Dogs are one of the intelligent animals among the domestic pets. They have the ability to communicate with humans, other dogs and even other animals. They do this by using body signs and different vocals. The signs are made with the help of body movement involving eyes, ears, eyebrows, head, mouth and tail. Different vocals include barks, howls, growls, whimpers and whines. Dogs do gestures whose meaning can change depending on the situation. Like if a dog pants, it can mean that the dog is feeling hot or the dog is happy or anxious.
Confident and higher ranked dogs have a high held tail. Dogs have the feeling of submission and dominance in them. This is because the dogs live in packs, in the wild. They have hierarchy within the group. The weaker dogs submit themselves to the stronger dog. That is the reason why dogs lower their tail when they feel insecure. When the dogs fight for dominance, the fur on their tail stands up. They and even other animals, do this to increase their size in front of their enemy.
When the dog is in a confused situation, it wags its tail slowly. They are in a process of figuring out whether they should accept the situation or time or else, they have still not accepted the situation completely, but are in the process. Excited dogs wag their tails very fast. If the hip moves along with the tail, it means the dog is ready for submission to a dog of higher rank.
When the dogs get aggressive they show their fangs. If the teeth are visible, it indicates that the dog is ready to bite or attack. They also show teeth when they smile and this is an indication of submissiveness. Observing the number of teeth on display can differentiate a smile. Smile reveals only the front teeth, but when the dog snarls, all his teeth and gums can be seen. Ears are good indication about the attention levels of the dog. When the ears are erect and forward facing, means the dog is concentrating. But when the dog fears something, it lays down its ears. Some dogs hold the ears in forward and horizontal direction when they are happy.
In majority of the cases, barking is done to scare away stranger and to make the owner aware of an intruder. They also tend to bark while they are playing. They use to even convey emotions such as pleasure, fear, stress and suspicion. When the dog is excited or is playing, the barks are sharp and short. When they are stressed out or anxious, they bark repeatedly in a high pitch tone. They also bark to communicate with other animals such as cat, deer, squirrel, fox and other dogs. But the sound of barking is different.
Growling is done to threaten or to show superiority. Dogs howl when they make long-range communication. A dog yawns when it is bored and needs to be left alone. It also yawns when it is sleepy, stressed out or confused. When the dog pants with a full open mouth, it is happy. When it pants with a slightly open mouth, it needs to be played with. Dogs lift one forelimb up, when it wants to play. It will stamp its front limbs when it is excited. They scratch objects they want. Domestic dogs are trained for handshake, like human beings. They hold out a paw forward and exchange a handshake. If the dog tilts it's head in a particular direction, it means that it is trying to concentrate and recognize an unfamiliar sound.