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Different Ways Dogs Say No – Part 2

Just like people, dogs have boundaries too. If you notice that your dog is feeling uncomfortable or hesitant in a certain situation, it’s important to respect their wishes and give them space. You can learn how to recognize when your dog is saying “no” through our earlier article and by looking out for these five warning signs we've listed below. Remember, your dog’s well-being should always come first.

Unusual Tail Wagging

When a dog or puppy wags its tail, we often assume that they are happy. While this is sometimes true, it’s important to note that a wagging tail can also indicate apprehension. If your pet’s tail is stiff and moves more like a stick than a freely-moving tail, this could be a sign of anxiety or discomfort with the current situation or cue you gave.

Tucking Their Tail

If your pet has a tucked tail, it could mean that they are being submissive. Perhaps they are uncomfortable with the current activity or surroundings. This behavior in dogs may indicate that they are stressed, so it’s important to help them relax until their tail returns to its usual position.

Territorial Barking

Dogs can also say no by barking. They will specifically bark to warn strangers or other animals to stay away from their territory. According to the ASPCA, areas your dog may consider their territory include your home, the immediate area surrounding it, your vehicle, and any other places you frequent with them. You can tell your dog is barking to mark their territory by how they sound. This type of barking is often excessive and may also include a bit of growling. Consider enrolling your pet in a dog training class to help reduce their territorial barking habit.


If your dog is yawning frequently in an unfamiliar situation, it may not necessarily mean they are tired. It could be a sign that they are feeling stressed and reacting to the situation.

Shaking Their Fur

Last but not least, your dog may also say no by shaking their fur. Unlike a full-body shake during or after being wet, a shake like this can indicate that your dog is feeling mildly stressed.
Understanding your dog or puppy’s behavior can make you a more responsible pet owner. I hope the tips provided in this article have given you useful insights. Use these tips to help strengthen your bond with your pet.

Need more help with your dog saying no or refusing your commands? Schedule a complimentary call with our dog trainer Cathy today: https://app.10to8.com/book/zxznlfrciytyebkoug/. To learn more about her dog training approach, watch the short video on our dog training page.



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