All living things on earth communicate. The way of communication is just different from one species to the other. Dogs communicate using body language, actions, and facial expressions, just like humans. However, since dogs have four legs and one tail, their communication method is quite different. Several ways in which dogs communicate include, but are not limited to, facial language/eye contact, body language, barking, grunting, tail posture, tongue flicking, sneezing and yawning, belly exposure, play bowing, leaning against you, etc. This method varies in different breeds of dogs. Bulldogs communicate in four major ways: barking, grunting, facial expressions, and body language. As a bulldog’s owner, taking your time to observe your dog’s actions and movement is crucial and beneficial for you and your dog’s happiness. Observing this not only allows you to recognize when your pet is in discomfort or stress but also allows you to respond to a potential problem before things get worse.

Let us take an in-depth look at the major methods of communication for bulldogs.


As a bulldog owner, you undoubtedly have watched your dog bark for different reasons. The most widely recognized reasons are for attention,  uncertainty, fear, and protectiveness over territory. As a puppy, your bulldog barks for communication and attention. Remember the first time you heard your little dog bark. There is a probability that it was the cutest sound you’ve heard from your pet. Your little dog figured out how to give you verbal lines to disclose to you he was hungry, thirsty, or wanted to play. As he grew up, he kept on communicating verbally through his barking. You probably wouldn’t have noticed it however you learned his language by deciding the sound, pitch, and length of the bark. This means of communication between the dog and its owner is healthy and fundamental to keeping up solid security. Bulldogs may also bark because they are afraid, it is their method of being courageous and alerting the cause of their fear that they mean business.

Facial Expression/eye contact

Another major way bulldogs communicate is with their face, specifically with their eyes. Steady eye to eye contact from your bulldog is his method of indicating his trust and love towards you. Consider it an unsaid ‘I love you.’ Avoiding eye to eye connection, then again, is an indication that your pet is scared, uncomfortable, awkward, terrified, or cowering after doing something naughty.

Other facial expressions include:

Whale eye: This is term is often used by dog trainers when a dog shows the white part of its eyes. This can be a sign of aggression if the body is relatively still and forward. If the body signal shows relaxation, it is likely it is not aggression.

Squinty Eyes: This indicates appeasement, which is a good thing. 

Hard eye contact: This is a hard, direct gaze which, if you are good at understanding or reading dogs, gives you the chills. It isn’t friendly. The eyes are penetrating, and there is close to little or no body movement

Ears: If the ears are pricked hard forward, it signifies your bulldog is aroused and alert. To decide if this is good or bad, read the body movement of the dog. If the ear is relaxed, then your dog is as relaxed as ever.

Mouth: When your dog is relaxed, their mouth should be closed or slightly open.

Understanding your bulldog’s expression has so much to do with the dog’s body language. Any time your pet makes a gesture, it is beneficial to understand its body gesture along with the facial expression to further understand its need.

Edited by: Ayelen Sforni

Picture: Pexels

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