Research from the Arizona Canine Cognition Center has found that dogs are incredibly emotionally intelligent, and have the same social intelligence as toddlers. It’s demonstrated by their ability to engage in what’s called “cooperative communication”... That means, communicating using physical gestures instead of verbal ones. Well, to take that a step further, researchers at the University of Salford in England have identified 12 body language gestures dogs use to communicate and translated what they mean. And contrary to popular belief, a lot of the gestures mean “pet me” and not “feed me.”

Some of the affectionate gestures include:

Rolling over in front of you…

Pressing their nose against you…

Licking you…

Lifting a paw and placing it on you…

Leaning on you…

Wiggling their bodies…

And weaving in and out of your legs.

Those are all signs of affection and requests to be petted or played with. Now, the dog body language that means “feed me” includes:

Offering a paw…

Tilting their head from side to side…

Standing on their hind legs…

Nudging your hand…

And using their mouth to throw a toy. You might think that’s a request for fetch, but according to the scientists, it’s actually a dog’s way of asking to be fed.

So now that you know how to translate your dog’s body language, you can be on the same page.