20 Common Dog Behaviors Explained

Though we can see many emotions clearly through dogs’ actions and demeanor, what they are really thinking is still mostly a mystery to us. Why does your dog show you their toys? Why does it bark? The answers are below.

1. Carrying A Toy May Not Mean Playing Fetch

When your dog is carrying around a ball or toy to you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it wants to play fetch. Actually, a dog will often bring toys to people they love and let them enjoy the toys too, so don’t throw anything your dog brings to you, or you might hurt their feelings.

2. Barking Can Mean Different Things

A dog’s bark can mean different things. It depends on how they bark, and what they’re barking at. But if your dog is barking loudly and rapidly, they may be sensing danger and are trying to alert you. If your dog barks shortly and softly, it can mean that they want to play with you.

3. Pacing Back and Forth

Just like humans, dogs pace for different reasons. When your dog is pacing in circles around you, it usually means that it wants to play with you. But, if two anxious or excited dogs meet, they tend to run after each other.

4. Yowling Or Otherwise Speaking

When your dog is making the funny “yeow” sound, it may attempt to communicate with you. One dog owner said, “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.”

5. When They Give You “Puppy Eyes”

Most of us may think that dogs’ “puppy eye” means they’re begging for food. However, they’re only showing you affection and love. So, give them a hug or a kiss!

6. If They Sleep In Your Bed

If your dog prefers to sleep with you, it means that you’re the most important person in their life. You can regard it as the ultimate compliment.

7. Getting Tackled

When you’re back home and walking through the door, you’re easily getting tackled by your dog. This isn’t’ always pleasant because sometimes they may scratch you, or knock you over. But, they’re telling you how happy they’re to see you back and they miss you.

8. If Your Dogs Stares At You Before You Leave

When you’re leaving home, sometimes your dog just sits and calmly watches as you walk out the door. This means that though they are sad that you’re leaving, they are assured that you will be back.

9. If Your Dog Leans On You

If your dog leans its body on you whenever you’re just lounging around, this means that they’re actually hugging you.

10. Cuddles After Eating

Have you ever noticed that your dog likes to come and cuddle after they just ate? This is another sign that you’re one of their favorite people!

11. Yawning Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Your Dog Is Tired

Most of us may think that yawning means being tired, but for dogs, that’s not always the case. If your dog yawns all of the time, it means that they feel safe around you and trust you.

12. When Your Dog Puts One Paw Up

When your dog suddenly stops and holds one of its paws up in the air during a walk, this means that they are trying to figure out something that caught their attention.

13. Your Pet Wants To Lie On Your Feet

Sometimes, your dog wants to lay right on top of your feet, the real meaning is to feel as close to you as possible and also as a sign of protection.

14. Flicking Their Tongues

After your dog knows that they’ve done something wrong and wants to apologize, they’ll approach you and flick their tongue out of their mouth as a sign of apology. This is their way to say sorry.

15. Cocking Their Head To The Side

When you’re talking to your dog in your “doggie voice,” they will sometimes cock their head to the side like they’re trying to figure out what you’re saying. This may be true, but what they’re really trying to do is pick out certain words like “treat,” “walk,” or “outside.”

16. Howling Away

Sometimes, your dog’s howling can be really annoying, actually, it’s a release of sorts and helps them get rid of any internal feelings they may have inside.

17. Walking In Circles Before Lying Down

Have you ever noticed that sometimes your dog walk in circles before lying down? This is a habit that they might have inherited from their wolf ancestors. Wolves do this to flatten any leaves or debris that may make their resting spot uncomfortable. It’s quite an interesting habit which is also humorous to watch them do.

18. When Your Dog Is Panting

Panting is a way that dogs help themselves cool down because they don’t sweat like us humans. If your dog is aggressively panting, they’re trying to regulate their temperature and may need some water to help. And, if your dog isn’t hot, it might be trying to relieve pain or stress.

19. Sniffing The Air

When your dog sense danger, it will start sniffing the air to track the danger or prey.

20. Side-Tongue

When a dog has its tongue hanging off to one side, it usually means that it’s very relaxed and happy. This behavior can often be seen after fun and relaxing activities. But if your dog’s tongue hangs out of its mouth all the time, it could be a sign of trouble. Take it to see the vet ASAP.

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