10 Common Dog Behaviors & the Meaning Behind

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Dogs are excellent pets to have around. They offer companionship and, if trained well, may prove to be vital in times of emergencies. That said, you, as the owner, need to keep in mind a few tips when handling your dog pet. They give vital clues in different ways, such as unique sounds and behavioral patterns.

In this article, I will discuss several dog behaviors and their meaning to assist you in understanding your dog better. In this way, you will be better placed to offer the best care without having to call a vet or better still call that vet if you feel your dog is in distress.


The most common behavior associated with dogs. Barking signifies different things for all dogs. The most common meaning of barking includes warning or alert, anxiety, communicating with other dogs, or just seeking attention.

However, excessive barking is considered a behavioral problem and needs scrutiny. Training or teaching may be required to keep in check this behavior. Attending to your dog will most likely prevent the barking to manageable levels.


Most dogs do some digging of some sought. It may be due to boredom, seeking comfort or warmth, or making a way to an area. That said, dogs are traditional hunters, and digging is part of their instincts when they need to hide food or possessions. Therefore the next time you dog busy digging, don’t be alarmed. It might just be their instincts in play.

Jumping Up

It is a natural behavior in dogs. For puppies, they do it to reach their mothers. For adult dogs, however, it means they are very excited and want to greet their owner or want to play games. They may also jump trying to reach something that grabbed their attention. In most cases, jumping up is no cause for alarm.


It is a common occurrence to see a dog circling trying to catch its tail. In some cases, it may be that your dog is just looking for something to play. In more severe scenarios, excessive circling may mean something that needs immediate attention. Your dog may have ear infections or bull terriers. If you notice excessive circling, it is advisable to call in your vet.

Head Pressing

If your dog is continuously pressing its head against hard objects or the wall, it is a cause for alarm. Your dog may be facing poisoning issues or, worse, still may be having a mental breakdown. Calling a vet to check your dog will go a long way in establishing the real cause and offer medication.


Dogs are known to bite for different reasons. For puppies, it may be that they are just exploring new surroundings or objects. This behavior continues into their adult lives. Adult dogs can bite due to fear, which activates their defensive instincts when they are threatened. In some cases, dogs have been seen to bite when they are in pain and also when they feel their puppies are in danger. As long as the dogs think there is a need, they are likely to bite.


It involves a dog dragging him/herself across the ground. Most dogs do this if there is severe irritation around the anus area. Your dog may have an infection or an allergy, and, if left unchecked, may result in more critical issues. Of less pressing concern, your dog may have chewed a piece of plastic bag or string and may have bits stuck in the anus and is just trying to get them out.


In biology class, you may have come across this. It is no cause for alarm in most cases as your dog is only trying to expel excess body heat or is thirsty. Keeping your pup well hydrated is key to avoid excess panting. In some cases, dogs pant when in pain and is therefore essential to investigate the real cause. If you become concerned about your dog panting, it is never late calling in your vet.


Urinating is a dog’s way of not only relieving himself but also to mark territory. If you see your dog urinating around the compound unusually, then he may have come across another male dog and is only trying to fend them away. However, it may mean your dog has urinary tract infections, which keep him urinating often.

Eating Poop

It is typical behavior in dogs from a young age. It is not a cause for alarm as your dog may be curious about what is contained in their poop. It may also mean that your dog has digestion problems, meaning he/she poops food that wasn’t properly digested. Therefore he smells food and eats it. In this case, you may have to take him/her on a trip to the vet.

Some of these dog behaviors are just natural, and there is no need to worry if you notice them. Having stayed with your pet for some time, you are sure to see the unusual behavior which will warrant a trip to the vet. Regularly exercising your dog will help in boredom and anxiety issues. It is, therefore, essential to keep an eye on your favorite pet to keep him/her in the best condition and help you act in good time when the need arises.

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