A wagging tail indicates emotional arousal, not necessarily happiness. Speed, direction, and position provide clues about the dog's emotions and intentions.
Raised hackles indicate dog's arousal - not always negative. Could be upset, stressed, excited, or intensely interested. Involuntary response, like goosebumps in humans.
Weight distribution reveals mood & intention. Cowering/hunched = fear/stress. Rolling on back ≠ relaxation, often indicates stress. Forward weight shift = interest/offensive intentions. Play bow = invitation to play. Raised paw = uncertainty/insecurity.
Dog facial expressions differ from humans. Yawning = stress relief, not tiredness. Lip-licking = discomfort. Dog "smiles" = submissive, not aggressive.
Eyes reveal dog's internal state. Soft eyes = calm/happy. Hard eyes = negative/aggressive. Hard stare = threat. Looking away = calming. Whale eye = anxiety/stress.
Use a gate to clearly designate the nursery as off-limits and choose one that fits your entryway and dog's size