Dogs have been human’s best friend for centuries, providing companionship, love, and protection.
They are loyal, intelligent, and communicative, but sometimes their behaviour can be confusing to their owners.
Understanding what your dog is trying to tell you is crucial for building a strong and healthy relationship with your furry companion.
In this article, we will explore the top 5 common dog behaviours and what they mean, so you can better understand your furry friend.
5 Common Dog Behaviours and What They Mean
Tail Wagging: What Your Dog’s Tail is Saying
A wagging tail is one of the most recognisable dog behaviours, but did you know that different tail wags can mean different things?
Here’s what your dog’s tail wagging is saying:
Slow wag: Your dog is unsure or hesitant.
Low wag: Your dog is scared or submissive.
High wag: Your dog is excited or happy.
Wide wag: Your dog is showing dominance.
Short, quick wag: Your dog is anxious or nervous.
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Digging: Why Your Dog Can’t Stop Digging
Digging is a natural behaviour for dogs, but it can also be destructive to your garden or yard.
Here’s why your dog can’t stop digging:
To hide or store things: Dogs are natural scavengers and may dig to hide or store their toys, bones, or food.
To cool off: Digging a hole in the ground can provide your dog with a cool spot to lay down and escape the heat.
Out of boredom: If your dog is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation, they may turn to digging as a way to pass the time.
To escape: If your dog is feeling anxious or confined, they may dig under or through fences to escape.
To hunt prey: Some dogs have a strong hunting instinct and may dig to catch small animals like mice or rabbits.
Barking: Decoding Your Dog’s Vocalisations
Barking is a form of communication for dogs, but it can also be annoying or disruptive.
Here’s what your dog’s barking is saying:
Alert barking: Your dog is warning you of a potential threat or danger.
Territorial barking: Your dog is defending their territory from intruders or other animals.
Play barking: Your dog is excited and wants to play.
Attention barking: Your dog is trying to get your attention or asking for something.
Separation anxiety barking: Your dog is anxious and upset when left alone.
Chewing: Why Your Dog Can’t Stop Chewing Everything
Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs, but it can also be destructive to your furniture or belongings.
Here’s why your dog can’t stop chewing:
Teething: Puppies may chew to relieve the discomfort of teething.
Boredom: If your dog is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation, they may turn to chewing as a way to pass the time.
Separation anxiety: Your dog may chew as a way to cope with the stress of being left alone.
Dental problems: Your dog may chew to relieve the pain of dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay.
Nutritional deficiencies: Your dog may chew to satisfy a nutritional deficiency or to alleviate stomach discomfort.
Licking: What Your Dog’s Licking Behaviour Means
Here’s what your dog’s licking behaviour means:
Affection: Licking is a way for dogs to show affection to their owners or other dogs.
Cleaning: Dogs may lick themselves or other dogs as a way to clean themselves or others.
Anxiety: Licking can be a self-soothing behaviour for dogs who are feeling anxious or stressed.
Medical issues: Dogs may lick a certain area of their body excessively due to an injury or medical issue like allergies or skin irritations.
Habit: Some dogs may develop a habit of licking as a way to self-soothe or to pass the time.
Q: My dog’s tail is wagging, but they seem scared or submissive. What does this mean?
A: A low wagging tail can indicate that your dog is feeling scared or submissive, and may be trying to communicate that they do not want to engage with the situation or person.
Q: Why does my dog bark when I leave the house?
A: Separation anxiety is a common cause of excessive barking when dogs are left alone.
It’s important to address this behaviour with training and possibly consulting with a professional dog trainer.
Q: How can I stop my dog from chewing on everything in sight?
A: Providing your dog with appropriate chew toys, regular exercise and mental stimulation can help redirect their chewing behaviour. It’s also important to keep any dangerous items out of their reach.
Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API