16 Common Dog Behaviors That You Never Realize What They Mean
Have you ever noticed the odd behaviors of your dog? Sometimes there's an evolutionary reason, and other times, it can be a learned behavior. Let's see what the explanations of these 16 everyday habits that our favorite pets have.
Dogs dig due to instinct, especially terrier breeds who were initially bred to hunt rodents. It might be because dogs like burying things in the ground, which makes them think there could be something in the field.
2. Howling At The Moon
You may wonder why your dog won't stop barking or howling when you are trying to sleep at night. It's quite simple in fact - dogs used to communicate with the rest of their packs at night, especially those that were bred close to wolves, like Samoyeds, Huskies, or Spitz breeds.
3. Tail Between The Legs
When a dog puts its tail between its legs, it means submission or anxiety. And it's always accompanied by whining or crying, which indicates that the dog is upset or anxious, and it needs your comfort or company.
4. Floor Scratching
There are two possible reasons for the floor scratching behavior of dogs. Usually, they are leaving a mark for other dogs to assert dominance. But if your dog is a "snow breed," like Samoyeds, Huskies, or Malamutes, it can also be a burrowing behavior. These dogs instinctually burrow their way into the ground outdoors to keep warm.
5. Sniffing Each Other
Dogs love to sniff each other's rear ends. It's because their butts are the strongest source of pheromones on their bodies, and a dog can tell everything about another dog's personality by smelling it.
6. Toy Shaking
Most dogs enjoy shaking their toys or pull-ropes a bit. The dog used to have to do this with their prey, making sure that the victim was already dead before eating it. And especially in some hunting breeds, the behavior has been bred out.
7. The Play Bow
The dog does a play bow to its owner or other dogs to show that it's excited and ready to play. When two dogs do it to each other, it's game time! But if one dog does it and the other doesn't reciprocate, it usually means a dominance issue is coming.
8. Shaking Water Off
All dogs shake when they get out of the water, which is the most efficient way that dog knows to get the water off their body. It works out well since wet dogs can shake off up to 70% of the water on their bodies by this simple act. The only thing to be aware of is to keep a distance from your dog when it's about to shake!
If your dog stares at you a lot, it could be a nice thing. It's trying to tell you that it wants something from you, like food or company. Staring straight back at some dogs can stop them from doing this, but really, is it so hard to get out of your chair and get a bone for your little fluffy?
10. Barking At The Mail Carrier
Lots of dogs bark at specific people all the time. Your poor mail carrier is probably one of the most frequent targets. If you have a dominant dog who always barks at the mail carrier, it's because he is in the dog's territory. When the mail carrier leaves, the dog will figure that the barking is working, and it has "won" the battle.
11. Hiding Treats
Is it strange that a dog takes its treat and then buries it instead of eating it at once? Or, at the very least, chew on it for a while before devouring it. In fact, it's an evolutionary behavior that is common in smaller dogs. Before dogs were domesticated, they used to hunt for their own food. The smaller dogs learned to hide leftovers to keep the bigger ones from eating it all. What a bright idea!
A dog yawning can mean the same thing as a yawn for human beings. The dog might just be tired and need a rest. Nevertheless, if your dog is barking a lot with yawning at the same time, or just yawning over and over, it can be due to anxiety or nervousness.
13. Lip Licking
That a dog licks its lips a lot is called a "calming signal." If they consider a person or another animal to be threatening or otherwise aggressive, they might lick their lips as a signal to the other one that they aren't a threat, to alleviate some sort of anxiety which they're feeling.
It's a good sign when your dog blinks when he looks at you. Dogs usually blink when they make eye contact in a friendly manner, both with people and other dogs. Therefore, if your dog looks like he's batting his eyelashes at you, it means that he does like you and feel relaxed around you.
Dogs make numbers of funny sounds, including grunting. When a dog grunts a lot, it's probably just an involuntary sound. When dogs are resting, they make sounds like little grunts, which is equivalent to a cat purr. If this happens with your dog, it's a good sign that he's relaxed and happy.
As stated by the AKC, a dog who chases its tail frequently could actually be a sign of trouble. It may just be a nervous habit but can also indicate a brain abnormality which is similar to a seizure. If your dog is doing this a lot, you'd better take him to see a vet as soon as possible.