Understanding a Yorkie’s body language is essential for building a strong and trustworthy relationship with your furry friend. The great thing about dogs is that they will not fake their emotions, and they will try to tell you how they are feeling. It’s important that as a dog owner, you learn their communication clues and watch out for any signals to determine your dog’s emotional state and overall comfort. The Yorkie Times wants to enlighten you on how to interpret canine body language to help you better understand your four-legged friend and to make you a great doggy advocate and responsible dog parent.

24 Yorkie Body Language Expressions

Wagging Tail 

The tail of a dog tends to confuse us humans the most, as we are naturally inclined to believe that a dog is happy when its tail is wagging. However, this is not always true. A wagging tail simply indicates that the dog is experiencing strong emotions. These emotions could be positive, but they could also be negative or frustrating.

To understand the dog’s emotions and intentions, pay attention to the speed and position of the tail in relation to the ground. Excited dogs hold their tails higher than a neutral position and wag them rapidly from side to side, often accompanied by wiggling their hips. 

A dog that feels unsure or anxious will also move its tail, but its tail will be a bit lower than its usual position and wag at a slower and more controlled pace. To determine whether a dog is wagging its tail out of happiness or nervousness, observe the overall looseness or stiffness of its body.  

Tucked Tail 

A dog showing a tail tucked behind its legs is a clear indication that it is scared, fearful, in pain, or uncomfortable. Dogs frequently tuck their tails between their legs when they are genuinely frightened of something or someone. Conversely, if your pet frequently tucks its tail without any evident cause for concern, it is advisable to bring them to a veterinarian.

Touching with Their Paws 

If your dog places its paw on you, it means “I love you”. We pet our canines as a way to demonstrate our affection and adoration. By placing their paw on you while you are stroking them, they are extending physical contact and reciprocating affection.  

Avoiding Eye Contact

Dogs that feel scared or anxious will frequently avert their gaze as if they are evading something. This behavior is commonly observed when reprimanding your dog or when your dog comes across a dominant or aggressive dog. Your dog may avert its head, intentionally avoid making eye contact with you, or ignore whatever is causing them distress.  


Canines narrow their eyes as a way to demonstrate a peaceful demeanor. If your furry friend narrows their eyes while gazing at you, it signifies affection and a yearning for your focus. Narrowed eyes in dogs also serve as an indication that they have no interest in engaging in vigorous playfulness or displaying even the slightest bit of hostility. Conversely, if your dog frequently squints their eyes, it could be a sign of discomfort or pain. In such instances, it is advisable to seek veterinary assistance. 

Head Tilts

Many dogs improve their auditory abilities by tilting their heads. By rotating their ears or their entire head, they can better determine the origin of the sound and enhance their clarity of hearing. Occasionally, dogs tilt their heads to align their ears toward the sound of your voice, enabling them to concentrate more effectively on comprehending your words. 

Yorkie Licking 

There are several reasons why dogs lick you. They might do it to express their fondness and adoration towards you. They may also do it as a way of looking after your welfare by grooming you. Alternatively, they may just find pleasure in the flavor of your skin, especially if you have remnants of a delicious treat on it. 

Ear Positions

When a dog’s ears are erect or, in the case of dogs with droopy ears, slanted forward, it means the dog is giving careful attention to something or someone. The dog is curious and vigilant and is responding to something unfamiliar in its surroundings.

When the ears are pressed against the head, it suggests the dog is feeling sociable. This is often observed when petting a dog, but ears tightly pressed back against the head may indicate fearfulness. This is frequently how dogs react to unfamiliar circumstances or individuals they are afraid of. There is a suggestion that this position safeguards their ears from harm by keeping them away from any teeth nearby.

If your dog has long, floppy ears, examine the bottom part of the ear to comprehend their communication. When your dog is at ease, their ears will be in a neutral stance. Neutral stance refers to the ears neither being pricked forward, hanging down, or flattened against their head. It doesn’t matter what breed the dog is, they are simply resting comfortably. 

Lifted Paw 

A lifted paw occurs when a canine raises one paw just a little bit above the surface. This gesture frequently suggests that a dog is unsure or possibly lacks confidence in a given situation.  


One simple observation of how dogs communicate through their body language is the playbow. This behavior involves a dog lowering its chest to the ground while lifting its rear end into the air. This friendly motion is a definite indication that your dog is feeling joyous and wants to engage in play with either you or another animal.  


If your dog is trembling or shuddering because of another person or dog, it indicates that your dog is experiencing fear. In the case of extremely cold weather, it is advisable to bring them indoors in order to keep them warm. Smaller dog breeds like Yorkies may be more inclined to shiver compared to larger breeds due to having less body fat and thinner fur. However, continuous shivering could potentially indicate that your dog is in pain or experiencing an illness.  

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Exposed Belly 

Most of the time, when dogs expose their bellies, it is a sign of trust and acceptance. It means that they feel safe around you and don’t think you will harm them. However, this behavior can also be a way for dogs to avoid conflict. In the wild, their wolf ancestors would use this submissive posture to show that they are not a threat and to ease tension in social situations.

If your dog is displaying this behavior, it could mean that they are anxious and are trying to request a peaceful interaction. This appeasing behavior is often seen in puppies. Sometimes, the dog may even release small amounts of urine to communicate their submissive status to a person or another animal.

Ignoring Situations

When a dog finds themselves in a demanding or unfamiliar circumstance, they may choose to avert their attention by sniffing the ground as a means of politely avoiding interaction and soothing themselves. This is a strategy employed by dogs to reduce tension since they commonly disengage instead of resorting to disruptive behavior. Additionally, canines feeling unsure or anxious in a situation might exhibit sudden scratching or licking of themselves.  


When dogs have a hunched posture, it signifies that they are experiencing fear and a sense of extreme vulnerability. By assuming this position, dogs attempt to make themselves appear smaller, almost as if they long to vanish completely. Additionally, dogs may adopt a hunched posture in instances of abuse, aggression, or reprimanding.  

Whale Eyes 

If a dog displays the whites of its eyes, it is referred to as having a whale eye. This indicates that the dog is experiencing anxiety or stress in a particular circumstance. This may occur when a dog is fearful that someone will take away its bone or toy. When a dog is feeling tense or stressed, its eyes might seem more spherical than usual. 

Hard Eyes 

When a dog gazes intensely at something without blinking, especially for an extended period of time, it typically indicates a warning. It signifies a hostile mindset, and it will be evident once observed. The dog’s posture is rigid and their jaws are clenched. The dog may be protecting a bone or experiencing heightened aggression. The dog is gathering all of its attentiveness for the imminent conflict.  


The mouth of a dog imitates the expressions displayed by human mouths. When a dog is joyful, its mouth will appear soft and relaxed, resembling a smile. Conversely, if a dog’s lips are tightened or its mouth appears tight, it indicates a state of tension.  


The general consensus among many individuals is that a dog who yawns is weary, however, this is not always the case. Among canines, yawning can also be an indication of stress and suggests that your dog is feeling apprehensive. Young dogs often exhibit this behavior when they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings or are in the presence of larger and more assertive dogs.

Should your furry companion yawn in response to your own yawn, it signifies a strong emotional connection to you. Recent research studies have revealed that dogs yawn persistently, and those that share a bond with their owners are more prone to yawning when their beloved humans do.  

Turning Their Back 

When your dog turns its back on you, it is showing that it feels friendly and trusts you. In the world of animals, turning away exposes them to vulnerability. Your dog believes that you won’t harm it from behind. By facing away from you, its teeth are farthest away, making it harder for them to protect themselves.  

Shaking Off 

The reason for dogs shaking after a bath is evident. It serves as their own method of drying. If your dog shakes without any stimulus like water, it is a way for them to release tension. It is likely that your dog experienced stress or encountered an unpleasant individual or creature. This type of shaking is frequently observed when your puppy jumps off the veterinarian’s examination table.  


Certain canines can become extremely energetic after experiencing stressful circumstances. They may exhibit erratic running, commonly referred to as getting the zoomies, in order to release built-up stress. These dogs may seem to be enjoying themselves, but they are often feeling overwhelmed and attempting to alleviate or evade the uncomfortable situation. The zoomies frequently occur when your dog has been confined in a crate for a prolonged period or after they have had a bath.  

Nose and Lip Licking 

The majority of individuals commonly believe that dogs lick their faces to clean up any leftover food, but this is not always true. Dogs may also lick their lips or nose as an indication of stress. Your dog is indicating to you that they are stressed or experiencing feelings of nervousness. 

Raised Hackles 

A dog’s hairs along its backbone are known as its hackles. When a dog’s hackles are raised, it signifies that the dog is stimulated, although not necessarily in a negative manner. The dog might feel stressed or upset, but it could also be experiencing excitement or intense interest in something. Baring teeth. If a dog displays its teeth without barking or growling, it often indicates territorial protection. This behavior is frequently observed when someone attempts to take food away from a dog who is eating. It is advised to never approach an unfamiliar dog or any animal while they are eating because they may perceive it as an attempt to steal their food. 

Looking for more amazing Yorkie facts that will open your heart to these wonderful little dogs? Stay tuned with us for more informative and fun posts on all things Yorkie related. If you are looking for a journal to track your life with your Yorkie, we have you covered with The Yorkie Times Dog Journal! We also have a wonderful Facebook community that you can join as well!

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