Understanding dog behaviour is not easy. Why does your dog do what he does? Most of the time, there is a common answer to such questions and often it has to do with basic instincts. Understanding the 6 most common dog’s behaviours will help you to better live in harmony with your furry friend. This, without of course letting him get away with mischief!

Understanding dog behaviour in 6 steps

1. The act of licking

Why is your dog spending so much time licking himself? For this, there can be many explanations depending on the age of your dog and the specific situation:

  • Puppies, for example, are regularly licked by their mums, who perform this natural act to help them free their lungs
  • If your dog licks you, on the other hand, he’s collecting information
  • By licking, your dog may also intend to show submission or affection

2. Jumping on people

This is not a sexually-driven behaviour. When a dog jumps on people or things, this is an often unheard wake-up call: you should consider delivering a better education to your furry friend! By jumping, in fact, your dog is showing dominance. This is part of the many myths about castration in dogs and a false reason to get your dog castrated.

3. Sniffing the…lower-back

Similar to shaking hands, this is how dogs say hi to each other: by sniffing each other’s lower-backs. Among dogs, this is an accepted behaviour. Don’t be ashamed if your dog sniffs his peer’s lower-back in public, he’s just… exchanging information!

4. Chewing on toys

understanding dog behaviour Jack Russel playing

It may seem funny to watch, but when dogs throw a toy around wildly, they are hunting it down! A normal dog instinct, their destructive behaviour with toys has to do with the basic instinct of killing the prey. When chewing on a toy, you have to imagine that your dog is also exploring his surroundings.

5. “That’s enough!”: The act of growling

Growling is an alarm that every dog owner should pay attention to. Is your dog suddenly growling? Something is not making him feel at ease.

When your dog growls he is experiencing a certain state of uneasiness.

But understanding dog behaviour means tracing behaviours back to your dog’s basic instincts. Apart from not feeling at ease, your dog could be growling in order to protect his territory.

6. A taste for macabre

What your dog sees when he finds the dead body of another animal is probably not what you see. Your dog may feel excited at the sight of another animal’s dead body, to the point of having the need to roll himself around it. The reason? It’s again a matter of instinct and protection for the capture: your dog wants to cover the dead animal’s scent to prevent other predators from finding the same prey.

Did you already know about these dog behaviours? Understanding why your pup does certain things or acts in a certain way will strengthen your bond and enrich your time spent together!

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