Dog Psychology – Your Dog’s Behaviours Explained
If you’ve owned a pet dog for a while, you’ve probably started to notice a few behaviors surrounding them. They wag their tails at certain times, their ears droop every now and then, and so on. You’ve probably got a clue as to what they all mean, but you don’t really know exactly what they’re trying to convey.
That’s where we come in. If you’ve ever wanted to know how your dog feels based on its behavior, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the most common behaviors present in dogs, what they mean, and what you should be doing should you notice them.
Dogs Licking Humans
One of the biggest signs that your dog loves you is if it licks you. To many, it can seem gross and aggressive, but it’s a lot more wholesome of behavior than you think. You see, whenever a dog licks a human, it is showing its affection towards them. It is a sign that it likes the human it’s licking.
Other than just a sign of affection, there can be other reasons. One reason could be that our skin just tastes good to dogs. And don’t worry, they aren’t sizing you up to feast on you later – it’s just harmless licking. Aside from this, they could be licking you to vie for your attention. If they want to be pet or showered with love, sharp pets will lick you instead of barking or whimpering.
You’ve seen videos of it online, and you’ve probably seen your own dog do it, too. Whenever you see a dog chase its tail, it can lead to quite a few laughs because of how silly the whole thing is. And, for the most part, it is – the dog just wants to play around, and chasing its own tail can fun for them.
However, you should be wary if you see your dog chasing its tail a little too often. This can be a sign of a mental problem or some physical condition that exists in its tail or anal glands. This is more likely the case if you see your dog not only chasing its tail but also chewing it once caught. In most cases, however, whenever your dog’s chasing its own tail, it’s just doing so for the fun of it.
The famous dog head tilt has been interpreted in different ways over the years. Many popular media depictions of dog tilts imply that the dog is thinking or even judging the actions of what or who it’s watching. However, dog head tilts are much simpler than that.
Dogs tilt their head when they hear or see something that they aren’t familiar with. For example, if they see another animal for the first time, and don’t recognize it as a threat, they’ll turn their heads sideways. It can also happen if your phone plays a ringtone they haven’t heard of yet, too.
Head tilts also happen for other reasons. It can be problematic, though, if you see your dog constantly tilting its head. This could be a sign of ear disease, or worse, a mental problem. Contact your vet if the head tilting gets too out of hand.
Dragging Their Butts
Another funny type of behavior that dogs exhibit is scooting their butts across a floor. Just like with tail chasing, it can be an interesting and amusing thing to watch. And the reason why they do so is just as funny – it’s because they’re being bothered by their anal glands. The glands build up liquid over time, and this can annoy a dog, so they try to wipe it off every now and then.
Of course, it isn’t just the anal glands that cause the butt scooching. Other things may be stuck to your dog’s butt, such as debris, dirt, or, you guessed it, poop. If you see your dog scooching its but on the carpet floor, you might want to take it outside for a bit to let it scooch somewhere else.
While dogs are cute, they can exhibit some strange behaviors at times. One of the stranger ones would be the act of sniffing other dogs’ butts. To us, this seems extremely odd – why sniff an area that probably smells of poop? Well, dogs have noses that far exceed ours. They are home to extremely sensitive olfactory sensors that can pick up even the slightest of chemical traces.
This hypersensitive nose allows a dog to tell a lot about another dog by just sniffing its behind. The area is home to many chemicals and scents, many of which can signify things such as the dog’s health, reproductivity, and more. It’s basically dogs sizing each other up, but instead of looking at them from head to toe, they go straight for the backend.
Humans pant when tired, but why do dogs pant even when they’re completely relaxed? The answer lies in the difference between human and dog sweat glands. Humans sweat a lot, and because of this, they can cool their bodies instantly. Dogs, on the other hand, do not, and have to rely on other methods to stay cool. Panting lowers their body temperature, though not nearly as efficiently as sweating would.
Panting isn’t just done to cool off, though. Like humans, dogs also pant when anxious. You’ll see this happening if you take your dog to a fireworks show, for example. Excessive panting can also be a symptom of a bigger problem, such as an illness. So if your dog’s panting excessively, and it’s neither hot nor in a stressful environment, then you might want to consider seeing a vet.
Dogs act differently from humans – we don’t scoot our butts around the kitchen floor, nor do we lick other humans as a form of greeting. However, once you get to understand the meaning behind these common dog behaviors, you’ll find that they make a lot of sense. So the next time you see your dog do dog things, at least you now know why they’re doing them.