in the court of law), her shoulders are low, her butt is in the air, she has her ball, and is ready to run sprints around the park at the drop of a piece of mulch.

She drives me nuts with this. This is like her launch pad position. She’s so quick out of this stance. I hate it. Let’s move on.

Husky with medical cone on her head and a cocker spaniel looking terrified at the camera
2. Promise me you’ll never put a satellite on my head like hers. Promise Mom. PROMISEEEEEE.

I’m Totally Freaked Out Right Now

This was taken last year after sister Callie had her ovaries snatched. She was forced to wear this terrible contraption. She’s not the focal point in this image though – I am. Notice the pleading look in my eyes.

If your dog looks like me, they’re telling you they’re a little nervous about something.

I was terrified they were going to give me one of these and chalk it up to some sibling bonding nonsense. So I hit them with the scared puppy look. Worked like a charm. No ridiculous necklace for me.

Husky and cocker spaniel in the snow. The husky is loving it and the cocker spaniel is hating it
3. Snow. It’s cold and stuck in my luxurious arm hair. Callie! Stop acting like you love this white waste. I want to go inside. Mom! Soup!

Ugh. This Weather Blows. I’m Not Having a Good Time.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love a good roll in the snow, but enough is enough.

Look at my face. Does that really need human words or any other form of explanation? Then we have sister Callie in the background singing,

‘Feels like home to me

It feels like home to me

Feels like I’m all the way back where

I come from…’


Some things your dog is telling you will be abundantly clear. Just pay attention.

Woman outside posing with her husky and cocker spaniel for a picture
4. Me, Mom, and Callie. This was take number 43. My mom loves taking pictures. Me, eh, not so much.

Stop With the Pics

Perfect picture displaying subtle acts of uncomfortable-ness. While it is a cute picture, and I’m so happy I have it to look at during the day when my mom is at work, that still doesn’t excuse the horrific process of actually taking the picture.

Over and over and over and over again just because someone wasn’t looking at the right time in the right direction.

So annoying. Who’s with me?

Anyway, check out my sister’s weird yawn. Sign number one of uncomfortable behavior. Also notice how my body language is pulling away from my mom.

Uncomfortable behavior.

Behavior is prioritized when your dog is telling you something.


Husky and cocker spaniel have their feet intertwined in display of affection.
5. The lovey cuddles.


Here’s another scenario that seemingly transcends all languages, cultures, races, and breeds, effortlessly. Love is love, no matter how you hold it.

Dogs are pack animals. We need other dogs and other people. We need to know you’re there, and this often comes in the form of touch.

A paw on your leg or a snout on your arm. These are signs of affection – our love language.

Your dog is telling you they love you.

Snuggles, snuggles all the time.

Okay. That’s enough. I need my space.

Husky and cocker spaniel have party hats on and they're not happy about it.
6. Ermagerd. More anxiety picture things. Also, what’s on our heads, sister?

Anxious Times Call For Anxious Signs

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 27 times. Repeat after me, Jax boy does NOT enjoy taking pictures.

I’m like Justin Bieber during his infamous “no pictures with the fans” phase of 2016.

Same thing, same hype, same hair.

Notice in this image, Callie’s ears are back and I’m faking a yawn. Uncomfortable factor reaching DEFCON 1 levels.

Pay close attention to the ears of your dog as they can be a telling sign on many occasions.

Also, don’t get me started on those unfortunate birthday hats.

Husky looking at the camera upside down with a smile on her face and teeth exposed
7. My sister is bananas. She cracks me up though. Look at that dang canine. The tip is pink. Why, Callie? Why is it pink?


Believe it or not, this is a sign of submission with a requesting side of tummy tickles.

Callie is laying with her belly exposed and her head plopped back. She was doing this to mom the other day. She usually accompanies this pose with a whine of some sorts.

In layman’s terms, this means, rub me humans.

Basic and simple.

If they make a noise to get your attention and you find them with their bellies opened up to the heavens, your dog is telling you one thing specifically…

They need some BELLY RUBS!

Tiny golden retriever puppy looking up with big eyes in a perfect sitting position
8. What a cute little puppy face. This is my Aunt Rigby by the way. Hers is so sweet but she clearly wants something in this picture.

Can I Have Some?

Listen up humans. We’re really good at getting what we want. It’s an evolutionary trait we’ve picked up on.

Basically, humans are suckers for a sweet little face. We can make that face on command (pictured above) in order to get you to forfeit whatever in the world is in your hand in that moment.

If your dog is showing you their big eyes in a perfectly seated position, they’re telling you they want some of what you have.

Do you see how still and perfect Rigby is being in that picture? She is only a few weeks old in this picture and already has her human figured out.

Works like a charm. Every single time.

Husky looking upside down with a huge smile on her face
9. These are my favorite Callie selfies.

Rub Me

Look at that little gap in the middle of her bottom teeth. My humans love that little thing.

I digress.

Again, check the pose. It’s the ‘I need belly rubbies’ pose from above. Same request, different day.

Again, if the midsection is exposed and they’re on their backs, your dog is telling you it’s time for some much needed scratches.

Are you starting to pick up on the obvious subtleties? It’s really not that hard, or subtle for that matter.

Cocker spaniel dressed in a football jersey with an annoyed look on his face
10. Here’s the ‘are you kidding me, humans?!’ face. I give this one out frequently.

Save Me

You have got to be kidding me. This is my extremely annoyed face.




I can’t even say anything else about this picture. I’m mad. Moving on.

Husky reaching out and touching her humans foot on the bed
11. More rubs, please.

Touch Me

Here’s another easy one. Do you see how Callie has extended her paw towards Mom’s foot? She’s requesting some love and rubs. Eye contact and paw extension equals snuggle time.

We ask you guys to rub us all of the time. We just use a different language.

Cocker spaniel posing for a picture with a look of complete disdain on his face
12. Are you taking another picture? If I could get my paws on you right now…

You Annoy Me


Too much?

I’m not apologizing. I already told you I don’t want my picture taken – so this is what you get. Hope you enjoy your Christmas card, Susan.

A husky snuggled up with her stuffed animal on a bed
13. This is just too precious for words.

Sleepy Snuggle Time

I don’t like to brag on my sister a lot, because, well, she’s my sister and she drives me crazy. But can we all give her a collective, “awww” for this one?

I mean, come on, people. How much cuter can it get than a husky snuggling a stuffed animal?

This is another easy one to interpret. She’s sleepy.

Surely you’re beginning to pick up on these visually before even reading my caption.

Cocker spaniel in a perfect sit position in anticipation of a treat
14. Any guesses? We’ve covered this one before – in the Rigby picture.

I Want What You Have

You got it!

There you go. See? It isn’t that hard.

I want something here. See what a good boy I’m being? Perfect posture, good sit, laser beam eye contact. Now, hand over that peanut butter banana wrap, lady.

Cocker spaniel leg placed around a woman's waist while they sleep on the couch
15. Snugg time with my Ma.

Not all dogs like to ‘human snuggle”. You guys can be pretty annoying with this. It’s a lot. But we still love you and there are ways you can assess whether or not we’re on board with the invasiveness.

Like me in this picture. I’m cool with it. My leg is flopped over my moms waist. I’m completely open and receptive to her snuggles.

Don’t force it here, humans. Dip your toe in the waters of canine cuddles. They aren’t for everyone.

Cocker spaniel laying upside down in a bed with his hind legs on woman's back
16. Excuse me. You’re kind of in my way.

This is Comfortable

This is my comfort pose. I’m also just a bit curious – does any other pup’s parents out there sleep like this? With their heads on those plumpy things? It’s upside down, right?

They do it every single night too. They have a huge bed. Why not try different angles – that’s all I’m saying.

Cocker spaniel laying on the floor with his legs out to the side while he cools off his stomach
17. Who else is a splooter?

It’s So Hot Outside

Want in on a little secret? This is called splooting.

Do you know when I do this?

When it’s hot.

Do you know why I do this?

To cool my core temperature down as quickly as possible.

dog and cat staring at each other in an uncomfortable manner
18. Cats are super weird. Must keep all eyes on them at all times.

Cats Are So Weird

I hear a lot of chatter about cats versus dogs. They can’t co-exist, cats are smarter, etc.

This is simply not true. I don’t mind cats at all. This is my cousin Otis. He pounces though, so I’m keeping my guard up just to be on the safe side.

Ah, who am I kidding? I don’t trust this cat. All cats are crazy.

I’m trying to play it cool for the pic, but if you look closely, you’ll notice my ears are standing at attention and I’m wide awake and alert. Not sleeping like usual.

a cocker spaniel and husky puppy laying up again pillows on a bed in the exact same position
19. Throw back Thursday – even though it’s Tuesday.

Family Ties

Prefect example of pact mentality and adoration behavior.

This was Callie as a baby. Do you see how she’s sleeping close to me (she would have been closer if I would have let her, but she smelled weird and her teeth were really sharp), and how she’s laying just like me?

This is her signaling to me that I’m in charge. She was looking up to me as a big brother and for guidance.

Cocker spaniel standing over a tiny husky puppy in attempts to hide the puppy
20. Callie who? Sorry, I don’t know who you’re talking about.

Dominance Pose

This is my unsuccessful attempt at showing dominance. I’m sweet and submissive by nature, but somebody had to teach this little ankle biter a thing or two from the get-go.

Standing over Callie like this when she was a baby was my way of showing her who was in charge.

I can make you disappear, puppy wolf child. Bow down to me at once.

Husky puppy hiding behind a toilet in a bathroom
21. Seeking shelter

We Like Small Spaces

You’ll see puppies do this kind of thing quite often. We feel safe in tight spaces.

This is typical behavior when you bring your new baby home. It’s a lot for them to take in at once, so they may seek tight spaces to hide out for a while.

Don’t force them out of their hiding space. Let them come to you.

Husky puppy asleep on the leg of her owner
22. She feels safe enough to sleep.

Sleep = Safety

Pack animal example again. We really need to lay on you when we sleep. It’s our most favorite thing in the whole big wide world.

Have you ever seen a pack of wolves sleeping together?


Yeah, me either. BUT, if we had, they would be sleeping like this. On top of each other.

husky puppy asleep in the arms of her owner with her belly exposed
23. Why do dogs flop their arms like that, you ask?

Willing to Commit

Pro tip: When going to pick out your new puppy, scoop them up and hold them like this on their back. If they let it happen and hug your arm with their paws, you have a winner – a good puppy that should be easy to train and live with.

If they’re reluctant, you may have a little booger on your hands. Nothing wrong with boogers – just don’t get in over your head and then end up having to re-home the baby. This isn’t fair to the puppy at all.

I see this happen way too often. Dogs are big commitments and if you’re not up for the long-term challenge, you should reconsider the investment.

Cocker spaniel standing in the snow with an annoyed look on his face
24. I have two words for you: over this.

No. Absolutely not. I won’t be detailing this type of picture for you again. My facial expressions are exquisite. I think you get it.

A husky hiding behind a little mound of snow in a pouncing and playful position
25. Two peas in a pod

Well isn’t this just rich. More snow. Plus a snow dog.


Cocker spaniel snarling his nose and showing his teeth. Visibly angry.
26. You had to have seen this coming.

When I tell you I don’t like having my picture taken…

There’s only so much a little red headed feller can take.

In case you don’t know what this expressive behavior conveys, this one means leave me alone.

Cocker spaniel snarling his nose and showing his teeth in anger
27. Nothing to see here. Walk away while you still can.

I’m just going to leave this one sitting here.

I think you get it.

Cocker spaniel and husky attempting to hide after getting in trouble
28. Callie did it.

Oh Boy, I’m in Trouble

She is literally always roping me into her shenanigans.

More uncomfortable behavior to observe here. Notice Callie’s ears and my refusal to make eye contact with the inquisitive humans.

We have no clue who ate your bra, Mom.

*Whispers Callie under his breath*

Cocker spaniel and husky hiding under a bed
29. Seriously, Callie?

My sister is a booger.

Huskies, right?

She’s always getting into things that gives me extreme anxiety.

I’ll go hide. Then once the humans find her art project, she tries to come hide in my same spot. The ole anxieties shoot through the roof at that point.

Callie did it. I love you.

Cocker spaniel tilting his head in attempts to hear better
30. What’d you say?

I’m Listening

I do this a lot because I have long ears. Covers up my ear holes, so when my mom talks to me, I turn my head sideways like this so I can hear her words better.

Listening is one of our super powers. Want to know what else? Read this.

Husky riding in the backseat of a car with her arm around her human's
31. We sure do love you stinky human things

Callie is very affectionate. She needs to be touched or be touching at all times.

I’ve told you before that Siberian Huskies, in general, have a heightened level of pack power. They need to be a part of a crew. This is a visual representation of Callie holding on to part of her crew.

This is a good thing. Let it happen when your dog extends a paw.


I sure hope this photo gallery was able to clear some things up for you guys. I’m pooped.

Also, I need to poop.

Jax out.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

Related Questions

Is My Dog Worried About Me?

Dogs are highly inquisitive and emotional beings. They have an intuition that acts as a superpower and the cuddly means to take care of you on the worst of days.

Often times what humans think of as worrying, is more about your dog feeling like they’re missing out on something with you.

Your dog has a desire to be around you 24/7 and when you’re not feeling well, are stressed out, or acting different in any way, they pick up on it often showing up to you like they’re worried.

Does My Dog Think About Me When I’m Gone?

Your dog thinks about you in episodic memory conditions.

Simply put, yes, your dogs have the ability to think about you when you’re gone. Especially if they’re in your house and surrounded by your things.

This is why a dog will stop eating if you leave them with a friend while you go on vacation.

Your dog misses you!

Just travel with them and there will be no more issues. 🙂

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.

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