Your dog's body language can tell you a lot

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Animal behaviorists can diagnose problems in dogs by watching their body language for subtle signs of stress. Some pointers:

• Study your dog's behavior when a stranger comes to the house or when it encounters a new dog on the sidewalk. "If I see another dog that's hunched down, holding their breath, that's a bad situation," Old Town Dog Behavior owner Hilary Bolea says.

• Watch your dog's mouth, and the muscles along its back, for signs of tension. If they're tense, your dog is stressed.

• Study your dog to learn what motivates it. Yody Blass of Companion Animal Behavior says, "Look for what gets them going, interested, doing things."