39: Decoding Doodles’ Body Language (Pt 1)

Doodles speak a different dialect than other breeds- we are here to help you decode their ways of communicating with us and other dogs!


When you post that adorable photo of your doodle on social media, do you see what others are seeing? Can you read the doggie body language? (If you’re not sure, try taking the free quiz at this link!) This episode of The Doodle Pro™ Podcast – the first of a two-part exploration – is all about understanding the ways in which our treasured pets communicate with us, other humans and their doggy friends!  Emily Martin, owner and head trainer at Pawsitively Pets, is teaching us how to start reading the look in our doodle’s eyes, the anxiety behind certain body movements or facial expressions. You’ll come away with actionable tips, great resources and lots to think about the next time you’re watching your doodle interact at the dog park. And don’t miss Episode #40, a follow-up that will be full of lots more lessons about how you can learn to speak fluent doodle. It just takes awareness and some practice!

If you’d like to listen to, rate or review previous episodes of The Doodle Pro™ Podcast, please visit us here. And a full transcript of this episode is available at this link.


  • (00:00) A special shout-out to Lauren in Cleveland, and her Doodle of the Week, Crosby.
  • (02:39) Introducing Emily Martin, owner and head trainer at Pawsitively Pets in Denver, and the focus of this first of a special two-part episode all about doodle body language.
  • (04:55) About Emily’s background working with 120 species (everything from reptiles and mammals to insects and birds of prey) in a variety of zoo and other settings.
  • (07:24) Why doodles are special (which we knew!) and challenging (which they don’t have to be – once we understand and gently set expectations for their behavior!)
  • (09:33) How “meet and greets” can be helpful in understanding the nature of our doodles, what they like and don’t, what they can handle and cannot.
  • (09:56) Navigating the pitfalls of taking “walking teddy bears” out into the public realm. Do they want the interaction? Are our doodles feeling safe and protected? We don’t always have to say “yes” to friendly passersby!
  • (12:48) How to keep an eye out for people who understand dog body language and how to help people (including little ones) figure out how to get on your doodle’s wavelength.
  • (14:03) Why speaking our dog’s language – and hearing them before they have to get loud – is essential to good pet guardianship. And not necessarily intuitive for any of us!
  • (17:22) Taking a look at the causes of reactivity and learning how to intervene with our doodles without punishing 
  • (18:41) Tip #1: Before getting a dog, study up on the breed to understand how their communication styles – their style, pitch and intensity of communication.
  • (21:02) Tip #2: If your doodle is unpopular at the dog park, it may be that signature bouncy, sometimes barky, style. Consider your dog’s dialect and style and whether they’ve been adequately socialized.
  • (22:08) Tip #3: Much as in the human world, not all dogs are going to hit it off. Just like we all have different hobbies, animals all have their own styles and interests. 
  • (23:39) Tip #4: There are polite, appropriate ways for dogs to communicate “no thanks” to a dog whose style isn’t a good fit – and ways that we can help our doodles understand body language and read consent.
  • (26:00) A closer look at some of the types of body language and physical responses our dogs have in their “vocabulary” and how to look for (even the subtle) signs.
  • (27:21) Tip #5: Can’t see your doodle’s hair go up? You can look for signs of hyper-arousal in things like tension in the skin or muzzle, a curled lip, the whites of your pet’s eyes (if you can see them). It’s just a matter of learning what to look for!
  • (29:51) Tip #6: Want more access to your doodle’s emotions? Consider grooming accordingly, especially for visibility around the eyes!
  • (30:32) All dog breeds have their particular styles and looks, including things like the length of their noses, shape of their faces, type of tail or set of the ears.
  • (32:45) Thoughts on getting to know your pet’s “self-soothing” tactics and being on the look-out for “nervous kisses,” wide eyes or stressed-out behaviors.
  • (36:19) Remember: Social media captures your dog’s body language. Are you seeing what is there to be read?
  • (38:23) Stay tuned for lots more insights about how to read your doodle on upcoming Episode 40 – Part II – with special guest Emily Martin!


“It wasn't until I was really in the core of my exotic animal training degree that I understood why I (and lots of people) struggle with snakes … It’s because their body language is so hard to read.” (Emily)

“I found it so reassuring that you've worked with all these different species and, now that you specialize in pet training, you’ve validated sometimes our doodles are harder.” (Corinne)

“With our dogs, we are shaping behavior every moment of the day. We are reinforcing bad and good behavior all the time, so our dog's behavior is constantly morphing and changing.” (Emily)

“(As pet owners), we feel social pressure especially with doodles because we're walking around with what look like walking teddy bears and people are drawn to them like magnets.” (Corinne)

People need to learn how to speak dog. We are living with these wonderful four-legged friends every day and if we aren't speaking their communication and having a trusted relationship back and forth, there's something missing.” (Emily)

If your dog is a family member and in your home and you have that relationship and bond, then we need to be speaking their language and listening to them and communicating with them fairly and honestly.” (Emily)

“(Dogs use) bigger ways of trying to communicate to you after all the body language and their quiet messages have been ignored. If you can't read them … (it becomes) a big loud show when they're pushed that far.” (Corrinne)

If a dog is growling or showing you a little bit of teeth, those are all precursors that we need to pay attention to before we get to those … louder body language signals.” (Emily)

(Dogs) all speak dog. Yes. But there's going to be some differences in the way that they speak and the way that they communicate.” (Emily)

“Once you're fluent in dog body language, you can't stop hearing what the dogs are trying to say to you or to whoever they're around. And it's impossible to ignore what they're saying once you know it.” (Corinne)






Grab the dog body language book recommended in this episode:

free dog body language quiz the doodle pro pawsitively pets

Test your Doodle Body Language knowledge with our FREE quiz!

Listen to this episode to learn more about:

  • Dogs body language meanings
  • Reading anxiety in dogs body language
  • Dog body language with other dogs
  • Dog body language quiz
  • Dog body language and facial expressions
  • Dog language belly up and rolling on back
  • What does dogs body language mean
  • Dog body language book
  • Dog body language with other dogs

Read Full Transcript.

Listen to Part 2 of our interview.

Subscribe to The Doodle Pro Podcast Now: 

Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsOvercast

have a pawsome day!


Leave a Reply

corinne the doodle pro

oh hey there!

I’m Corinne, The Doodle Pro™


That’s why I, The Doodle Pro™, do things differently.

All of my training methods are positive, research-based, and Doodle-specific. 

Untitled (200 × 300 px)

Free Doodle Personality Quiz!

Do you know your doodle as well as you think you do?

Best Brushing Tools for Doodles



For my client teams who have brains with bicker coats, it’s doing that every day. Assessment, feeling fur, lumps, bumps. Are there any mats in

Read The Post


Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Lot of our doodles have some Velcro tendencies. Where are you able to go to the bathroom alone? Probably not. And

Read The Post