Understanding Dog Behavior
Dog behavior is easy to understand if you're able to look at the
world from your dog's perspective. A dog's body language changes
with his mood. Dog behavior can also change when your dog reacts
to a certain situation or has something to communicate. Here's
how you can understand your dog's behavior.
Body Language: A Key to Your Dog's Mood
Your dog communicates with body language in many ways, not
just by barking or wagging his tail. He uses all parts of his
body to communicate with body language. The way he moves and
carries himself can tell you a lot about his mood. Here are some
of the moods your dog might experience and how he'll express
- A dog in a dominant mood will stand stiff and tall and
may raise his hackles. His tail may stick straight out and
he may fluff it. He'll hold his ears straight up; his mouth
may open slightly and his eyes will be wide. He may growl or
- A dog in a friendly mood will perk up his ears, relax
his mouth, and wag his tail.
- A dog in a submissive mood will pull his ears back,
close his eyes and raise his paw.
- An aggressive dog flattens his ears against his head,
narrows his eyes, and tenses his body. He may show his
teeth, growl or snarl.
- A worried dog will flatten his ears and the hairs on his
neck may stand up. Worried dogs give sharp barks and may
- A fearful dog assumes a lowered stance with a tucked
tail. His back arches and the whites of his eyes may show.
- A stressed dog will lay his ears back and down. His
mouth will be open wide and he'll breathe rapidly. He'll
lower his shoulders, hunch forward, tuck his tail and
Bad Dog Behaviors and the Reasons Behind Them
Dog barking can be one of the most irritating animal
behaviors, but it occurs for a number of reasons. They may be
feeling isolated and bark to get your attention. They may be
barking to warn you of an intruder. Many dogs bark when fearful,
playful or anxious.
Dogs dig for a number of reasons as well. Some do it to
entertain or comfort themselves. Others dig so that they have a
cool hole to lie in when it's hot outside. Some dogs will even
dig to get your attention; dogs who dig in front of you are
often trying this strategy.
Chewing is normal behavior in puppies, but adult dogs may
engage in destructive chewing if they are feeling bored or
anxious. Dogs will also chew to get attention or to cope with
phobias, such as a fear of thunderstorms.
Understanding and Correcting Dog Behavior
To truly understand your dog's behavior, you have to get to
know your dog. Different dogs do different things for different
Most bad dog behaviors can change if the circumstances that
caused the behavior change. For instance, if your dog engages in
destructive chewing behaviors due to separation anxiety,
resolving the separation anxiety should resolve the behavior.
How to Care for Dogs
How to Train a Dog
Teaching Kids the Skill of Caring for Animals
Resolving Dog Barking Problems with Minimum Punishment
7 Signs of Dog Separation Anxiety
How Breed Influences Canine Behavior
Developmental Stages of Dog and Puppy Behavior
6 Tips for Fixing a Dog Behavior Problem
Can Bad Dog Behavior Be Treated with Medication?
What Is a Dog Whisperer?
A Guide to Guard Dog Breeds
Causes of Dog Aggression
Six Reasons to Get Professional Dog Training
How to Stop Dog Whining
6 Unusual Facts About Dog Psychology
The Top Dog Names
How to Put on a Dog Choke Collar
Treating Separation Anxiety with Clomipramine for Dogs