Dogs are awesome animals. They fill our lives with joy and appreciation and will stand by our side though thick and thin. However, the things that dogs do can sometimes remain a mystery to us. They can’t tell us what they are thinking or doing, so we can only make guesses based on their posture and demeaner. If you’ve ever wondered why your dog does a certain thing, then check out this list of dog behaviors. Some of them may surprise you.
1. Puppy-dog Eyes
Is there anything more adorable than when your dog gives you their best puppy-dog eyes? I don’t think so. That look is almost impossible to say no to–and they know it. Don’t feel too bad if you give into your dog’s desires based on this look, many of us have.
2. Desired Approval
It seems as though your dog wants nothing more than to win your approval. They’ll do anything they can to get it–even if it means looking cute and laying in the snow. And no matter how many times you give them your approval, they always want to get it again. So don’t make them wait too long, just give it to them.
3. Squinting or Blinking
This is usually a sign of wanting your attention. Your dog has been waiting patiently all day for you to finish whatever it is that you’re doing and now they’re ready to play or receive pets. So if you’ve been too busy to show them some affection, make sure to do it when you see their squinting eyes–you’ll both be satisfied.
4. Staring At You
This is also a sign of your dog wanting your attention–and a much more obvious one at that. If your dog is craving your affection so much that they won’t stop staring at you, then it’s time to give them some. There’s no more putting it off, they’ve waited long enough.
5. Tongue Out and Watching You
This is the look that you’ll most-likely recieve after you finally give your dog the attention that they’ve been desiring. This is their way of telling you that they are relaxed and satisfied. If you’re getting this look from your dog, then congratulations, you’ve done your job as a good dog-owner.
6. Continuous Eye-contact
When you are receiving continuous eye-contact from your dog, then you know that you are the center of their attention–nothing else matters to them in this moment. This is your chance to make your dog feel just as important as he makes you feel. Give them some scratches or a treat and be sure to remind them that they are a good dog. They’ll be over-joyed by this.
7. Ears Up, Mouth Open, and Tail Relaxed
If you see your dog in this state then you should be happy about it. This usually means that they are secure in their surroundings–as well as relaxed and neutral. This would be a good time to approach a dog that you aren’t familiar with. They usually welcome new-comers without much skepticism when in this state.
8. Forward Ears and Pointed Tail
This is a sign of curiosity in dogs. Maybe they’ve heard an intriguing sound or a stange scent. If you see your dog doing this, then be ready for it to go off and follow whatever it is that has its attention. Make sure to keep an eye on them because sometimes curiosity can take a dog into some very strange places.
9. Floppy Tongue
This is a sign of being calm in dogs. When their tongue is nice and floppy, then their state of being is super relaxed. They’re happy and content, without a care in the world. This is a state that most of us wish that we could achieve more often.
This look is pretty self-explanitory–your dog is upset. He may be feeling threatened by something or having an issue with another dog. Even if you’re not the cause of this frustration, you should try not to approach a dog in this state. They may take it offensively and attack out of fear.
11. Rising Bark
This means that it’s time to play. If you can, drop what you are doing and toss a ball or toy for your dog to chase. It takes minimal energy on your part but will mean the world to your dog. They live to play with you.
A dog’s howl is an awesome sound. Sometimes it’s done to comunicate over long distances. A siren or alarm can cause them to howl as well. It’s unclear whether or not they think that the siren is another dog or if they just feel the urge to respond to the sound.
13. Low Growl
This is a sign of anxiety and fear. Try not to approach a dog that is in this state. But if you must, make sure to do it slowly and calmly. You don’t want to surprise or upset them further.
14. Crazy Legs
This is one of the most submissive and vulnerable ways that a dog can sleep. If your dog sleeps like this in your house, then it’s a good thing. It means they they feel comfortable around you and in the house. There is nothing cuter than a sleeping dog with their paws in the air.
15. Side Sleeper
This is more of a napping position than a sleeping position. For some reason, dogs don’t tend to sleep on their sides for too long. But if they do, then it means that they feel comfortable in their environment. If your dog is a side sleeper, then they are content with living in your house.
This is a sign of a super active pup. It shows that they didn’t really plan to go to sleep, they just sort of crashed after hours and hours of playtime. Puppies tend to be the ones that sleep this way most often. It allows them to resume playing at a moment’s notice.
17. Passed Out
If your dog is sleeping on their back with their paws limp, then they may be too hot. With their belly up, they can cool off quicker and get some much needed rest. When you see a dog sleeping like this, give them their space. No one likes to be bothered when they are hot and tired.
18. Tummy Curl
This isn’t a very healthy way for your dog to sleep. If your dog is shy and timid, then they may curl their paws under their belly and sleep on their stomach. This prevents them from reaching REM sleep and they will often wake up feeling tired. If they’ll let you, try and move them to a more comfortable position with their paws out form under them.
19. The Fox
This is the warmest way that a dog can sleep. When they are wrapped up with their tail and paws tucked into a ball, they are able to retain the most amount of heat. Foxes and coyotes are also known to sleep this way. If it’s not cold, then this could also be a sign of apprehension.
20. Back to Back Sleep
This is one of the cutest ways that dogs sleep. When they sleep back to back with another dog, then it means that they have complete trust in that dog. It’s awesome to see this sort of connection in animals. If you’re dogs do this, then be proud of the trusting dog pack that you’ve brought together.
21. Paws Up
If your dog is on their back with their paws raised but not sleeping, then it’s a sign of concentration. You should be honored that your pup is trying to understand you so vehemently. Make sure to show them the same amount of attention that they show you. This will make their day.
22. Gift Giving
This is as cute as it is sincere. When your dog brings you a gift, they are trying to make you feel happy. Make sure to accept the gift with appreciation even if you don’t like it. You don’t want to hurt their feelings after all.
23. Full-Belly Cuddles
Sometimes your dog will eat a meal and then want to cuddle. You should let them. It means that they feel content and want to share that contentment with you. If you dog is willing to cuddle after a meal then they trust you immensely.
Although this can be a bit gross at times, it’s still a sign of affection. You should do your best to allow your dog to lick you for as long as you can stand it. It allows them to ease some stress and show you how much they love you. Just remember that there’s no need to lick them back.
25. Going Crazy When They See You
There is nothing more satisfying than coming home to an excited pet. It makes you feel loved and appreciated. We should all try to be more like dogs in this way. When someone you love walks through the door, you should greet them with an out-pouring of excitement and love.
26. Sleeping in the Bed
This one can be both cute and a little frustrating. When you have clean sheets, the last thing you want is to have them covered in dog hair. But when you’re not home and your dog just wants to feel close to you, they’ll lay in your bed to get your scent. How can you be mad at something so cute?
27. Full Bed Take-Over
Sleeping in your bed when your not home is one thing, but taking it over when you are there is another thing. Once again, this can be both cute and annoying. If you need some sleep, it can be hard to get it with a big, hot, stinky dog sleeping by your face. But it’s also hard to kick them out because you know that they just want to be close to you.
28. Post-Poop Kick
Ever wondered why your dog kicks its feet into the ground after it poops? The answer may surprise you. It’s not just them trying to clean up their mess, it’s actually them releasing pheromones from the glands that are located in their paws. This is a way for them to mark their territory.
29. Butt Sniffing
This is a way for dogs to essentially say hello to one another. They can tell a lot about another dog based on the scents that they get from sniffing their back-side. It’s a good thing humans don’t greet each other this way. It would make for some very awkward business meetings.
30. Chasing Their Tail
This is always funny to see. When a puppy chases their own tail, it’s usually because they truly don’t realized that it is a part of them. When an older dog does it, it’s simply because they are bored and trying to have some fun. If they do it regularly, you might want to check them for fleas as this could be the cause of the tail-chasing as well.
31. After-Bath Energy
Does your dog run around the house after it gets a bath? That may be because of two things: they are trying to dry off, or they are relieved that their bath is finally over. Some dogs love baths while others hate them. But either way, stinky dogs need to be washed from time to time.
32. Not Leaving Your Side
Having your dog around is usually awesome. But there are times when you’d rather have some space–like when you’re using the toilet. But dogs don’t know any better and it’s just a sign of affection for them to be hanging around you. Try to send them off kindly if you just can’t stand having them around all of the time.
33. Trashing the Couch
This may be a sign of separation anxiety. If your dog has trashed your furniture more than once, you may want to try and take them out on a walk before you leave them alone in your house. This will get out any extra energy they may have and hopefully lessen their anxiety about you being gone. And remember not to get too upset about it, they only did it because they missed you.
34. Booty Up, Tail Wagging
I’m sure you’ve seen your dog do this many times before while you are playing with them. They are trying to convey to you exactly what you’d imagine–they are having fun. So keep doing what you’re doing and watch their little dog eyes light up with excitement and love.
35. Rocking Horse
This one has a similar meaning to the last–your dog is enjoying themself. If you see your dog move back and forth like a rocking horse, then keep playing whatever game you are playing with them. You can pretty much assume that anytime your dog is moving around in excitement that they are having a good time.
36. Showing Empathy
Your dog is very receptive to your emotions. They don’t like seeing you upset and will try their best to comfort you when you are. If they give you some licks or lay their head on your lap then they are doing what they can to make you feel better. Give them a scratch or two and remember the love that they have for you, it may make you feel better.
37. Eating Grass
Eating grass is normal for dogs. They do this to try for a variety of reasons and not all of them are good. Sometimes they are lacking specific nutrients in their diet and other times they may have an upset stomach and are trying to improve their digestion. Other times it’s simply because they are dehydrated.
38. Eating Poop
This is by far the grossest thing that dogs do. But do you know why they do it? It’s actually a way that they keep their territory clean. They’ll eat their own and other dog’s poop in order to make a clean place for them to eat their actual meal.
39. Butt Drag
This is always funny to see. Ideally, your dog is doing this outside, but there are times when it will do it in your house–not good. Sometimes they are just doing it to get clean, while other times it’s because they have some sort of anal gland problem. So make sure to keep an eye on them if it becomes a habit.
40. Head Out The Window
This one is just fun for them. They get a nose-full of scents and get to feel the wind in their fur. Most dogs prefer to have a window cracked so make sure not to ride around town with your windows up. It cools them down and helps lessen their anxiety if they don’t like riding in cars.