What Your Dog Is Trying To Say

Researchers (University of Salford) attempted to figure out what man’s best friend has been trying to tell us. They identified some 47 different potential gestures dogs use in an attempt to communicate. The researchers managed to “translate” 19 of them. Surprisingly, most of them mean “scratch me,” not “feed me” — though that’s right up there. Here’s a quick dog-to-human dictionary to help you translate your pup’s desires:


• Using its snout and head to move your hand on to its body

• Holding one paw in the air while sitting

• Turning its head from side-to-side, looking between a human and another object

• Standing on its hind legs

• Using its mouth to throw a toy forward


• Rolling over in front of you

• Pressing its nose against you or another object

• Licking you or an object

• Lifting a paw and placing it on you

• Gently biting your arm

• Short shuffles along the ground while rolling over

• Lifting a back leg while laying on its side

• Rubbing its head against you while leaning against you


• Briefly touching a person with a single paw

• Diving headfirst under a person or object

• Reaching a paw towards an object of interest

• Wiggling its body underneath a person or object


• Lifting both paws off the ground and placing them on its owner or a nearby object

• Jumping up and down, either on to an object or not, while in the same location