Although most dog owners will know that a wagging tail means that they pooch is happy, a low growl is a warning sign and raised hackles suggest they're angry, most of us are not quite as confident at recognising the signals they communicate with their eyes.
However, just like with humans, a dog's eyes can tell us a lot about how they're feeling and can be a great way of recognising emotions in our canine companions. Therefore, it is a good idea to know how our dogs communicate with their eyes and the emotions that their peepers can convey.
A pooch that is contented will look at you with soft, relaxed eyes that are gentle and in soft-focus rather than staring directly at you. If a dog glares straight at you then the chances are that they are angry, particularly if their eyes are hard, focused and unblinking. Dogs may show this when they are protecting their owner or eating their premium dog food and it this case it is best to back off.
But the time you should really be worried is if your pooch's eyes show the whites in a half moon shape, as this usually means that they're in an aggressive mood and may even bite or attack.
Another emotion that dogs can convey to us through their eyes is fear. A scared pup will tend to look away from whatever is causing the fear or will open their eyes wide, staring, squinting or taking sideways glances at the perceived threat. Again the eyes will usually be hard and unblinking or possibly darting backwards and forwards.
However, while a dog's eyes can tell us a lot about their emotions, it is best to consider all sorts of body language when trying to understand how our pets communicate with us. For instance, you'll notice that eyes movement, tail flicks and body posture all change depending on our pup's mood so it is also worth learning what all these signs mean if we want to truly understand our four-legged friends.
Written by: Hannah