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Siberian Husky Body Language Explained (+ Emotions)

Siberian Husky Body Language
Siberian husky body language explained

As a dog owner, you’ve probably fantasized about your pet talking more times than you care to admit.

You’re not alone! Every husky owner has imagined a scenario where they can get inside their dog’s head and figure out their pup’s thoughts and emotions.

Sadly, our wolfy canines can’t really speak (barking doesn’t count!) and we can’t read their minds. The good news is, there’s a way to understand your husky known as reading the body.

Today’s article explains the husky body language and shares a complete guide to all the signs you should know.

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Understanding Husky Body Language

Now that we’ve established body language as a means of non-verbal communication between us and our canine friends, you should know the sites for picking up those physical signals.

In other words, what parts of your husky’s body show the signs involved in body language?

The answer is both easy and complicated.

You see, almost every spot on your husky’s body can be an indicator of its thoughts and feelings. 

Since there are many indication sites, you get more chances to understand your pup. However, the abundance of indicator spots can also make it overwhelming for owners to grasp what every change in each spot means.

When trying to decipher husky body language, the following are the hot areas to observe:

  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Face
  • Mouth
  • Tail
  • Hackles
  • Posture

How to Interpret Husky Body Language

To interpret your husky’s body language, you need to first understand that your wolfy dog will use more than one non-verbal cue at the same time when conveying a single feeling or thought.

In other words, your interpretation of your husky’s body language should take into consideration all the gestures (the entire body) given at the time, not just one feature.

Additionally, you need to notice how those physical gestures match the husky’s immediate environment. Context plays an important role in understanding a dog’s body language.

Understanding body language is key to a happy husky and safe environment.

Body Parts

Here are the most common gestures in husky body language and their meanings:

Ears

If your husky’s ears are perked up, then they’re alert and listening closely to their surroundings.

If the ears are drooping off to the side, then your pup is likely at ease and relaxed.

If the ears are pulled back, then your husky is probably scared, anxious, or uncomfortable.

Husky Ears Position Meaning
This husky puppy’s ears are alert and listening! 😍 Image from @brennaandthejets

Eyes

If your husky’s eyes are gazing softly, then they’re likely happy and playful or just neutral.

If the eyes have a hard and focused gaze, then your husky is probably feeling wary of the environment and is alert.

If the eyes are averted to avoid eye contact, then your husky is likely scared, uncomfortable, or showing submission.

If the eyes are showing some of their white portions, then the husky may be afraid, anxious, or stressed.

Face

If the face is relaxed, then you’ve got yourself a happy or excited husky.

If you note a tense face, then the pup is likely wary and alert. A tight face can also be a sign of fear in huskies.

Mouth

If your husky is licking its nose unprompted (you’re not petting it or playing together), then it’s an indication of stress. If you notice a pattern in nose licking, it may be related to a health issue.

If the mouth is slightly open with a bit of tongue showing, your husky is probably happy or relaxed.

If the mouth is tightly shut, your wolfy dog is probably anxious, fearful, or alert.

If your husky is yawning when it doesn’t make sense, they could be feeling stressed, wary, or trying to show submissiveness.

Tail

Husky Tail Position Meaning
This husky’s tail position says, ‘I’m excited and ready to play!’ 😀 Image from @cassandra.felice.editor

If your husky’s tail is wagging while in a neutral position (by the ankles) or slightly raised, then you’ve got a happy husky on your hands.

When the tail wagging is rapid, it can be a sign of excitement or stress depending on the situation. A slow tail wag can indicate wariness.

If the tail is standing erect, then your husky is likely alert or excited.

If your husky is tucking its tail between its legs, then it’s probably feeling scared or showing submission.

Hackles

The line of hairs running along the husky’s spine, extending from its neck to its tail, is known as hackles. They’re connected to muscles below the skin that control the position of the hairs.

If your husky raises its hackles, it’s an indication of either stress, aggression, or fear. It’s also a sign of being reactive.

Posture

If your husky has a relaxed posture, this means it’s at ease and feeling happy. If it has a stiff posture, then it’s alert or anxious.

Cowering or bowing is usually a sign of submission or fear in huskies as they try to look smaller.

A confrontational or fearful husky may buff up its posture to appear bigger and more threatening.

Feelings

Here are the most common emotions conveyed by husky body language and their signs:

Happy

  • Relaxed posture
  • Relaxed face
  • Neutral ears
  • A neutral or wagging tail
  • Slightly open mouth with tongue showing
  • Soft eyes
Happy Husky
Now this is a happy husky! 😊 Image from @thehappymuggle

Scared

  • Hunched posture
  • Tense face
  • Tightly closed mouth
  • Yawning or lip licking
  • Tail tucked between legs
  • Averted eyes
  • Flat ears

Excited

  • Relaxed posture if happy, tense if dominant
  • Upright tail 
  • Raised hackles
  • Erect ears

Stressed

  • Lip or nose licking
  • Bowing or cowering
  • Yawning (for no apparent reason)
  • Raised tail
  • Flattened ears
  • Raised hackles

Alert/Anxious

  • Tense posture
  • Erect ears
  • Upright tails
  • Intense gaze
  • Tightly closed mouth

Aggressive/Confrontational

  • Upright posture, leaning forward slightly 
  • Staring eyes
  • Wagging tail
  • Raised hackles
  • High raised tail
  • Erect ears

Submissive

  • Soft eyes
  • Tail low and wagging or tucked between legs
  • Bowing
  • Pinned back ears
  • Averting eyes
  • Licking and yawning
  • Rolling on the back

Final Thoughts

Although many gestures are part of husky body language, your dog may not show all of them.

Your wolfy canine is ultimately an individual, so it’ll probably take you some time to figure out its unique communication cues.

Remember that a correct interpretation of your husky’s body language has to include more than one physical gesture and take into account the context of the situation.

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Author
Max Jacobs
Max Jacobs is the owner and lead author of Husky Gifts. He loves spending time with his family, who have two huskies. Max loves to write and is passionate about creating interesting and engaging content. To learn more, visit the team section of the about page.

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