Last updated: 28 Oct, 2020
Published on: 9 Jun, 2014
Do you speak dog? - Whale eye
Effective communication with our furry family members is an important part of owning a pet, as it helps shape our interactions and relationship with them. In the realm of dog body language, ‘whale eye’ is a clear sign of your dog's current emotions and thoughts.
When your dog shows the whites of its eyes (usually a moon cresent shape in the corner of one eye), it’s known as ‘whale eye’. This is a clear sign that your dog is feeling anxious, threatened or stressed and needs to be given more space.
This expression is often seen when a hugged, picked up, approached when tied up, or when the dog feels a resource such as food or a toy is threatened. Whale eye actually occurs because your dog is averting their head but keeping their eyes fixed on the 'threat'. It’s considered a precursor to aggression - a sign the anxious dog may be about to bite.
In this situation it is important to act quickly, remove the source of the stress and help your dog feel happy and confident.
Let your dog know you are listening. Because every relationship needs good communication.