Every canine has different behaviours and traits in order for you to understand your dog you need to understand the behaviour the dog is displaying, understanding your dogs behaviour allows you to understand what is wrong with your dog what they are trying to relay to you. The main indicators in recogniseing different behaviours is the body language each dog shows or displays, a lot of the body language displayed by canines are the same throughout most breeds.
Each behaviour is accompanied by body language or body language is presented before the behaviour is carried out, dogs show body language to communicate with other animals and us humans.
When a dog shows submissve behaviour the dog is allowing another animal to be higher up in the hierarchy the body language that shows submissive behaviour is breaking eye contact, ears flattened on top of the head, licking other animals, sometime urinating occurs, body close to the floor, dog on its back showing its belly, image below shows a dog showing its belly submitting. Dogs choose to submitt rather than try to dominant another dog because they may not want to fight or take on the role of leader of the pack.
When a dog is alert this is when the dog concentrates, listens, stands and takes in its surroundings, the ears are upright, the body standing tall, tail straight not moving some dogs ears like german shephards will move to the direction of where the sound is coming from.
Fearful or Timid Behaviour
Dogs that present fearful behaviour may have inherited this from their parents, when going to purchase a pup you should ask to see their parents to see their behaviours to see if they are timid because if the dam is timid the pup learns this behaviourand it has a major impact on the rest of the dogs life. The body language that is shown in a fearful or timid behaviour is the dog may lay on its side, cower, hide in the corner to avoid any confrontation this is because the dog is not comfortable in the situation so submitts and shows it is fearful, their tail will be tucked under touching his stomach, the dog may freeze on the spot, other signs maybe urination and vocalisation .
There are many types of aggressive behaviours and there is a page on aggressive behaviour, The body language that accompanies aggressive behaviours can vary from lips drawn back exposing teeth with a snarl, head forward slightly lowered, eyes staring not breaking eye contact, body posture is in a position with the hackles standing up, the tail is straight up and fluffed out, dogs may use vocalisation may it be a sarl, growl or a bark. For more details on aggressive behaviours click on aggressive dogs on the left handside of the page.
All animals are curious, it takes some animals longer to come and see what you are and if you are interesting than others, some dogs will run straight up to you others may take some more persuasion. Their body posture will be a normal stance, not tense their tail possibly wagging, the dog may pace as he or she may be unsure whether to approach you, eyes wide open, ears will be pointed up, the dog may use vocalisation by whining or short barks.
When a dog presents friendly behaviour they will seem very happy to see you, no aggressive or dominant behaviour will be shown, the dog will be excited wagging his or hers tail, ears will be upright, mouth will be relaxed with a 'smiling' face, whole of the rear end of the dog wagging with excitement and happiness. This dog shows that he or she is no threat to you and just wants attention and someone to play with.
The dog displays this behaviour when he or she wants to play with you or another dog, the rear end of the dog is raised with the two front legs on the floor with the tail wagging in the air, eyes wide open, ears are perked up and are forward, dog may pant from excitement mouth relaxed, the dog may run up and down may also run in circles to show that it is inviting you to play.
Predatory behaviour may occur more in gun dogs as these breeds of dogs have behaviour traits to hunt other animals like rabbits or badgers, this can sometimes be a problem for the owner if the owner owns another animal may be a rabbit and the dog keeps try to hunt the animal however this can be stopped with training, it may take a long time as this is a natural instinct in the dog the problem would never be completely resolved as it is natural bred into him or her. Their body posture will be low to the ground ready to punce and chase the prey, there would be no vocalisation as this will give away the dogs position, the tail would be strainght and low to the ground, ears moving backwards and forwards listening to sounds in different directions, the dog will quietly sniff the air to locate where their prey is.