Dogs are capable of doing some interesting things. We love them, but they can be weird sometimes. Whether it’s the sounds they make, the positions they sleep in, or their attachment to people, have you ever wondered why they do what they do? We’ve collected 50 of the most common dog behaviors and explained them for you, check it out!
The specific rising bark means play time! If it starts low and progressively gets higher, this pup can’t contain his excitement and he wants you off your butt and palying with him.
Ever wonder why dogs howl? It’s usually in response to something like a loud or high pitched noise. Who knows if it’s annoying and causing their ears discomfort or just their response to the sound.
3. Flashing Those Puppy Dog Eyes
We’ve all gotten it. They know they’re in trouble or they’re trying to be sweet so they turn up the cuteness factor with those big gleaming eyes. Though children use it when they really want something, dogs are doing it to show love and build trust by looking vulnerable.
4. Looking For Approval
Do you occasionally find your pup looking at you expectantly? Usually, you read this as the moment right before they get into trouble. But what your pup is actually looking at you for, is your permission. They want your permission to do whatever going to do next, whether it’s jumping on the bed or pooping on the floor.
5. Low Growl
This means that the dog is on alert. If you hear them do a low growl, they’re probably anxious or fearful. Helpful tip: an anxious dog is an unpredictable dog, don’t scare them or surprise them when they get like this, you don’t know what could happen.
6. Following You Around
This isn’t a dog owner’s favorite quality in their pooch, but it’s inescapable. Sometimes when we go to the bathroom we just want some privacy! Vets accredit this behavior to dogs wanting to stay close to family, similar to their wolf pack instincts.
If you see your dog looking at you like this, they don’t have something in their eye. This just means they want your attention! Make sure you’re making time for your pet, it’s good for both of you.
8. Posing as a dead bug
You read that right. The sleeping or lounging position of a dog with all their legs in the air has been coined as the dead bug because that’s what they look like. If you find your dog laying like this
9. Bringing you gifts
It turns out that dogs bringing you their favorite toy or the biggest stick in the yard is simply their way of sharing joy with you. They’re excited and they want you to be too.
It may seem creepy at times but the intentions are good. This is just another way of your dog asking for your attention. So give your pup some affection!
11. Side sleeping
Typically dogs don’t sleep on their sides for very long, but if they do, it shows their comfort level. Bellies are vulnerable spots for animals, and leaving them exposed sleeping on their sides shows a lot of trust a dog has.
12. Wanting to Cuddle After Dinner
If cuddling your dog after dinner or a meal is tradition to you, there’s actually a reason. Though interrupting a dog’s dinner can be a bad thing, cuddling your pooch with a full belly is their way of saying that they’re completely comfortable around you.
13. Hanging Tongues
You get home from work. You put on your sweats. You plop yourself down on the couch. You’re relaxing. If you see your dog chilling with their tongue out it means the same thing. They’re happy, relaxed, and mellow.
14. Superman sleeping
The sign of the crash. Energetic puppies are usually the ones that sleep like this, but any dog with energy to burn will sleep like this so they can bounce back easily ready for round two.
15. Licking You
Love it or hate it, all dogs have done this at some point. This is one behavior most dogs dogs do to show love, but did you know that it also eases their stress?
16. Relaxing Extremities
If you ever see your dog like this, ears up, head high, mouth open, relaxed tail, it means they’re comfortable. It roughly translates into ‘doggy neutral’ . Not scared, no threats, just relaxed and ready for some attention.
17. Tummy Sleeping
Similar to the superman, but instead the legs are tucked beside them. Dogs don’t typically get a good nights sleep in this position, but it is common for dogs that are shy and gentle in nature.
18. Getting Overly Excited to See You
This is a pretty easy one to guess. You were away at work all day, your pup simply missed you! Just like people get excited to see the family they haven’t seen in ages, dogs do the same (just after smaller amounts of time.)
19. Straightening the tail
If you see your dog in this stance, it means your pet is curious. They’re in a new place, there’s a new smell, or he heard a noise. Whatever it may be, it means they’re about to do some searching and scouting.
Chances are, if your pup sleeps like this, they’re burning up. When a dog is overheated, this position is most comfortable to lay in until they cool off.
21. Knowing something is wrong
Sometimes it seems as if our furry friends know when we’re feeling down or sad. That’s not a coincidence, dogs are very good at reading body language in a similar way that people do. They also use their senses to tell when something is wrong and are even capable of comforting you.
22. Flopping tongue
We all know this pose, the one where it looks like your dog is actually smiling. They can’t even be bothered to keep their tongue in their mouth. This easy facial expression just means they’re at ease. Just chill.
23. Tucking themselves in
There are a number of reasons your dog is sleeping in a tightly wound ball. The most common being that they’re cold, and staying all tucked in keeps them warm. This is also how wolf packs sleep, so they’re just mimicking their ancestors. Or maybe this is just the coziest position.
24. Snuggling Up in Your Bed
Every dog loves comfort, even if it means sneaking in where they aren’t allowed, but that’s not the only reason you may find them in your bed. Sometimes it’s just a way for them to be closer to you. It’s a comfortable space that smells like you, which helps their loneliness when you’re not there.
25. Baring teeth
Always pay attention to your dog’s ears and facial expressions. Obviously, if their ears are back and their snarling they are aggressive and ready to fight, so a reminder never hurts to stay away from dogs that look like this.
26. Sleeping back to back
If your dog does this with you, you should be flattered. Back to back sleeping is something that dogs only do with pack members. If you see two dogs doing this or your dog does this with you, consider yourself part of the pack
27. Leaning Against You
28. Putting paws in the air
When you see your dog putting their paws in the air, they probably aren’t just waving at you. They care and are trying to get your attention. This move takes a lot of concentration so be sure to give them some love!
Sometimes dogs will bring you a gift to show their appreciation. They are just trying to make you happy with whatever they can find. Plus you’re part of the pack so what’s theirs is yours.
30. Eye contact
Intense eye contact with people can be unsettling but means something completely different with pets. This is just another tactic to get you to pay attention to them. And come on, how long can you stare at that cute face without wanting to give it all the love?
31. Taking over the bed
This may be annoying to you, but this is just your dog trying to fit into the pack. The wolf pack does everything together, including taking up the whole bed.
32. Staying near you in the bathroom
This may seem a little strange, but your dog just wants to be around you. Always. No matter how private the situation…
33. Kicking their feet
Why do dogs kick their feet every time they ‘do their business’? It turns out dogs have glands in their feet that release a certain scent, usually when they rub or scratch their feet on something. Kicking the grass and dirt up helps release that scent, so really this gesture is just another way of marking their territory!
34. Sniffing butts
The age-old question of ‘why do dogs sniff butts” does actually have an answer. This is the dog equivalent of shaking hands. It may look strange to us, but they are just trying to get to know each other.
35. Chasing tails
We twiddle our thumbs when we’re bored, but since dogs don’t have thumbs- they chase their tails. This seemingly strange behavior is just something dogs do to pass the time, or if they’re a puppy ,they don’t realize the tail is already theirs!
36. Zoomies after bath time
Your dog isn’t the only one that runs around like crazy after bath time. If your dog is one that does, it’s probably because they don’t like being wet and they are doing all they can to dry off.
Anxiety is a real thing, and even animals feel its effects. They tend to act on their feelings a little differently, and sometimes that looks like shredding the couch. This is just separation anxiety , and to cure it, take some time to get some of that energy out before leaving them alone.
38. Playing time
If you see this stance, it definitely means play time. This universal behavior is just an invite to get you to play, wrestle, or throw something in their direction because they are ready for it.
Dog emotions are just as real as human emotions, and they know when we’re down. They’re quick to check on us and know exactly when to show some love if we need it.
40. Rocking horse
This doggy behavior may sound unfamiliar, but you probably just didn’t know there was a name for it. The rocking horse is that playful, prancing run that dogs do when they’re happy. The back to front jaunt is how the move got its name.
41. Eating Grass
Eating grass is such a weird thing that our pets do, but there is a good reason for it. Usually, they do it to help with digestion, but it can be a serious issue if they are not getting enough nutrients with their food and eat grass to fill that void.
42. Hanging out of the window
It’s a clear fact that this is every dog’s favorite part of the car ride, but what makes it so great? This is dog heaven! There is so much to look at. There are thousands of unfamiliar scents. The wind in their fur. What’s not to love?
43. Eating Feces
This is definitely a strange behavior, but just because it doesn’t harm them, doesn’t mean you should let them. When a dog eats their own or other dogs’ feces it’s usually because they are keeping their territory clean.
Everyone thinks this is funny in home videos, but just wait until it’s your own carpet. Though it looks strange, be sure to keep an eye on them. This can be a sign of an anal gland or intestinal issue.
Here’s a cringe-worthy behavior: humping. No one likes to see it, but it has a simple explanation. This is a dog’s way of asserting dominance, whether it’s over another dog or even a person.
46. Leaning on you
This is just a call for attention. You’ve ignored them long enough so the only other way to get you to notice them is to flop on you. If your dog does this be sure to give them some love!
47. Head tilts
Everyone loves this one. This adorable move is done when your pup is trying to hear better. It’s basically the dog equivalent of “What did you just say?” Now you know why this happens every time they hear the word ‘treat’.
If your dog is sitting on your feet, believe me, its not because they like the smell. This is just another way of. claiming whats theirs or marking their territory.
49. Hunching over
A lot of dog owners think that this means their dog thinks they are in trouble, but it goes a little deeper than that. Dogs do this when they feel vulnerable, and they’re hunching to pull themselves in to make themselves unnoticeable. This is common with rescue or neglected dogs, so be gentle with them
50. Tail wagging
A dog’s tail is almost always wagging, they tend to be pretty happy creatures. If you notice that it’s wagging particularly fast, this means that your pup is feeling a little uneasy. They may be anxious or uncomfortable so make sure you are gentle with them.