Certain Dog Behaviors Really Mean

Dogs see the world very differently than we do. However, they still rely on their body language to communicate. Read on to find out exactly how they make their feelings and emotions known through their actions. Some of these are most definitely surprising.

Here Is What The Behaviors Displayed By Your Dog Means

This Is What Your Dog’s Behaviors Really Mean

On Hind Legs

There are a few possible reasons that a dog would stand up on its hind legs. It’s most likely to show affection. Just like humans, they simply want a hug sometimes. However, this action can also show playfulness when they’re around other dogs. As long as they’re not acting aggressive or growling, they’re probably only playing.

On Hind Legs

On Hind Legs

Furniture Chewing

Puppies tend to chew on various things when they’re teething. However, it could also mean something else when they’re not puppies anymore. This doesn’t mean they’re bad dogs. There’s a good chance they’re simply not getting the amount of physical activity that they really need. A good way to treat this is by taking them out for a walk. If your dog starts chewing on your furniture, it’s time to give it exercise.

Furniture Chewing

Furniture Chewing

How They Bark

There are multiple reasons why a dog would bark. If it sounds loud and is frequent, it could be something urgent. They might be sensing danger and trying to tell this to you. Shorter and softer barks can mean that they want to play. Loud barking can also indicate that they’re in pain. Make sure to pay attention to see which it might be.

How They Bark

How They Bark

Bringing You Toys

When your dog has a toy in their mouth, don’t assume they want to play. One theory says they are trying to please you by doing this. The dog considers you to be the alpha and it wants your respect. Another theory claims that this is how your dog shows that it trusts you. In fact, it trusts you so much that it brings you a valuable object. Of course, it could also mean that it loves you so much that it wants you to enjoy their prized possession. You might hurt their feelings by not taking the toy.

Bringing You Toys

Bringing You Toys

When Dogs Yawn

When humans yawn, it’s usually because they’re either bored or tired. Dogs, on the other hand, yawn when they feel safe and secure. In their case, it’s a sign of submission. If you see a dog yawning several times in a row, it means they’re really relaxed. However, it can also mean they’re stressed or showing anticipation. When a dog is at the vet, numerous yawns can reflect their nervousness. When they do the same before going out for a walk, it could be a way they’re keeping their enthusiasm in check as well. Just like humans, they also yawn to show how tired they are.

When Dogs Yawn

When Dogs Yawn

Like A Caterpillar

Don’t you love it when your dog gets a good wiggle, kicks up their legs and wiggle on their back? We can’t think of anything else to make us happier. There are times when the dog does it in order to scratch an itch, but it’s possible that they only want to get your attention. Take some time to shower them with love!

Like A Caterpillar

Like A Caterpillar

Before You Go

Just like everyone else, you probably feel guilty about leaving your pet at home when you leave for work. There are people who spend money on doggy daycares to feel better about it. When your pup makes that sad face, you’ll understand why. At times, they’ll wear a calm face, but there’s no need to worry. Your dog knows you’ll be back soon enough. That face is actually a sign of trust, not sadness.

Before You Go

Before You Go

Pacing Back And Forth

One reason your dog could be pacing is that they feel nervous. Another is that they feel excited, or even bored. They like pacing around the room for the same reasons humans do. When they’re going around in circles, they most likely want to play with you. This is how dogs chase each other when they meet – it’s a sign of playfulness.

Pacing Back And Forth

Pacing Back And Forth

Pointing Their Snout

Have you ever seen a dog freeze and nudge its snout towards something? They might also lift a front paw in this case. This action is more common among hunting breeds, but pretty much all dogs do it. Dr. Ellen Vindell said, “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 Their Snout

Pointing Their Snout

Showing Discomfort

Other than expressing how comfortable they are, yawns can mean something else as well. If a dog yawns in public, it could mean that they’re exhausted and are hoping for an afternoon nap. Yes, it can mean anxiety and discomfort, too. Be sure to keep an eye out for this behavior when you notice your dog doing this a lot when in an unfamiliar place.

Showing Discomfort

Showing Discomfort

Tilting Their Heads

People usually talk in a higher pitch when they’re speaking to a dog. Dogs might tilt their head when you do this if, almost as if they’re trying to understand you. Dogs are great at reading as well as responding to vocal cues and body language. They can recognize specific words, so maybe they’re waiting for those associated with walks and treats! One theory says they move their heads that way to adjust their outer ears for better listening.

Tilting Their Heads

Tilting Their Heads

Sniffing Around

While humans have 5 million olfactory receptors, dogs have a whopping 220 million. Dogs can smell at least a thousand times better than we humans can. When they’re sniffing around, they’re either sensing some kind of danger or tracking prey. They’ll stay very still and silent while doing this. In fact, they can smell the difference between individual dogs or people. They can even tell identical twins apart!

Sniffing Around

Sniffing Around

Flipping Up Tongues

When dogs think they did something wrong, they sometimes stick out their tongue and flip it up in order to apologize. They tend to feel guilty and apologetic. It could also be their own way of putting on an innocent face.

Flipping Up Tongues

Flipping Up Tongues

Just Like Yoga

Dogs don’t just stretch when they wake up. They do this for the sake of their muscles. It might symbolize love and affection as well. When you get home to see your dog stretching, don’t think they just woke up. This is a way for them to show you they’re happy to see you!

Just Like Yoga

Just Like Yoga

Exposing Their Belly

When a dog shows you his belly, it means they respect you and feel submissive. Maybe they also want to play with you. The only way to respond here is to rub their belly! They’ll want it to happen over and over, so they will keep doing it. However, they might also display this kind of behavior when getting attacked by another animal.

Exposing Their Belly

Exposing Their Belly

Tucking Their Tail

If your dog is tucking his tail in between his legs, he might be distressed. This is what some animals do when they’re scared, ashamed, guilty, nervous, or uncertain. If your dog does this, comfort him to make sure he feels safe. Treats work well in this case.

Tucking Their Tail

Tucking Their Tail

Raising Their Paws

When a dog raises its paws, it might mean they’re looking to play or need something from you. Most puppies and young dogs display behavior in this way. When a little puppy wants to eat, it’ll put its paws out for their mother. A puppy doing the same thing to you means they want affection.

Raising Their Paws

Raising Their Paws

Using Their Tails

It’s pretty known that a dog wagging its tail means it’s happy and excited. However, it can mean submissiveness when they hang their tail down. If you ever see a dog do this, reassure them by showing them affection.

Using Their Tails

Using Their Tails

Dragging Their Bum

It could look funny when your dog drags their behind, but you should be concerned. This is called scooting, and dogs usually do this when they have an impacted anal sac that they want to release. There are certain dog breeds that have a higher chance of suffering from this. It’s a very uncomfortable experience, so make sure to take them to the vet right away.

Dragging Their Bum

Dragging Their Bum

On Your Feet

Dogs tend to like laying on your feet while you’re eating dinner or watching TV. While it could be somewhat annoying, your dog means well. This is their way of showing their love and loyalty. They only want to be as close to you as possible.

On Your Feet

On Your Feet

Leaning On You

You should be very flattered if your dog leans on you while hanging out. It’s the equivalent of a hug for them. They aren’t being lazy. They just want to connect with you. All you need to do in this case is to allow them to express affection that way. Just enjoy it!

Leaning On You

Leaning On You

Tackling You

We know it isn’t the most comfortable thing to be tackled by your dog. They might have injured you by doing this in the past. They don’t want to hurt you, however. This is their way of showing you that they’re happy to see you. They literally cannot contain their excitement.

Tackling You

Tackling You

Flicking Ears

A dog that flicks its ears means it’s listening. It’s common behavior with animals, in fact. It happens mostly when they’re unfamiliar with a sound and are trying to figure it out. Let your dog try and figure things out for a second when you see this happening.

Flicking Ears

Flicking Ears

Licking Themselves Clean

It’s no secret that dogs get clean by licking themselves. When your dog is dirty, they’ll attempt to lick themselves clean. However, it can also mean they’re hurt. A dog licking their paws and legs means a trip to the vet, especially if they do this near the joints.

Licking Themselves Clean

Licking Themselves Clean

Snarling And Showing Teeth

Dogs can show their moods in many ways, and they’re not always positive. A dog wrinkling their nose means aggression. If they snarl and show their teeth, you need to remove them from whatever is going on. It means they’re ready to attack at a moment’s notice.

Snarling And Showing Teeth

Snarling And Showing Teeth

Investigation Time

When you and your dog go out for a walk, your dog might suddenly stop and raise a front paw. No, this doesn’t mean they got hurt. They’re figuring out whatever it was that caught their eye. Dogs also sniff a lot when they’re playing detective.

Investigation Time

Investigation Time

Straightened Tail

When a dog sticks their tail up in the air, it means they’re excited or confident. They often do this when they meet another dog or animal. If the tail is up and is shaky, they could be feeling challenged. A happy and content dog usually has their tail leveled with their body. A low tail or tucked between the legs means insecurity.

Straightened Tail

Straightened Tail

The Side Tongue

It’s so cute when dogs hang their tongues out of their mouths, don’t you think? It turns out that this is a signal that they feel happy and calm. It’ll happen when you go out for a walk or play fetch. However, doing it too much might mean that they have the “hanging tongue syndrome,” which can be common among dogs that have flat noses like bulldogs or boxers.

The Side Tongue

The Side Tongue

Digging Holes

When your dog digs up the yard, they don’t have bad intentions. It’s an instinct to them that they’re born with. This is especially true with terrier breeds. Oftentimes, they dig in the yard to leave bones, toys, or other valuables. It’s also possible that they’re looking for prey or bury their dead.

Digging Holes

Digging Holes

Why They Bite

Of course, it’s not a pleasant thing to be bitten by your dog. However, in some cases, it can mean playfulness and affection. Dogs bite each other when they’re playing. It isn’t considered aggressive. It’s a behavior that carries over to the way they act towards you. Just be sure to keep an eye out for signs of fear or aggression.

Why They Bite

Why They Bite

Sleeping Beside You

Don’t get annoyed when your pup wants to ignore the dog bed and sleep beside you. Their ancestors used to hunt in packs and sleep together for security and warmth. Your dog just wants to get close to you. Take it as a compliment that they even trust you enough to do this.

Sleeping Beside You

Sleeping Beside You

Paw Pats

It’s not fun getting slapped by a person, but this doesn’t apply to dogs slapping you with their paws. They aren’t by any means angry, they’re just trying to get your attention. It’s even more different when a dog slaps another dog. To them, it’s a sign on trust.

Paw Pats

Paw Pats

Eating And Cuddling

If your dog comes to cuddle with you right after eating, they’re showing you how much they love you. A lot of dogs like to take a nap after eating a meal. What better place for them to do this than beside their favorite human?

Eating And Cuddling

Eating And Cuddling

Panting

When your dog is panting, it doesn’t mean they’re in danger. It’s simply a way they like to cool off when they overheat. They don’t have the ability to sweat like we do, so this is the way they lower their body temperature. A dog panting needs to drink water. Also, a dog might be trying to let go of pain or stress when it does this.

Panting

Panting

Eye Movement

Dogs are like humans in some ways. They can also show emotion with their eyes. When they’re tired or sad, they look down at the ground. When they’re excited, their eyes open wide and dart around them. A raised eyebrow can mean confusion.

Eye Movement

Eye Movement

Bowing

There are a few reasons why your dog might bow. We’re talking about when they lower their heads and keep their bodies still. It usually means they want to play. Swinging hips and wagging tails in excitement are also common behaviors. Dog trainers typically call it the “play bow.”

Bowing

Bowing

Walking In Circles

Before lying down, your dog usually walks in circles a couple of times, right? This is most likely a behavior it got from its wolf ancestors. Wolves do this before laying down in order to flatten debris or leaves and make the surface more comfortable. It’s quite funny to see dogs do the same thing indoors.

Walking In Circles

Walking In Circles

Howling

For the most part, people quiet their pets when they howl, but dogs have a good reason for doing so in the first place. This is similar to yelling, which is how we release angry feelings. They aren’t trying to assert dominance over you, don’t worry. It’s just a good way for them to express their feelings.

Howling

Howling

Hugging With Eyes

Puppy dog eyes are a very good sign. They’re not trying to act cute to get your attention. They’re just trying to show their affection. It’s like hugging, really! The innocent look means they adore you and they want a kiss or hug.

Hugging With Eyes

Hugging With Eyes

Yowling

No, your dog isn’t trying to yodel. When dogs yowl, they’re trying to communicate with you. An animal journal writer once 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.”

Yowling

Yowling

Eating Feces

Yeah. Dogs eat poop. It does seem disgusting, but it’s not uncommon. Coprophagia, the act of eating poop, might mean malnutrition. If your dog does this too much, go see a vet. Once the vet rules out malnutrition or a nutrient deficiency, you might have to find a trainer to help break the habit.

Eating Feces

Eating Feces

Chasing Tails

You’ve probably seen your dog run in circles, chasing their tail. It’s very common and is a sign of playfulness. However, if your dog does this excessively, it could signify behavioral or health issues. A dog chewing on their tail could also mean anal gland issues or allergies. It might also be a sign of OCD.

Chasing Tails

Chasing Tails

Licking

It’s not uncommon for dogs to lick, of course. They do so to show their affection. A dog licking you is just like it telling you they love you. In addition, dogs also like to taste the minerals and nutrients found in your skin. All the same, it’s good to know that intense licking can be corrected by proper training.

Licking

Licking

Humping

Another common behavior with dogs is humping. This isn’t necessarily a sexual or dominance problem for them. They hump animals, objects, and people in a playful way too. There’s no harm in this behavior, but it’s understandable if it makes you uncomfortable.

Humping

Humping

Sniffing Butts

“Can you imagine if people greeted each other like that?” you’re probably thinking in reference to butt-sniffing. We know that dogs have a sense of smell that’s 10,000 better than humans. This is how they learn about the world. They can tell the diet, gender, temperament, and gender of other dogs this way.

Sniffing Butts

Sniffing Butts

Dog Squinting

You know that little squint that dogs sometimes do? We’re sure you’ve seen it in the past. A dog squinting or blinking often usually means they want your attention and some quality time. A dog doing it too much could mean that you’re spending much too much time away from each other.

Dogs Squinting

Dogs Squinting

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, High Ears

People usually wonder about the right time to approach a god. The best time to do this is when they have a relaxed tail, pointed ears, and an open mouth. This indicates that the dog feels relaxed, neutral, and safe. It could be a good idea to cuddle up when you’re dog is behaving this way.

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, High Ears

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, High Ears

Straight Tail, Ears Forward

What does it mean when a dog has their tail straight and their ears are pointing forward? You might be thinking that they’re trying to listen closely to what’s happening. However, it means that something caught their attention. It’s most likely that they’re curious about something and want to investigate.

Straight Tail, Ears Forward

Straight Tail, Ears Forward

Dead Dog

Have you ever seen a dog in the ‘dead bug’ pose? It probably makes you laugh. They have their limbs in the air and looks exactly like a dead bug. However, it probably also looks very relaxed and content. This is a vulnerable pose, meaning that your dog must feel safe.

Dead Dog

Dead Dog

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