Dog’s Behaviors

Dog’s Behaviors, we know a lot about how dogs experience the world through their body language. Dogs exhibit a variety of demeanors and actions that allow us to have a better understanding of how they are feeling and what they need. In this way, caregivers are better able to build positive relationships with their dogs, one that is based on trust and understanding.


Do you know the real reason why your dog wants to show you their toy or why their tongue hangs out to the side? Check out the following common dog behaviors so that you can better understand your dog and become a better companion and caregiver for it.

Long Legs

When your dog gets up on his hind legs, it can have a number of meanings. One of these is a sign of affection. Like humans, sometimes they just want to hug you.

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But, if they get up on their hind legs while interacting with other dogs it can be a sign that they’re feeling playful. If they aren’t growling or acting aggressively, then this is just their way of playing.

Chewing on the Furniture Doesn’t Mean They’re Hungry

Just like growing children, puppies will want to chew on toys and other objects in order to relieve the pain of growing teeth. But, if your pet is always chewing the furniture and they aren’t a puppy anymore, this could be a sign of something else. It can be a sign that they aren’t getting enough physical activity and need a way to get their energy out.


You can start by getting them out of the house for a walk. While this won’t solve everything, it’s a good starting point. You can usually tell when your dog isn’t getting enough exercise and this is one telltale sign.

Why Dogs Bark

Barking has several purposes and it depends on the situation, how the dog barks, and what’s in their environment. If a dog is barking loud and frequently, it could indicate a degree of urgency. They may be sensing danger approaching and are trying to let you know.


If a dog is barking short and soft barks, they might want you to play with them. If a dog barks loudly then it could be a sign that they’re in pain.

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Not Always Fetch Time

There are several theories as to why your dog sometimes brings you a toy. One of them says that they think of you as their alpha and they want to gain your respect. Another theory says that it’s your dog’s way of showing his trust in you, by bringing you its most prized possession.

It can also mean that are happy to see you. In this case, throwing the object away can hurt the dog’s feelings. So the next time your dog brings you a toy, try holding on to it to see if it makes your dog happy.

Yawning Doesn’t Only Express Exhaustion

While humans yawn only when they feel tired or sometimes bored, it’s not the same way for dogs. One reason could be that they feel safe around you and trust you. In nature, animals yawn as a sign of submission. When your dog yawns 15 times, you can be sure that they’re very relaxed. But, yawning also may indicate anticipation or stress.

When your dog is waiting in the vet’s office, he may yawn repeatedly as a way to deal with nervousness. Dogs may also yawn before going on a walk, as a way to control their enthusiasm.

Wiggling Like a Caterpillar

If you think your dog looks happy when it gets into a good wiggle, kicking its legs up in the air while wiggling around on its back, well you’re right! At least, most of the time.

Sometimes your dog might be excessively wiggling as if to reach an itch or another irritation. Or sometimes, this might be their way to get your attention. Why not stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and give them attention?

Looking at You Before You Leave

One thing that makes owners particularly sad when they leave is the look on their dog’s face as they walk out. Oftentimes, the dog will have a calm look on its face. Dog owners, don’t be mistaken, their calmness isn’t a sign of sadness. It shows that while they’re sad you’re leaving, they know you will be back. You have gained their trust and they are calm because they know they can count on you to return later on.

Why Your Dog Paces Back and Forth


f your dog paces back and forth, this can be for a number of reasons. Your dog may be bored, nervous, or excited. Like humans, they also pace around the room. If your dog is pacing around you in circles, it can be a sign that they want to play with you. They want to know whether you are open to playing.

When two dogs meet, it’s common that they will chase each other. This isn’t something threatening or something to fear, it’s just their way of playing.

Pointing Its Snout

When a dog freezes up and points its snout toward something specific, this is called pointing. They might also lift one of their front paws while doing this. Dogs bred for hunting do this often, but also every dog does it at times.

Veterinarian Dr. Ellen Vindell told Vet Street, “dogs are just dogs, and there are certain behaviors that probably any dog that’s a dog can do…. You’ll see a sporting dog who circles like a herding dog, and you’ll get some herding dogs who point.”

Pointing Its Snout

When a dog freezes up and points its snout toward something specific, this is called pointing. They might also lift one of their front paws while doing this. Dogs bred for hunting do this often, but also every dog does it at times.

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Veterinarian Dr. Ellen Vindell told Vet Street, “dogs are just dogs, and there are certain behaviors that probably any dog that’s a dog can do…. You’ll see a sporting dog who circles like a herding dog, and you’ll get some herding dogs who point.”

Yawning Can Be a Sign Of Discomfort

While yawning can be a sign that your dog feels comfortable, it can also express something completely different. If your dog is yawning a lot in public, it’s not a sign that they’re tired and ready for their afternoon nap. It can actually express that they feel uncomfortable and anxious.


If you’re in an unfamiliar place and you notice your dog doing this, stay aware of this so that you can be there to comfort your dog and give it some love.

Tilting Their Head to the Side

A lot of people speak to their dogs in a higher pitch. When you’re talking to your dog in your “doggie” voice they sometimes tilt their head to the side as if to understand what you’re saying. Dogs are very good at reading and responding to your body language and vocal cues.

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They’re capable of recognizing different words so it’s possible that they are listening for words and inflections they associate with fun activities like a treat, walk, or outside. Some experts believe that dogs tilt their heads to the side in order to adjust their outer ears to better pinpoint the noise.

Sniffing the Air

Dogs use their noses for several purposes. In fact, dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors while humans have only 5 million. Dogs are dominated by their noses and can smell at least 1,000 times better than humans. When they are sniffing the air, it could be a sign that they sense danger approaching or that they’re trying to track prey.

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During this, they will remain completely still. They stay absolutely silent so that their prey won’t see them. Dogs are able to smell the difference between individuals — both dogs and people. They can smell the difference between family members, even identical twins!

Flipping Their Tongues Up Means They’re Sorry

When a dog feels like they’ve done something wrong, it’ll stick its tongue out and flip it up as a way of apologizing. They know that they did something wrong and are apologetic.


When they do this, they may also try and put on an innocent face because they know that their owners are suckers for their cute faces. They’ll do this even when they do something like peeing on the floor.


Unlike humans, dogs don’t only stretch after waking up from a nap or in order to stretch out their muscles. Rather, stretching can also symbolize affection and love for somebody.

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When you come home and your dog is stretching, that doesn’t mean that they were sleeping. They are showing you that they’re excited to see you so give them some love and affection in return.

Exposing Their Belly Is a Sign of Respect

When a dog exposes its belly to you, it shows that it respects you and is being submissive. It might also be a sign that he wants to play with you. You can encourage them to continue this behavior by rubbing their belly.

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If you do rub their belly, then they’ll want to continue this behavior as they’ve learned that you are going to give them a nice massage every time they do this. But, a dog can also roll on its back when they’re being attacked by another animal.

Tucking Their Tail

When your dog is in distress, it may tuck its tail between its legs. Dogs do this when they are feeling uncertain, nervous, scared, guilty, or ashamed. It’s usually not a good sign.

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If you observe your dog doing this, you should comfort it and make it feel safe. You can do this by using pets and a soft voice. Doggie treats can also do the trick.

Why a Dog Raises Its Paws

When your dog raises their paws, it can mean that they want something from you or they want to play. Mostly puppies and younger dogs exhibit this behavior.

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When a puppy wants to eat, it will raise its paws to touch its mother. If your puppy does that to you, it can mean that they want some love and affection from you.

Their Tails Say as Much as Their Eyes

You probably know this by now, but when a dog wags its tails, it’s a sign of extreme happiness and excitement. But if they hang their tail down while wagging it, it can be a show of submissiveness.

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It can also be a sign that they are confused, sad, or unwell. When they wag their tail high it can show that they’re ready to play and are very alert. Their tail says almost as much as their eyes do.

Dragging Its Bum

If you’ve seen your dog dragging its bum across the floor, you might think it looks pretty funny. But actually, this is a cause for concern. This behavior is known as scooting and is usually because your dog has an impacted anal sac that they are trying to release. Some breeds are impacted by this more than others.

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It is very uncomfortable for the dog when it happens and you should get your dog to the vet ASAP so that they can drain the organ.

Why Your Dog Lays on Your Feet

Dogs love laying right on their owners’ feet whether you are sitting at dinner or watching television on the couch. This sweet sign shows your dog’s loyalty and desire to protect you. They want to be as close to you as possible. And if you try and get up, they won’t have a problem with letting you move.


This behavior is another one that has been passed down from their ancestors. Dogs love to sleep with their pack. If you are a good and trusting caregiver, then the dog will consider you as their family. They also consider you the leader of their pack.

Lean on Me

Does your dog ever lean on you when you’re hanging around? While you may not even notice that they are leaning some of their body weight against you, this is a sign that they’re hugging you. It’s not that they’re lazy and can’t stand up on their own but it’s their way of connecting with you.

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Next time you notice your dog doing this, don’t nudge them off of you. This can be hurtful. Instead, you should allow them to express their affection for you.

Why They Tackle You to the Floor

Does your dog tackle you to the floor right when you walk through the door? This isn’t their way of annoying you or trying to get your attention. They are just so happy to see the person they love the most in the world.

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They’ve been waiting around the house all day for you to get back from work and are so happy that you are finally home! Just like humans jump for joy or embrace each other with big hugs, dogs also jump for joy. Jumping in other situations may be a sign of something less joyous, like your dog trying to assert dominance over you.

Flicking Their Ears

When a dog flicks their ears, it means that they’re listening. This is actually what most animals do to listen. When they hear a sign which isn’t familiar to them and they’re trying to figure out what it is, this is how they react.

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If you see your dog flicking their ears, let them figure out for a second what it is that they’re listening to. It’s also adorable for you to see your dog being so observant and inquisitive.

Licking Themselves

It’s a known fact that dogs, like most animals, lick themselves to clean their bodies. If your dog gets messy, there’s a good chance that it’ll lick himself clean.

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But licking can also indicate pain. If a dog licks its legs and paws a lot, particularly near the joints (common in dogs with arthritis) you should check it out at the vet to make sure everything is okay.

Wrinkling Their Muzzle

Dogs have different ways of showing their varying moods. Of course, not all of them are positive. When a dog wrinkles their muzzle, it is most likely a sign of them being aggressive.

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If they show their teeth and snarl, you should take this as a sign that you need to remove them from the situation they are in. These kinds of actions can mean that your dog is prepared to attack if they feel it’s necessary.

Playing Detective

Have you ever been on a walk with your dog when they suddenly stop dead in their tracks and put their foot up in the air? While you may think that they stepped on something and hurt themselves, this behavior is completely normal. What they are doing is actually trying to figure something out that caught their attention.

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It’s a sign that their brains are working. While lifting their paw they might also start to sniff like crazy. So, you can just chalk this behavior up to your dog being Inspector Gadget.

Straightening Their Tail

When a dog sticks their tail straight in the air, it can be a show of confidence or excitement. Some dogs do this when they meet other animals or dogs. If their tail stays erect and is a little shaky, it is a sign that they expect a challenge.


When a dog feels happy, content, and loved, its tail is usually more leveled with its body. But if their tail is low or between their legs, it could mean that they feel insecure.

The Cute Side Tongue Means Something

When a dog has his tongue hanging out of his mouth on one side, it’s a sign that he feels calm and happy. You may often see your dog like this after going for a walk or playing fetch. But, if your dog has his tongue to the side more often than not, it can be a reason to worry.


This condition may be the “hanging tongue syndrome.” This is usually the case with breeds with flattened noses like boxers or bulldogs. If your dog is like this, get them to the vet.

Why Do Dogs Dig up the Yard?

No, he’s not just evil and trying to ruin the new flower bed you’ve planted. Digging for dogs is an instinctual activity written deep in their DNA, especially in terrier breeds. Dogs usually dig in the yard to hide or uncover their valuables, like toys or bones. Feral dogs may dig holes to uncover prey under the ground in tunnel systems.

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They also bury their dead young much like humans. If you want your dog to stop this behavior then you’ll want to properly train them. Otherwise, they’ll continue this innate behavior.

The Reason for Biting

Being bit by a dog isn’t a pleasant experience. But actually, a bite can indicate affection and that the pup wants to play. When dogs play together there’s often a lot of biting involved. There is nothing aggressive about this behavior.

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A dog will bite a person as a way of communicating their current state of mind. The dog could be reacting in aggression, fear, or nervousness. There are, however, ways to prevent a dog bite from ever happening if you stay in tune with the dog’s body language.

If They Sleep With You, They Love You

Does your four-legged friend prefer to sleep with you instead of their dog bed? For dogs, this behavior is one that has been passed down from their ancestors who slept together for warmth and security. Your dog wants to feel close to you, protected, and warm. It also is a sign that your dog adores you and wants to be close to you at night.

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Your dog can also make you feel more loved and protected while you are sleeping, thus positively impacting your sleep.

Paw Five

You probably don’t appreciate being slapped by another human — most likely, that person is upset with you. If your dog slaps you with his paw, this isn’t exactly a sign that he’s angry with you. Actually, it can be his way of trying to get your attention.

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However, a dog slapping another dog is a different story entirely. It is a sign of trust, that the dog trusts the other. It’s basically how humans pat each other on the back, which is a friendly or congratulatory gesture.

After Meal Cuddles

Does your dog come to cuddle you after eating? Just like sleeping in your bed at night, this could be another sign of their love for you. After a meal, just like many humans, dogs want to take a good nap. And, they want to be near their favorite person when they do it.

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Actually, this is an intense way for canines to express their adoration of their favorite human, you! Just a tip, if your dog tends to do this, watch what you feed them. You don’t want any gas passing while they’re cuddling up against you.

Why Your Dog Pants

No, panting doesn’t mean that your dog is out of breath or about to have a heart attack. Actually, this is the way that dogs cool off when they’re overheating. Because they aren’t able to sweat like humans, this is their own way of lowering their body temperature.

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If you see your dog panting, it’s a good time to give them water. Another reason for panting may be that your dog is trying to alleviate pain or stress. Most dogs pant on the reg, but it’s important to monitor this and make sure they have all their needs being met.

Eye Movements

In some aspects, dogs are very similar to humans in how they relay their emotions. Much like humans, they show a lot of their emotions in their eyes. When they’re sad or tired, they look down to the ground. When they’re excited, they open their eyes wide open and look around excitedly.

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When they want something, they’ll look at you and perhaps raise their eyebrows as if they’re asking you a question. For a lot of dogs, you can tell how they’re feeling by looking at their eyes rather than at their tail.

Why Your Puppy Bows

A dog bows for several reasons. The way that they bow is by lowering their heads and keeping their body erect. Most of the time, it is a sign that they want to play. They might add in swinging hips or start wagging their tails in a wild and excited manner.


This is the most common sign your dog will give you when they want to play. Dog trainers call this the “play bow.”

Walking in Circles Before Lying Down

Sometimes your dog may walk in circles before they lay down. If you’re wondering why they do this, it actually is a habit that perhaps their wolf ancestors passed down to them. Wolves do this before they lay down in order to flatten leaves or debris that have made their resting spot uncomfortable.

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While your dog probably doesn’t have any debris lying around their dog bed or kitchen floor, they seem to have retained this habit and it’s quite funny to watch them do it.

The Meaning of Howling

Some people may try to quiet their dogs when they howl but there’s a reason for your dog doing this. This is a dog’s way of yelling. Just like yelling is a way for humans to release any angry feelings they have inside, dogs do the same thing by howling.

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Owners assume that dogs howl in order to assert their dominance but in reality, they are doing so because it feels good for them to do it.

Hugging With Their Eyes

If your dog gives you puppy eyes, then this is a really good sign. Most dog owners think that puppy eyes are a sign that their dog is trying to get their attention by being cute. But actually, puppy eyes are a show of their affection for you and their way of hugging you.


This adorable look of innocence is a sign that they adore you and are looking for you to hug or kiss them. If your dog looks straight into your eyes and stares at you, you should be very happy because it shows that your dog is crazy about you!


While you may think your dog is trying to yodel, this may be your dog trying to communicate with you. In fact, many owners swear that their dogs can speak to them.

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A writer for an animal journal comments about his dog’s yowling: “Our German Shepherd rescue, the sweetest dog we have ever owned (unless you happen to be a cat), is 9. She ‘ talks ‘ about everything! Grumbles, over being denied a cat lunch, has 5-minute conversations over going out for a walk, exchanges pleasantries (you would swear) over how happy she is to see someone.”

Eating Poop

It’s extremely disgusting, but it’s not that uncommon. When a dog starts eating its own or other dogs’ feces (also called coprophagia), it usually comes down to one of two things; either it is a behavior that can be corrected through training, or it is a sign of malnutrition.


The best thing to do is to take your dog to the vet if it starts doing this too often. If your vet rules out any nutrient deficiency or medical reason, then it’s time to go to a trainer to help your dog break the habit.

Chasing Their Tail

Tail-chasing, in most cases, is simply a sign of playfulness, but keep an eye out if your dog starts doing this excessively. It might mean there’s a health or behavioral issue behind it; for example, if your dog chews at his tail when he catches it, then he might have skin allergies or anal glands that need to be emptied at the vet.


If your dog starts chasing its tail all the time and in an obsessive manner, it may be a sign of OCD. Yes, this affects animals, too. You’re better off checking with your vet, just to be on the safe side.

Licking People

When your pup licks you it’s usually to say “I love you”, or to seek out your attention. Also, you can taste pretty good; don’t forget we have nutrients and minerals in our skin.


If the licking becomes too intense, training your dog to not do this can be done with basic training. The best way to go about this is to ignore your dog when it licks you and reward it with a treat when he stops. Oh and that myth about dogs’ saliva being cleaner than humans’? Just a myth.

When Dogs Hump

Humping is a very common and natural behavior in dogs. And contrary to what most people may think, it is not always sexual in nature, or a dominance thing, for that matter. Dogs can hump other dogs, objects, or people, and it’s usually a playful activity for them.


Unless the other dog is bothered by the humping, there’s really no harm in them doing this. Objects, not really a problem unless it bothers the owner, and if the humping is with people, then you might want to break the habit for other peoples’ sake.

Sniffing Other Dogs’ Butts

You’ve surely heard the line, “Can you imagine if people greeted each other like that?”, amongst your dog-owning friends when referring to dogs’ butt-sniffing. Well, there’s obviously a reason behind this; since a dog’s sense of smell is at least 10,000 better than a human’s, they use their nose to learn about the world around them.


Dogs learn about each other by sniffing each others’ butts; they can learn about the other dog’s gender, reproductive status, temperament, diet, and more.

Dog Squinting or Blinking

Surely, you’ve been emotionally manipulated or just brought to a puddle of “awww” from the cuteness of seeing your dog with that slight squint, looking straight at you. When your dog squints or blinks, it usually means he’s looking to get your attention in order to spend some quality time with you.


If your dog starts doing this often, maybe you’re spending too much time apart and you need to make some more time for your fluffy friend.

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, and High Ears

Many people wonder when is the best time to approach a dog. Well, when you see one with an open mouth, a relaxed tail, and ears pointing straight up, that’s when.

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When a dog is like this, it means they are in a neutral and relaxed state and they feel safe in their current environment. So if you want to get some cuddles in, this might be a good time!

Straight Tail and Ears Forward

You’ve probably seen your dog like this many times; with his tail straight and his ears pointing forward. Just like you would assume, the ears are forward because they’re trying to get a better listen to what’s going on.

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This behavior means something’s got your dog’s attention; they’re curious about something and are ready to go investigate. There is a new noise or smell in the environment that fascinates them.

Dead Dog Pose

The internet has been flooded bu cute and funny pictures of people’s dogs in the ‘dead bug’ pose. You know, when your dog basically looks like a dead bug, with its limbs sticking up in the air. But unlike a dead bug, your dog probably has a relaxed face, almost with a content little smirk.


This is because when a dog is lying in this position, it means it is submissive and vulnerable and feels safe in its environment. Not all dogs can sleep like this, so when they do it usually means they are a bit more laid back and independent in character.

Sleeping on Their Side

Many dogs sleep on their sides when taking a nap, but they don’t usually stay in this position for long, not for an entire night’s sleep, at least. This is because lying on their side means that, in case of a sudden threat, it will take them longer to stand up and get in a defense position.


So, if your dog sleeps like this or even naps like this, it most likely means they are a very happy and carefree dog, with complete trust in its ‘pack’.

The ‘Superman’ Pose

This is one of the cutest poses a dog can be in; the superman pose. Surely your dog has sometimes come back from a long walk or a run or some very energetic playtime with other dog buddies and has completely crashed, lying on its belly, limbs sprawled out on the floor. This basically means that your dog has finally reached the point of exhaustion.

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Puppies do this a lot since it makes it easier for them to quickly pop back up into a standing position and go back to playing for another 10 hours!

The ‘Passed Out’ Pose

As opposed to the ‘dead bug’ pose, there is also another position that looks like your dog is passed out. But unlike the dead bug position, which means your dog is comfortable and in cloud nine, this pose may mean your dog is overheating and is quickly trying to cool off.

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So, how do you recognize this pose? If a dog’s paws are swung across its chest, it’s better to just leave them alone and let them get their rest! They’ll find a way to cool off alone!

The Belly Curl

This pose might look adorably cute, but it actually means that your dog is not getting a good night’s sleep when it lies like this. We call this “the belly curl”.


The belly curl is when your dog sleeps on its belly with its paws underneath or out to the sides, and dogs can’t reach REM sleep because their muscles aren’t completely relaxed. Dogs with a more gentle and shy personality often sleep like this.

Curled Up Like a Fox

Another adorable position is when a dog completely curls up like a little fox. When your dog’s paws are underneath its body and the tail is wrapped around, reaching their face, this usually means they’re cold.


They assume this position because it helps them keep in as much body heat as possible. So if you see your dog sleeping like this at home, just throw a little blankie on them.

Dogs Sleeping Back to Back

We’ve domesticated dogs so much that we often forget where they came from, and the fact that they’re ‘pack’ animals. We’re reminded of this every time we see two dogs getting along or exhibiting ‘pack’ behaviors around each other. For example, when they sleep back to back.


Apart from being incredibly cute, this is something a dog will only do with another member of what they consider to be their ‘pack’, a dog they completely trust.

When Your Dog Brings You a Gift

Just like this adorable little french bulldog in the picture below, we’re sure your dog has brought you shoes, gifts, and, in less desirable situations, a dead animal, once or twice at least. If your dog does this, take it as the utmost sign of respect and reverence – they’re actually trying to make you happy by gifting you something! How cute is that?!


Now you know, next time your dog struts proudly into the room with a dead animal in its mouth, just try and hide the grossed-out face and smile. Unless, of course, it’s the neighbor’s cat.

The Post-Bath Boost of Energy

Some dogs actually enjoy getting a bath, but it’s definitely the exception to the rule. Usually, dogs can’t wait to get out of the bath! When your dog starts running like a mad animal after getting a bath, this obviously means they’re not too fond of it.

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Dogs will also do this because being wet is an uncomfortable sensation to them, and they just want to dry off as quickly as possible and get their ‘smell’ back.

When Your Dog Stays By Your Side

If you’ve ever owned a dog (or had kids), it’s safe to say you know the term ‘invasion of privacy’ all too well. But just remember, whenever you get annoyed because your dog is invading your personal space, like following you to the toilet and just standing there, it just means they want to be close to you.

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Dogs are pack animals, and pack animals like to stay close to their pack!

When Your Dog Shows Empathy

Whenever you see your dog showing empathy, it means exactly that: they feel empathetic. Dogs can sense when there are ‘strange’ feelings in the air, especially when those feelings are anger or sadness. And when your dog senses you’re upset, they most likely will want to comfort you in any way they can.

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If you’re feeling down and your dog is next to you, looking at you, licking you, or just kindly resting his head or his paw on you, they are just simply letting you know that they are there for you.

Dogs Eating Grass

Eating grass is a pretty common behavior in dogs. Unfortunately, this usually means that their diet is lacking a specific nutrient, or they are simply trying to digest their food better (grass helps with this since it is basically fiber).


Also, it may be a sign of intestinal worms. Or, it may just mean it’s hot outside and they’re trying to stay hydrated by drinking any remaining water on the grass. In any case, if your dog starts doing this too often, it might be good to go for a vet check-up.

The Puppy Dog Eyes

When your dog is still a puppy, it’s not much different than when your teenager is still a baby or toddler. The eyes say it all. Those great big puppy eyes manage to melt our hearts. What does that expression mean? Not much apparently.

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Just like when your baby or toddler stares at you. When you leave the house in the morning, on most occasions, your dog will be calm. They know the routine. It is now time to leave, but they know that you will return.

Raising Their Paws

When your dog (usually happens with young puppies) raises its paw, don’t ignore it. They are trying to ask for something. They either want to play or are just seeking your attention. If it’s not the right time for you for doggy play, tell it to your dog.

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That fraction of attention can sometimes do the job (Amazing how these animals are like our kids). If an adult dog does this, it will usually place its paw on your lap, and this will mean he is hungry, or the water bowl is empty.


Bad Breath

Dogs aren’t known for the fragrance of roses trailing out of their mouth, however, if your dog’s breath suddenly starts to smell worst then usually — do not ignore this. Bad breath can indicate a medical situation that must be treated. One of its internal organs (liver kidneys) might need care.

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Dog’s breath could also smell sweet, which might indicate that there is a sugar level issue, such as diabetes. Anyway, if the breath of your dog doesn’t stink in a usual way, it’s time to visit the vet.

Head Pressing

Have you ever seen your dog pressing its head against the wall? Have you ever seen your dog pushing a firm object? They are not goofing around and this needs your attention.

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This behavior can indicate several conditions. It could be poisoning or a brain disease, and you must go see your vet as soon as possible. Timing is crucial here.


Just like humans, all pets (especially dogs) want to live in a clean environment, so when your dog starts to urinate in your home, something is wrong. There is no reason for a dog to purposely empty its bladder if everything is ok.

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Urinating around the house can be a sign of a problem with kidney function and when concerning older dogs, could be a sign of another medical condition that needs to be looked at.

Closing or Opening Mouth Slightly

A dog’s mouth is usually open, calm, and relaxed. This indicates that the dog is happy and satisfied. But what happens what your dog’s mouth is only slightly opened, looks tense and the dog overall seems uncomfortable?

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If you monitor your dog and find its mouth slightly open (or slightly closed), the dog is likely to be stressed, frightened, or in pain.

Licking Lips

Unlike puppies, mature dogs don’t just lick around. When dogs lick their lips, they usually do this to soothe or calm whoever is approaching them. If they feel threatened or have some sense of aggression, licking their lips will come in hand.

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Occasionally, when a dog feels frustrated or confused, licking may come in hand too, as this would show appeasement of gestures.

Growling (And Soft Growling)

Growling is usually what keeps us, humans, away from a dog. It frightens us and we feel threatened by it. A growling dog is a protective dog, therefor this justifies our behavior (and not only theirs). There is probably a reason for them to feel insecure.

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A growling dog will usually become an aggressive dog and can be resulted in an attack. On the other hand, if your dog produces a soft growl, it could indicate, that it’s in a playful mood.

Whining  and Whining

If you’re a parent of a baby or young child, you are familiar with the sound of whining. A whining dog is usually an uncomfortable dog, or, it’s trying to show that it’s in pain. But pay attention!

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A whining dog can be just a dog seeking attention. So be careful with your observation. Just like kids. You have to identify when the whine is for real.

Ears Say It All

In a dog’s world, the ears say it all. These next “ear rules”  will help you understand what your dog is going through and assure they are treated accordingly. Ears forward and up are a happy and curious dog.

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Maybe it wants to play or chase someone? Flat and close to the head ears indicate that the dog is scared or unsecured. Ears that are not flat on the head but are apart, the dog is probably sad or bothered by something.

What Up With Genitals?

Dogs shouldn’t like their genitals more than usual.  What is usual? More than licking the rest of the body. Dogs lick the genitals to clean them, however, if you see your dog repeatedly hanging around down there, something is wrong.

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A urinary tract infection is a condition that results in genital discharge. It can irritate and be the cause of the licking. This is possibly what your dog is suffering from.


A dog can crouch, and if it crouches, it means something. Now crouching can indicate several things, and it will probably need some close monitoring to figure what is going on. It could mean your dog is nervous, insecure, frightened, or on its way to playing with another mate.

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So, no matter what your dog is up to, and no matter what it’s trying to say, when it crouches, it means something.

Car Chasing

If you ever wondered why your dog chases cars, carry on reading. Apparently, it’s in their instinct. It’s something they are born with. This behavior can be very dangerous as it can lead to car accidents, the dog getting hurt, or even you — the dog owner — getting hit by a car.

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Propper professional training is the only solution here. It’s a common issue with dogs all over, and if this concerns you, we suggest having it treated.

Lack of Appetite

Most healthy dogs can go for as long as two days without eating, however, if you notice your dog has not been eating properly or has completely lost its appetite, there is room for concern. Many health conditions can cause a lack of appetite such as dental disease.

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Vaccination could also lead to losing an appetite and when a dog travels, it can take a while before its eating habits are back to normal. If more than a day or two have gone by and your dog is still not eating as it should, consult with your vet.

Food Protective

In the wild, dogs (originate from the wolf family) guard and protect their food for a purpose of surviving. It’s in their blood. And when a dog guards its food, it should be trained, especially if there are young children or babies around. Do this when your dog is still a puppy.

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Teach them (with professional guidance)  that the food does not have to be guided, especially when children approach. The last thing you want is your dog growling at your baby or child if they accidentally touch the dog’s bowl.

Compulsive Itching

Yes, your dog can itch but what happens when it’s done compulsively? This behavior can be caused by several reasons.

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It could be an allergy (check fabric softener you used on the dog’s blanket or sheet), mites, insect bites, skin infection, or a reaction to the recent dog shampoo you just bought.


So, it’s not only your better half that keeps you up with his/her snoring but also your dog can be blessed with this irritating behavior. When a dog snores, it’s not only its owners that are kept awake but also itself.

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When a dog snores, it repeatedly wakes up during the night (nothing to worry about, as it doesn’t have an office to go to in the morning). Dogs are not supposed to snore, and if this happens often and loudly, consult with your vet.

Wanting to Go Out Constantly Naturally, dogs want to be outside all the time, however, they get used to living indoors and understand that they go out whenever they are taken out. If your dog (that is used to going out three times a day), suddenly askes to be taken out all the time, it’s probably the time of the month (not for your dog, but for the neighbor’s female dog).

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When a female dog is in heat, your male dog will smell it for miles. Remember: regardless of other dogs and their time of the month, dogs want to be outside as much as possible, so whenever you can take them out.

When Its Head Is Out of the Car Window…

If you have enough room in your car for your dog, this one is for you. It’s all got to do with their amazing scenes of smell. When traveling in the car, we feel the fresh breeze blowing in our hair, but our dogs sense the smell in the air, ten times stronger than when still.

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When a dog sticks its head out of the window, they are literally in euphoria. Their Brain, which is packed with sensors, gets overstimulated and the pressured air, blowing straight at their face, envelopes them with great highs.

 Erika Salen | This article originally appeared on our sister site:

article  Erika Salen | This article originally appeared on our sister site: