Decoding Dog Behavior
Wed, April 21, 2021

Decoding Dog Behavior

Your dog’s actions can tell a lot of things about their moods unlike cats, which generally show indifference or detachment. / Photo by: xkunclova via Shutterstock

 

Dogs are a delight to have as pets. They will patiently wait for you even if it takes several hours for you to get back home. They will wildly wag their tail as a sign of happiness and excitement when you return. Your dog’s actions can tell a lot of things about their moods unlike cats, which generally show indifference or detachment. Thus, dog owners having an easier time deciphering their pet’s feelings and emotions. 

But even though dogs are easier to understand, they sometimes exhibit certain behaviors that can stump their owners. There are times where they endlessly lick certain textures or circle the same spot in front of their owner. They may also bark endlessly even when there’s no visible sign that should warrant such behavior. Some owners think that it’s because they are trying to communicate with other creatures that people just don’t see or feel. They also bark late at night at seemingly nothing in particular.

Dog owners, therefore, cannot help it if they come up with a lot of theories about why their dogs are acting that way. Animal experts say there is a specific dog state of mind or health concern that makes them do these things and offer suggestions on what owners can do about it.

Deciphering Dog Barks

People who are living with dogs might already know that not all barks are the same. NutriSource, a dog food company, mentioned on their website that there are different components of barking, namely cadence, pitch, and volume. 

Faster and louder barks mean the dog is excited or aroused. Your dog may make a rapid-fire and full volume bark, which means that it thinks something important is happening and it wants you to know about it. As an owner, you would do well to heed such a bark as it can be a dangerous situation such as the presence of a wild animal or an intruder or of a person in dire need of assistance. How many times have we heard of the barking of a dog saving the lives of people?

On the other hand, lower-volume and spaced-out barks mean that they are alerting you that a familiar person is arriving. This is also their way of asking their owners to play with them or to let you know that something not really urgent is about to happen. 

Preventing your dog from barking endlessly might be hard and frustrating but understand that it is their way of communicating with you. Avoid hurting them if they do that, but instead, give them treats or toys to distract them from their barking. 

When They Chew on Furniture and Shoes

According to Spruce Pets, a website that provides helpful articles about pet care and health, chewing on things is a natural behavior for dogs. It is also an important activity for our four-legged friend. However, when their chewing behavior becomes excessive and destructive, the owner must do something about it. 

The most common reasons why dogs chew on things is if they are teething (in the case of puppies), bored, anxious, or curious. Owners may find their shoes chewed out by their dogs and it can be very frustrating. But instead of getting angry and punishing them physically, you can encourage them to chew on the right things by providing them a lot of chew toys. 

Also, keep your personal and important items away from your dogs. When you’re not at home, dogs should be kept in a cage or a room where they can cause less destruction to your personal belongings. Make sure that they are not bored inside your house by allowing them to have plenty of exercises, which can also help them channel excess energy. 

 

The most common reasons why dogs chew on things is if they are teething (in the case of puppies), bored, anxious, or curious. / Photo by: demanescale via Shutterstock

 

Digging

It is a common belief that when a dog digs a small patch of soil, it means that they are dying or sick. However, Hills Pet Nutrition, an American pet food company, mentioned in their article that dogs dig because they are making an escape route or they are tracking other animals. 

During hot weather, they dig in the ground to make a cool and nice spot for them to lie on. They also dig in order to hide something important for them. Some of them may also scratch at a blanket or couch in order for them to find the perfect place to rest down. This dog behavior happens mostly at night when they are preparing to sleep. It is completely normal behavior but if not managed properly, dogs can damage your property and for this, you will need to consider getting help from a professional trainer. 

 

Dogs dig to hide something important for them or to make a cool spot for them to lie on during hot weather. / Photo by: Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

 

Sitting Between Their Owners’ Legs

Dogs are known to be clingy and attached toward their owners. But when you see your dog sitting at your feet or between them, it means they are anxious or nervous. They are not being dominant, but they are trying to feel safer by staying close to you because they trust that you will keep them safe and secured.

Knowing what your dog’s behavior means is another way to make the bond between the two of you tighter.