Want to talk to your Dog? You may need a Dog Decoder.

Share Button

As a follow-up to last week’s Dear Labby post on the importance of new parents ability to read their dogs behavior in relation to the new baby, I wanted to review a new App we learned about last month.

It’s called Dog Decoder and it can be purchased through the iPhone App store for $3.99. The App presents a series of dog behaviors that signal certain emotional states of the dog – are they stressed, happy, fearful, about to bite? All of them are accompanied by a drawing of their spokesdog, Diamond, an explanation of the behavior and a body map that highlights the specific body signals your dog is displaying.

The Behaviors are broken into these six categories.

  • Emotional States (Smiling, happy, fear, curiosity, etc)
  • Greetings & Friendly (Greeting a person, greeting a dog, butt sniff,etc.)
  • Calming Signals (blinking, yawning, paw lift, etc)
  • Stress Signals (Scratching, drooling, look-away, etc)
  • Prey Drive/Play (Play bow, predatory stalking, etc)
  • Space Invaders (Tongue flick, guarding, warning, etc

There are over 50 body language signals included, so it covers a lot of ground.

The description that accompanies each image is short and concise and the body map that show the specific appearance of the dog exhibiting the behavior is very helpful. Here’s an example of the “Rolling” emotional state. I picked this because it is one of Jack’s favorite things to do.

dogdecoderThat pretty much sums up what’s going on in his head I’m sure (catch the video at the end of this piece).

Also included is a ‘test’ that shows you a picture and you have to guess what the dog’s body language is telling you as well as some definitions regarding some terms folks may not be familiar with such as calming signals and whale eye.

All in all, I really like the app (even though $3.99 is a bit steep for something I may never use again). I think it’s a great tool for families, particularly for people with young kids that they need to educate regarding the proper reading of dog’s body language. I can see it being used for their own children as well as with their friends that visit who may not be familiar with dogs or how to behave around them. For them, the $3.99 price would likely be more worth it.

For our Protective Parents that wrote in to Dear Labby on Tuesday, I would recommend they get it, first for themselves, so they can begin to read their dog better and eventually to use with their daughter when she gets older so she can learn more about what Blu is saying to her.

As promised, here’s Jack doing his ‘rolling’ behavior.


We were not compensated by Dog Decoder for this review.




We are joining the new Thursday Barks & Bytes Blog Hop Co-hosted by our friends at 2Brown Dogs and Heart Like a Dog. Grab the badge and join the fun!




Share Button


  1. Sometimes I wish Mom would stop talking to me…she is always babbling to us about stuff…we need a decoder for her! We actually got that app for free a while back, but it didn’t seem to work right or we couldn’t figure it out. $3.99 is rather spendy for it, though.
    emma recently posted…Life Between The Snowbanks | GBGV | Barks and BytesMy Profile

    • Agree – I bet for dog trainers who deal with a lot of different people and have to teach the owners the dog language it would be good. For your mom Emma…I think she already reads you pretty good.
      mkob recently posted…Want to talk to your Dog? You may need a Dog Decoder.My Profile

  2. I agree with Emma, I need a mom-decoder :o) But after 4 years with this woman I learnt that I have only to agree with her, of course she is a girl and girls are always right :o) Many thanks for a great review!
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog THUNDEROUS THURSDAYMy Profile

  3. hehehe is that a side effect of pred? roll and be happy as ever? lol Jack your just too darn cute. Sounds like a cool app but does seem a bit steep for me too. I like the free or .99 ones.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Thursday Barks And BytesMy Profile

  4. Leo & Wilson need a decoder….
    Cathy recently posted…LOST AND FOUND | WORDLESS WEDNESDAYMy Profile

  5. I like the idea, but think it might be better served as a book. I tend to run to my books for referencing faster than I do my phone and for people with small ones, the book would be a better option (IMO). Besides, I’m cheap about paying for apps. 😉

    Love the video of Slimdoggy Jack, you can tell he loves his rolls.

    Thanks for joining Barks and Bytes Blog hop!
    Jodi recently posted…So There’s This Giant Snowman…My Profile

  6. Interesting – haven’t heard of this app before! I get a little heartburn about paying for apps as it is (I’m incredibly cheap), so not sure I’d fork out $3.99 (USD, too! Our dollar is down right now – no thanks – lol). Maybe $0.99. Or a free trial. If even only to see how’d I stack up on the quiz. But not the price of a chai latte – I’d rather the latte for info I can otherwise Google for free 😉
    But you’re right – those who do indulge will probably get some good from it.
    As always, Jack is adorable!
    Jen K recently posted…What To Do If You Get Bit by a Strange DogMy Profile

  7. Sounds like a great app for families as you said. when I adopted my first husky (Mika) I made sure to studynany and everything I could about reading a dogs behavior. Given that I have 2 children, I really wanted to be able to know what was going on in her head.
    I’ve had dogs previous to my huskies, but not with children, so even though I knew the basics, when you have kids I think its important to know your dogs inside and out!
    Great post today and love your review!
    ((Husky hugz))
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…❇Thoughtless Thursday!My Profile

  8. That’s a seriously cool app for new dog owners. Thanks for reviewing it! I watched the first quarter of Up! again last week and this app makes me think of the talking dogs in Up! Wouldn’t life be easier if dogs could just talk?
    Flea recently posted…An Eclectic MixMy Profile

  9. Are you sure that Jack is rolling over. It looks like his having a lot of fun scratching his back on the bed/floor 😛
    weliveinaflat recently posted…Talk to the Paw, human!My Profile

  10. LOL Jack rolled himself right off his bed. 🙂

    That is an excellent idea for an app. Thanks so much for sharing it on Thursday Barks and (no bites) Bytes. 🙂
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–Getting Back To ItMy Profile

  11. I don’t need a decoder to tell that Jack is one happy dog! What a cutie <3
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…John Paul Pet Rules!My Profile

Comments are now closed on this post.