This Is Exactly What The Behavior Of Your Dog Really Means

Published on 02/13/2020
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Dogs see the world through different lenses. However, they also use their bodies to communicate. Do you want to know what your pooch is thinking at all times? If so, keep reading to figure out what they have on their minds! We bet that you will find something shocking on this list.

Here Is What The Behaviors Displayed By Your Dog Means

This Is What The Behavior Of Your Dogs Really Mean

On Hind Legs

There are a few possibilities if your dog gets up on their hind legs. Mostly, they do this to show affection. Like us, they just want a hug every now and then. With other dogs, they might be doing it to display their playfulness. There is nothing to worry about as long as they are not growling or being aggressive.

On Hind Legs

On Hind Legs

Furniture Chewing

Pups have a habit of chewing on things during the teething phase. It does not mean the same thing when they are not puppies anymore. There is a chance that they just need to get more physical activity. One way to treat the issue would be to take your dog out for a walk.

Furniture Chewing

Furniture Chewing

How They Bark

Dogs bark for a lot of reasons. Loud and frequent barks will mean there is an urgent issue. Maybe they could feel danger lurking and want you to know about it. Short and soft ones, however, mean that they feel playful. Loud barks could mean they feel in pain, so make sure to pay attention to them.

How They Bark

How They Bark

Bringing You Toys

Your dog might not want to play even if their toy is in their mouth. A theory says that this is their way to please their human. They want your respect since you are the alpha. It might be that they want to show you their trust. They trust you so much that they want you to have their prized object. For this reason, you might hurt their feelings if you simply throw the ball away!

Bringing You Toys

Bringing You Toys

When Dogs Yawn

We humans yawn when we feel tired or bored. Dogs yawn when they feel secure and safe as an act of submission. A dog that yawns 15 times is clearly a relaxed one. However, they might do it to show stress, nervousness, or anticipation as well. They might to it to keep their excitement in check when they know that you are about to go for a walk! Of course, they do it to show their exhaustion sometimes too.

When Dogs Yawn

When Dogs Yawn

Like A Caterpillar

We are always happy to see our dog kick up their legs and then wiggle on their back. How adorable! Sometimes, they will do this to scratch some itch. However, they might be doing this to catch your attention. If this happens, you should give them a great dose of love!

Like A Caterpillar

Like A Caterpillar

Before You Go

You might feel guilty when you leave your dog at home in the morning. There are folks who prefer to pay for doggy day cares to feel better about it. We do not like to see our dogs make sad faces, right? They might have a calm face on, but it only means that they trust you and know that you will be back.

Before You Go

Before You Go

Pacing Back And Forth

Is your dog pacing? Well, it probably means that they are excited, nervous, or bored. They are doing it for the same reasons that we humans do. When they go around in circles, it likely means that they want to play. It is similar to the way dogs greet each other upon first meeting.

Pacing Back And Forth

Pacing Back And Forth

Pointing Their Snout

What does it mean when a dog freezes up, nudges a snout toward one direction, and lift a front paw? Here was what 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

Apart from showing how comfy they are, yawns might also mean exhaustion, anxiety, or discomfort. Your dog might be in need of a siesta! It is a good idea to make sure that your dog is okay when you notice them yawning too much when they are somewhere unfamiliar.

Showing Discomfort

Showing Discomfort

Tilting Their Heads

People often talk to their dogs in a higher pitch, which causes them to tilt their head. Dogs can read and respond to body language and vocal cues too. They can understand instructions and reprimands by recognizing certain words. One theory says they tilt their heads so that they can listen to you better.

Tilting Their Heads

Tilting Their Heads

Sniffing Around

Dog noses are wonderful for some things. We have 5 million olfactory receptors compared to their 220 million. When they go sniffing, they are trying to track prey or sense danger. They will remain silent and still as they do this. Dogs can distinguish people and dogs through smell, which is just incredible.

Sniffing Around

Sniffing Around

Flipping Up Tongues

When dogs believe they did something bad, they will stick out their tongue and then flip it up. Think of it as an apology! Perhaps this is the dog equivalent to an innocent face. We do not know about you, but who can resist a face like that? This look might be familiar to you if your pet likes to pee on the floor.

Flipping Up Tongues

Flipping Up Tongues

Just Like Yoga

People often only stretch after waking up. However, dogs like to do this for their muscles as well. It is also possible that they are trying to show affection and love. Your dog did not necessarily just wake up when you see them do this. Maybe they are trying to show you how glad they are to see you.

Just Like Yoga

Just Like Yoga

Exposing Their Belly

A dog that shows you their belly is one that feels submissive and respects you. Maybe they are eager to play with you as well. The best thing to do would be to rub their stomach! We just want to warn you that this might happen more and more. This is behavior they also do when another animal attacks them.

Exposing Their Belly

Exposing Their Belly

Tucking Their Tail

Does your dog have their tail tucked between their legs? If so, they might be distressed, ashamed, scared, nervous, guilty, or uncertain. You should comfort and soothe your dog if you see them do this. You can do this by talking softly and petting them. Of course, doggie treats should also fit the bill here.

Tucking Their Tail

Tucking Their Tail

Raising Their Paws

When your dog raises their paw up to you, they might need something or want to play. A lot of pups and younger dogs do this. A puppy that feels hungry will do this to reach out to their mother. When your dog does something like this, they might be looking for love and affection.

Raising Their Paws

Raising Their Paws

Using Their Tails

A dog that wags their tail is one happy and excited hound! However, it is different when they hang it down since that often means submission instead. It is a good idea to give your dog affection, love, and security when they do this. On the other hand, they are playful and alert when they are wagging it up.

Using Their Tails

Using Their Tails

Dragging Their Bum

Yes, it is pretty funny when you see a dog dragging their bum. However, scooting is actually a cause for concern. They do this when they are suffering from an impacted anal sac. Some dog breeds have it at elevated rates. It is an uncomfortable affliction, so you should bring them to the vet as soon as possible.

Dragging Their Bum

Dragging Their Bum

On Your Feet

Dogs often stay by your feet when you eat dinner or watch TV. Even though it can get annoying sometimes, your dogs do not mean any harm. No, they only want to show loyalty and love by trying to be as near to you as they can be. This is behavior they inherited from their ancestors who ran in packs.

On Your Feet

On Your Feet

Leaning On You

Does your dog lean on you when you are hanging out? If so, you should feel flattered since this is like a hug for them. They are not lazy – they just want to touch you! It is not a good idea to move your dog away when they do such a thing. We would just let them to it so that they can express their affection.

Leaning On You

Leaning On You

Tackling You

It might not be comfortable when you get tackled by your pet, but they are not trying to hurt you. While this has caused injuries in the past, they only want to show you that they are glad to see you. After waiting for you the entire day, they are excited to see that you are finally home.

Tackling You

Tackling You

Flicking Ears

When a dog flicks their ears, you should know that they are listening. This often happens when they are not familiar with a sound and want to place it. You should let your dog play detective when this is going on. It is adorable to see them when they are being observant and inquisitive little creatures!

Flicking Ears

Flicking Ears

Licking Themselves Clean

It is no secret that dogs like to clean themselves with their tongue. When they get all dirty, they will attempt to groom themselves by licking their bodies. This also happens when they get hurt. You should bring your dog to the vet when they are licking at their legs and paws, especially spots near their joints.

Licking Themselves Clean

Licking Themselves Clean

Snarling And Showing Teeth

Dogs have different ways of showing their moods, and they are not positive all the time. A dog that wrinkles their muzzle is an aggressive one. If they snarl and show you their teeth, you should take them away from the current situation. They might be ready to attack at any given moment, after all.

Snarling And Showing Teeth

Snarling And Showing Teeth

Investigation Time

When you head out for a walk, you might see your dog halting all of sudden and raising their foot. They probably did not get hurt. However, they do want to figure out whatever caught their attention. Yes, their brains are hard at work. They might also do a lot of sniffing during these moments.

Investigation Time

Investigation Time

Straightened Tail

When your dog has their tail up in the air, they might feel confident or excited. They do this when they meet someone new. They might be challenged when the tail is up and shaky. A content and happy dog will have their tail level with their body. A low or tucked between the legs one means insecurity.

Straightened Tail

Straightened Tail

The Side Tongue

It is adorable when dogs put out their tongues. This is often a signal that they are calm and happy. This will often happen when you play fetch or go out for a walk. However, beware of the “hanging tongue syndrome.” This is common with flat-nosed dogs such as boxers or bulldogs.

The Side Tongue

The Side Tongue

Digging Holes

Your dog is not evil just because they dug up your yard. This is an instinctual behavior for them since their ancestors have done it forever. This is even truer for terriers. They like to dig holes in the yard so that they can leave toys, bones, and other things. They might also be looking for prey or burying their dead!

Digging Holes

Digging Holes

Why They Bite


No one likes to get bitten by a dog! However, your dog might do this to show affection and playfulness. After all, dogs tend to bite each other while playing. It is not aggressive, but they tend to do the same thing to their human companions. Just make sure they are not showing fear or aggression!

Why They Bite

Why They Bite

Sleeping Beside You

You should not be offended if your dog ignores their dog bed and lays down by your side. This is something they got from their ancestors, who roamed in packs and slept beside one another for warmth and security. Your dog just wants to be close to their master. This is actually quite a big compliment!

Sleeping Beside You

Sleeping Beside You

Paw Pats

No one likes to be slapped by any other person. However, your dog is not trying to hurt you when they slap you with their paw. They only want to get your attention! A dog slapping a fellow dog is another story too. It is thought to be a sign of trust for them, not unlike patting a friend on the back.

Paw Pats

Paw Pats

Eating And Cuddling

When your dog cuddles you after they eat, they want you to know that they admire you. Dogs, like us, want to nap after a great meal. The best place to do such a thing would be beside the human they adore the most! It would not hurt to give them a cuddle or two or three, right?

Eating And Cuddling

Eating And Cuddling

Panting

When your dog pants, they are not always in danger. They like to do this to cool off when they overheat. Since they do not have the same sweat glands we do, this is their best bet to lower body temperature. You should give them water when you see them doing this. They might also be in pain or feeling stress.

Panting

Panting

Eye Movement

Dogs are like us in many respects. They often show their emotions through their eyes. When they look down, they might be sad or tired. However, they show their excitement by opening their eyes wide and looking around. When they raise an eyebrow, they might be feeling confused.

Eye Movement

Eye Movement

Bowing

Why is your dog bowing? If you do not know what we mean, we refer to the way they bring down their heads but keep their body erect. Usually, it means that they are feeling playful. When they swing their hips and wag their tails, there is nothing to worry about. It is called the “play bow.”

Bowing

Bowing

Walking In Circles

Does your dog walk in circles before they lie down? This is something that they must have inherited from their wolf forebears. These creatures like to do this to flatten leaves or debris. It helps make the surface a lot more comfortable. It is quite funny when you see them do this!

Walking In Circles

Walking In Circles

Howling

People like to quiet their dogs whenever they howl. For these creatures, this is equivalent to yelling. They need to release their angry feelings too! You should not assume that they are asserting dominance over you. Let them be because even dogs need an outlet to express how they feel.

Howling

Howling

Hugging With Eyes

When they put on puppy dog eyes, they are not just trying to look cute. No, they want to show you their affection as well. Think of it as the dog version of hugging. That look means that they want a hug or kiss from you. They clearly adore you when they look into your eyes like that.

Hugging With Eyes

Hugging With Eyes

Yowling

When your dog yowls, they want to tell you something. One animal journal writer 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

Have you ever seen your dog eat poop? Even if it is gross, coprophagia is not uncommon. However, it might be a sign of malnutrition. If a dog does it often, you should go to a vet and maybe a trainer!

Eating Feces

Eating Feces

Chasing Tails

When your dog runs in circles and chases their tail, you can take it to mean playfulness. When they do it in excess, it might mean they have health or behavioral issues. A dog that chews their tail might have allergies, anal gland issues, or OCD, however.

Chasing Tails

Chasing Tails

Licking

Licking is not uncommon behavior among dogs. They do so to show affection. When they lick you, they want you to know that they love you. They also like the minerals and nutrients present on your skin!

Licking

Licking

Humping

For dogs, there is nothing unusual about humping. They like to do it in a playful manner, so it is not always sexual or a matter of dominance. At any rate, we do not blame you if you do not like it!

Humping

Humping

Sniffing Butts

“Can you imagine if people greeted each other like that?” It is not a secret that dogs have a better sense of smell than us. Sniffing is how they get to know the world. By doing this little exchange, they can figure out the gender, temperament, and diet of their fellow dogs!

Sniffing Butts

Sniffing Butts

Dog Squinting

You must have seen that little squint dogs like to do. When they do it, they often want quality time and some attention. When a dog does it excessively, you should give them more attention than usual!

Dogs Squinting

Dogs Squinting

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, High Ears

Do you want to know when you should bother your dog? It is a good sign when they have an open mouth, pointed ears, and relaxed tail. They only do this when they are safe and relaxed!

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, High Ears

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, High Ears

Straight Tail, Ears Forward

Do you know what is going on when your dog has a straight tail and pointed ears? It often means that they are focusing on something. They will do this when they curious about something or someone!

Straight Tail, Ears Forward

Straight Tail, Ears Forward

Dead Dog

The ‘dead bug’ pose is quite hilarious. When dogs have their limbs up, they do look like a dead insect. Your dog will only do this when they feel content and relaxed. After all, it is a vulnerable position!

Dead Dog

Dead Dog

Side Sleeping

Many hounds lie on their sides during nap time. However, they don’t do it for long since it will be harder for them to stand up if there is any trouble. One that sleeps like this is one that has no worries at all.

Side Sleeping

Side Sleeping

Superman

The superman pose is insanely cute! Dogs tend to crash on their stomach with the limbs spread out when they are exhausted. Pups love doing this pose since they can stand up from it right away.

Superman

Superman

Passed Out

Your dog might also do this when they feel tired. Even if it’s cute, do not be happy since they might be overheating and in dire need of cooling off. Let them rest when they have their paws across the chest!

Passed Out

Passed Out

Belly Curls

It might be cute, but your pooch can’t sleep well when they are doing the “belly curl” pose. When they are on their belly with their paws underneath them or on their sides, they are too tense to reach REM!

Belly Curls

Belly Curls

Curling Up

Do you ever see your dog curled up like a fox? They might be cold when their paws are underneath them with their tail wrapped around their body. Make sure to help them out by giving them a blanket!

Curling Up

Curling Up

Back To Back

Many forget that dogs are ‘pack’ animals. However, you might not forget about it when you see them with other dogs. They tend to sleep back to back like their ancestors did. Clearly, they trust each other!

Back To Back

Back To Back

Bringing Gifts

What does it mean when your dog brings you leaves, shoes, or dead animals? It is a sign that they respect you. It is cute that these animals want you to be happy in the only way that they know how.

Bringing Gifts

Bringing Gifts

Boosting Energy

Some dogs like to get baths, but they are rare. Most dogs hate it! If your dog goes around the house like loco after one, they must despise it. They will have a lot of energy because they want to dry off ASAP.

Boosting Energy

Boosting Energy

By Your Side

If you own a dog, you will know ‘invasion of privacy’ very well. It is not comfy when your dog goes to the bathroom with you when you use the toilet. Just remember that they mean well!

By Your Side

By Your Side

Showing Empathy

If you feel that your pet understands you, you are right. Dogs can sense the mood in the air. This is the reason they will comfort you as much as they can when they sense that you are down or angry. Aww!

Showing Empathy

Showing Empathy

Eating Grass

Dogs like to eat grass. Fact. Sadly, it might mean that they have a nutrient deficiency, intestinal worms, dehydration problem, or digestion issues. If this happens too much, bring your furry friend to the vet!

Eating Grass

Eating Grass

Humping Inanimate Objects

If you ever find your dog humping the chair or stuffed animal, they might only be doing this to catch your attention. They know that this will do that. Desperate moments call for desperate measures!

Humping Inanimate Objects

Humping Inanimate Objects

Digging After Going To The Bathroom

When dogs dig up grass after going to the bathroom in your yard, they are not only “covering” their droppings but also marking their territory! This is their way to let others know that they were there.

Digging After Going To The Bathroom

Digging After Going To The Bathroom

Winking

No matter what you might think, a pup winking at you is not telling you a joke or hinting at something. The truth is that they might have gotten something in the eye that bothers or irritates them.

Winking

Winking

Barking At Nothing

There are times when dogs would look out the window and bark endlessly even if nothing is there. They do this to protect your house. They want all the possible intruders to know that they are in this house!

Barking At Nothing

Barking At Nothing

Licking You

A lot of people like it when their pet licks their face or hand. However, there is more to it than that. Many think that they show their affection this way. They might use it as sensory tools as well.

Licking You

Licking You

Staring At You

If your dog seems fixated on you often, there is nothing weird about it. Your dog must be staring at you in the hopes that you will hand them a treat. After all, who could possibly resist those huge eyes?

Staring At You

Staring At You

Shaking Toys

If your dog violently shakes their days in their mouths, you might find it adorable and funny. However, the truth is that they are showing you what they would do to their prey in the wild. Wow.

Shaking Toys

Shaking Toys

Only Eating In Private

Does your dog refuse to eat when a human or fellow dog is in that room? It might be that they don’t feel like sharing! Even though humans would not even consider eating dog food, they don’t understand that.

Only Eating In Private

Only Eating In Private

Voluntarily Sleeping In His Crate

It might be a little weird that a dog chooses to nap in a crate instead of the bed or couch. However, they sometimes think of it as their bedroom. They are at ease and comfortable there since they go there when you are out of the house. This is their own room!

Voluntarily Sleeping In His Crate

Voluntarily Sleeping In His Crate

Kick When You Scratch Their Belly

A lot of pet owners find it funny and adorable when a dog kicks their leg up when their belly is scratched. However, this is the equivalent of getting tickled for them. They put their legs in the air because the scratch nerves tell them that something is itchy there. Move your hand a bit when your dog starts kicking their leg.

Kick When You Scratch Their Belly

Kick When You Scratch Their Belly

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