Understanding the behavior of our dog is essential to establish an affectionate and satisfactory relationship with him. Although dogs do not speak, knowing their body language, gestures, and attitudes can help us communicate with them, and react accordingly.
Dogs, like humans, go through different states of mind depending on the moment and the situation. Sadness, joy, fear, or concern are some of the sensations that we share with our pets.
But how to understand the behavior of dogs? We are going to explain the meaning of some of the most common dog behaviors:
- The first thing to keep in mind is that the relationship between you and your dog cannot be subject to dominance by either party. Even the most hierarchical dogs must learn to understand their role in order to interact with people and with the rest of the elements that surround them. Hence the importance of using positive reinforcement when you want him to learn behavior or respond correctly to any of your commands.
- Dogs often show their discomfort through different reactions. Sneezing, yawning excessively, licking your lips, staring into your eyes, or stiffening are some of them. Your dog may yawn simply because he is tired or sleepy, although he could also yawn when faced with an unexpected situation, and does not know how to react. Sneezing usually responds to the same causes or motives to which people are subjected, that is, to a natural reflex of the respiratory tract triggered by an irritant substance. Your dog will stare into your eyes to try to better understand some of your attitudes or feelings, although it may also feel uncomfortable if you stare at it. The rigid posture of your body is usually associated with alertness,
- The movement of its tail is one of the factors that can give you the most clues about your dog’s mood. If he wags his tail and butt euphorically, he is transmitting his joy to you. If, on the other hand, the movement is slow, it means caution. And when you notice that it hides its tail between its legs, do not doubt that it feels a certain fear or fear.
- If your dog wants to play, he will be confident and loving. It is common for it to stretch out in front of you, with its butt raised and its front legs stretched out. If he also raises his leg to touch any part of your body, he wants you to pay attention to him and interact with him.
- Why do dogs lick? Dogs also use licking to communicate with you. If your dog licks you, he is trying to greet you and even convey his affection and loyalty. It can also do it to get your attention, and even to try to rescue food scraps. This last aspect is due to the habit of puppies licking their mother’s muzzle so that she will provide them with food if she regurgitates it.
- Aggression is another of the behaviors that aggressive dogs use to react to a sensation. Recognizing the signs of a possible assault is important to prevent mishaps. If you notice that your dog leans forward, and the hair on his back stands on end, it is because he feels threatened and is ready to attack. In this case, react by keeping calm, and never berating or hitting him.
It is true that aggressiveness in dogs can only be a sporadic defensive behavior. But it can also stem from a much more serious problem due to multiple causes, which can endanger your life and that of other dogs or people. If this is your case, we recommend that you go as soon as possible to a veterinarian specialized in dog behavior (ethologist), or to a professional trainer to help you find a solution.