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7 Common Dog Behaviours & What They Mean

Dog behaviours and what they mean

We humans need to know what our fur babies are trying to tell us. Our four-legged friends are not just our pets, but a part of our family. Hence, it is our responsibility to know what they are feeling and give them back the love and care they deserve. Understanding dog language can be very tricky, but not impossible. To make your work easier, we are here to make you familiar with seven typical dog behaviours and what they mean.

1. Biting

Puppies tend to bite all the time. It is their way of communicating, just like human babies. There is nothing to worry about since they do it playfully, just after their teeth start to grow. Young dogs may bite during training or for no reason at all. However, it is essential to bring the habit to a close before they grow up.

Dog bites are not cute once they are adults. If your dog is not made to grow out of the habit, the playful bite can change to aggression, especially when they throw tantrums. Teach your puppy that their teeth can hurt you. You may distract them with treats. Alternatively, you can save big on pet supplies and get them chewy toys.

2. Circling

If your dog is moving around in circles, other than trying to chase his tail, it’s a sign you must pay attention to your pet. It might be a sign of a potential health issue. Ear infections might be an underlying cause. If your dog is older, it might be suffering from the idiopathic vestibular syndrome. All dogs have a risk of developing a tumour.

Hence, if you catch your dog moving around in circles quite often; make sure you take your dog to the vet, to know what your dog is suffering from with the views from an expert. The repetitive act of spinning in circles can be due to frustration as well.

3. Digging

Dogs dig out the surface to make themselves a cosy resting place. If your dog is digging his bed at night, it’s normal. It is just making sure its bed is safe and sound.

Other reasons why your dog might be digging things are to hide something or to look for other animals. However, digging can also be a sign of stubbornness. If your dog tends to ruin your possessions by digging, you must train him out of the habit. Seek the help of a trainer to know what’s best for your dog.

4. Sitting on your feet or between your legs

If your dog sits on your feet, it can mean two things.

  1. Your dog is just possessive.
  2. It might be suffering from anxiety.

Your dog might like resting its head on your feet when it sleeps. This habit has its origin from dogs that live in packs. This instinct is to keep you (the pack leader) and itself safe. It’s cute to know that your dog is trying to protect you. Puppies also tend to sleep by their mother’s tail. Hence, they do that to keep themselves safe and warm.

If you find your dog sitting on its feet or between your legs in public, it might be anxious. Anxiety among dogs is common.

5. Puppy eyes

Can anyone resist cute puppy dog eyes? No! According to research, dogs make those puppy eyes to get on with us humans. All dogs, other than the Siberian husky, are capable of making those eyes. If your dog gives you those irresistibly cute looks, it is just trying to tell you how much it loves you.

Dogs get very attached to humans, and they appreciate every moment they spend with you. You will also get those looks when you scold them or when you forbid them from doing something. It helps them to get your instant attention.

6. Panting

Panting is a way of regulating body heat. Dogs exhale their body heat through panting. Panting helps in exchanging hot air with cool air in their lungs. This cools their system. Your dog will pant more than usual after a walk or on a hot day. Keep your dog hydrated with enough water, especially after physical activities and on hot days. On sunny summer days, keep the walks for early mornings or evenings. Your dog will not enjoy the heat during the day.

Your dog may even pant after an injury, or if it is facing some discomfort or illness. If that is the scenario, take it to the vet right away. If your dog is panting excessively, more than usual, it is a sign of a health issue.

7. Head pressing

Pressing of the head against walls is a sign of neurological disorder among dogs and cats. According to PetMD, “the compulsive act of pressing the head against a wall or other object for no apparent reason” is defined as head pressing. It is extremely dangerous and needs immediate attention. Head pressing will also be accompanied by circling, impaired reflexes and vision problems. Damage of the nervous system can occur due to the following reasons.

  • Too much or too little of sodium in the diet
  • Infections like rabies or fungus
  • Contact with toxins like lead

Your dog can’t speak, but it has needs. It is your responsibility to understand your dog, to understand their problems. It is vital to know what’s usual and what’s unusual in the behaviour of your dog. These seven points are sure to make your understanding of your dog better. If you think you do not have much idea about dog behaviour, and you’re planning on getting a dog, do lots of research.


  • https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/behavior-appearance/types-of-common-dog-behavior
  • https://shareably.net/50-dog-behavior-meanings

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