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March 26, 2018 4 min read 0 Comments

There are two different types of Dog behaviour: positive and negative. It's good to be able to distinguish between the two and notice negative behaviour, in case it is just the surface of a potential underlying issue. Whether negative or positive, we all want to know what our dogs are thinking and analysing their behaviour can help with that! So we compiled your guide to dog behaviour: why do they do that, and is it an issue?

Physical Behaviour

chasing tail

Whilst your dog trying to catch its tail every now and then isn't an issue, obsessive chasing in a circle, or constantly walking in circles can be. Common underlying health issues related to walking in circles are ear infections, however, it is most common in bull terriers. If your dog does seem to be running around in circles or chasing their tail compulsively, consult your vet to find any underlying problems that could be there.

 

digging holes

Digging for dogs is perfectly natural and rewarding for dogs. They can dig to try and find something, or just to get out that extra energy and relax! Unfortunately, dogs can also dig inside which can destroy furniture or carpets. If this is the case try and make a designated digging area outside such as a sandbox or a section of the garden in which he can dig, to get all that energy out before he comes inside. If this doesn't help try contacting a professional dog trainer to decrease your dog's habit.

 

yawning

Sleepy Dog? Well yes, sometimes, but yawning can also be a sign of fear or stress. For example, the odd yawn after a long walk is to be expected but if your dog is around a person they've never been around before and they begin to yawn excessively then try not to force interaction. Comfort them and try to calm them down.

head tilting

There are many reasons in which a dog would tilt its head and mostly it's nothing to worry about. First off, it can be believed that a dog will tilt their head when talking to you because they know we react to it giving them affection and even treats for being cute. It is also believed that they are tilting their head to more clearly hear you or they see your face more clearly to help them to judge you. However, a constant head tilt could be another sign of an ear infection or even Vertigo. It is best to get a constant head tilt seen to by a vet, just to be on the safe side.

sleeping

Of course, dogs love to sleep, they sleep around 12-14 hours a day! and a Puppy, needing time to grow, sleep around 16-18 hours a day! And the amount of sleep your dog gets will depend on the breed, age and other factors. But how much sleep is too much? Well it's hard to tell, when they're not sleeping they lie in a restful position which reflects the look of sleeping, but if you think your dog is sleeping more than they usually are, check for other factors that may be causing this or other things that could be wrong with your dog and then take them to the vet's to make sure everything is ok.
  
 

Emotions in Dogs

behaviour

  

Happy

When a dog is happy, you'll know! It's easy to spot a happy dog, firstly their tails will wag furiously, they're eyes have that gentle focused looked, their body is more relaxed than usual,  and they will usually stick their tongue out panting, they may look like their smiling, but dogs cant smile, their mouths are just really relaxed! 

  

Nervous

A nervous or anxious dog can be easy to spot if you know what to look for, their eyes will be wider and they'll try to not have eye contact with you, they may appear to frown or wrinkle their forehead and their ears will be slightly drawn back and closer to their head. Your dog may also yawn excessively and lick their lips constantly. Their tail will most likely be lowered down, or some dogs may even wag their tail nervously, which can be confusing, however, should be distinguishable from a happy wag as their other body language would be different.
   

Scared

Every dog reacts differently to fear so it depends on what dog you have. Some dogs will bark loudly or growl, some cower and some stand completely still. However, in general, the signs can be similar to nervousness, including wide eyes, lowered pinned back ears, yawning or licking their lips, low tucked tail. They will also stare at the thing they are scared of and may try to run away. A Dog will act this way as their natural instincts are telling them to stay alive, so they will remain scared until the threat has left, and they feel safe again.
    

Frustrated

A dog usually becomes frustrated by not getting what they want, or not being able to get away from something unpleasant. They will be very tense and stiff-legged, even barking or lunging at whatever is making them frustrated. Their ears will be pricked and their eyes will be unblinking, completely focusing on whatever is frustrating them. However, they will eventually take themselves away from the frustrating situation, or they will need some calm loving attention afterwards, to bring them back to their normal state.
   

Calm

After being tense, scared, nervous or angry, your dog will eventually calm down returning to a more neutral state: Softer eyes, relaxed body. Generally looking much calmer, relaxed and happier in themselves
  

Angry

An angry dog is one to be cautious of, especially whilst what they're angry at is still around. They try to make themselves look much bigger than they are, their body will be stiff, bared teeth, and lunged as if ready to attack and will be quite silent only with a low growl. If your dog is in this mood, give them some time and space to calm down and don't make any sudden movements that they may perceive as a threat. Remove anything that could be causing your dog anger and try to remain calm and unthreatening.

 

Megan Balmer
Megan Balmer



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