Last post was specific to one idea about body language, but this one kind of covers everything else. Once you become familiar with these face and body expressions, it is actually pretty easy to understand what an animal is saying. I am going to cover everything by body part.
Ears – All animals have ears (duh), and use them to convey their emotions and their focus. If you are holding a treat in front of your dog, they more than likely have their ears forward to focus on you because they want that darn treat! It’s the same case with all other animals; they can easily tell you what their mood is and what they’re focusing on with their ears. If an animal has their ears pinned back, like all the way back on to their neck and not just facing backwards, this means that they are mad. To put it straight, they are angry at you or another animal and you should just leave the situation because you will probably end up with a bite or a kick or something ugly. If an animal, like a horse, is moving their ears around, its usually because they are listening for something. For instance, if I am riding my horse, she should have her inside ear pointing to the middle of the arena. This means shes listening to me and listening to the commands I am giving her. If her ears are shooting forward, that means something caught her attention in front of her. The same case happens if her ears are casually pointing backwards. Animals ears are almost like radar and you can use them to see what they have their attention on.
Mouth – This one is pretty straightforward. Just a reminder from the last post, but do NOT approach an unknown animal head-on. Not only is this seen as a threat, but you might get bitten or barked at or some other action that is seen as aggressive. So while you are approaching an animal, if they bare their teeth at you, that means they are mad. To avoid this situation, let them come to you or approach them at the shoulder.
Butt – This one is also straightforward. If an animal, like a horse, is facing their rear towards you, it means that they don’t really want to interact with you, they would rather be by themselves. If you need to catch the animal and don’t want to wait until they’re in a better mood, approach with caution! They might try and kick you! To resolve this situation, try and stay away from the hind end and approach more towards the front of their body. This will also resolve the fact that they would not be able to see behind them, too.
Honestly, those are the main things about body language that can help you figure out animal behavior. Animal behavior is a pretty interesting thing and body language can tell us a lot about how these animals show emotions. Just remember to trust your instincts when working with an animal. Get help from others more experienced and observing animals can help as well! If you want more information on animal behavior and body language, you can read tons of books on it or visit this website to get more information.