Even though a dogs facial expressions are not as complex as a humans, they do have expressions that get their messages across.
How to Read Your Dogs Facial Expressions
1. Face Muscles: Yep, dogs do have facial muscles that allow them to show a variety of expressions.
2. Dog Lips: Now, when a dog bares its teeth, that action does not always mean a dog is about to do something aggressive. When a dog is really pleased, and laughing, then they will move their lips back so that their incisors show. If a dog is ready to make an aggressive move however, then the dogs lips will be drawn back much further so that the pointed canine teeth are showing.
3. Dog Ears: Those dog ears are blessed with the ability to really move. A dogs ears will turn to follow a sound they have picked up, one that humans usually cannot hear. Even dogs whose ears drop down low can move them to a position of alertness. Those dogs who carry their ears erect at all times really do have the most expressive ear movements.
5. Dog Eyes: If a dogs eyes brighten up big time, then that is one happy dog! Some dogs will raise their eyelids when they are trying to figure something out or when they are surprised. The raised eyelids and a tilted head definitely send the message that a dog is trying to understand what is happening.
6. The Dog Stare: If a dog is fearful, then the dog will have a wide-eyed, wild look. The skin will be drawn back and the whites of the eyes and the pupils will be dilated if a dog is very frightened. Watch out for the dog that has constricted pupils, dares you or another canine to make eye contact and has its eyes fixed tight on your every move or the movements of another dog. Humans should never try to stare down a dog unless that person can handle a dog that takes that stare as a challenge and decides to attack.