Getting to Know Your Dog: Behaviors You Should Note

dog owner

Dogs communicate with us in a way we may never fully understand. Their looks and behaviors mean something that we fail to recognize, thus leaving us annoyed, shocked, or confused sometimes.  But several actions reveal something about their feelings and well-being.

So it’s a must to dig deep into what those actions convey. It may also reveal something about you as a pet owner. Here are some of the most common behaviors or looks your dog is manifesting.

1. Puppy dog eyes

Who would not love those pitiful puppy eyes? But that look means that they love and trust you. Your dog deserves a hug and a tiny morsel if one day your dog greets you with that look.

2. Biting

Young dogs usually do this while playing. It also happens during a dog training class. It can be because they are anxious, fearful, or experiencing aggression. If this behavior irritates you, see a professional trainer or a veterinary behaviorist. They are the best source of help for this behavior.

3. Exposing their stomach, tails close to the belly, and legs up in the air

You may find this posture as strange, but it is not. It is a sign of submission. If it is accompanied by rolling, it only means they are enjoying themselves, whatever they might be doing.

4. Shaking their head

No, the dog doesn’t disagree with you. They usually resort to this behavior after being aggressive and alert. In short, they are relaxing this way.  It indicates that they are eagerly waiting for something.  It is also their way to signify that the game is over after a tiring play. Your dog can get tired and needs to reset their button.

5. Squinting or blinking of the eyes

A dog does this when they want attention and are eager for quality time with you. It is a signal that you might be too busy to notice them. So the next time you see your dog doing this, block off a schedule for bonding time with your dog. It works both ways. You satisfy their need for attention while it relaxes you. It is also an indicator of a delighted and playful dog.

6. Eating Poop

You may find this outrageous or disgusting. But there are reasons dogs do this, such as:

  • They had seen their mother ingest their feces while cleaning them.
  • They are afraid of being scolded if you see them poop.
  • They are curious about the smell of their poop.
  • They might be malnourished.


7. Barking and Yelping

They sense danger if their bark is loud and rapid.  A short and soft bark means they are being friendly and want to play. But a sudden and sharp bark shows they are in pain.

8. Sticking their tongue out

We usually misinterpret this as being hungry or thirsty. In reality, it signals that they are relaxed, happy, and mellow. It is also their joyful and excited reaction after getting the attention they long for.

9. Panting

This is similar to human reaction when heat is overwhelming. It shows they are overheating and can suffer heatstroke. They pant as their way of cooling themselves to regulate their temperature. It is also their way of relieving pain or stress.

10. Ears hanging back, snarling, and baring their teeth

These are signs of anger, aggression, and danger and should alert you. It also means they feel threatened and is their way of warning you of a potential enemy. Get away immediately, even if you are not the object of their anger, because you might still be bitten.

11. Digging

Dogs do this because they want to escape, track an animal, find an excellent spot to lie, or hide something important. Take time to inspect what is in the burrow. The valuables that you might be looking for might be hidden there.

12. Lip licking

It can mean submission. But this is their subtle way of dispersing their hormones in the air when they get a dog crush. Does it sound familiar?  This is also their way of greeting.  However, a long and prolonged lip-licking signals closeness, affection, and the desire for comfort.

Dogs are a man’s best friend; time and circumstances had proven that many times. Sometimes they are the best therapists for our grief, anxiety, isolation, and emptiness. But like you, they long for the same love, warmth, and care. Paying attention to their looks, posture, and behavior is the first key. Like in any relationship, it is only by knowing the other person that we build a connection. To know them is to love and care for them.



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