Dog behaviors change throughout the day with your dog’s mood. Knowing how to interpret your dog’s actions can help?you keep your pup happy and ensure that he has what he needs. Whether your dog is feeling stressed, playful, relaxed or friendly, knowing what different postures mean?is important. This guide will discuss common dog behaviors to help you know your dog’s moods better.
Understanding Common Dog Behaviors and Their Meanings
1. Playful Bow
When your dog puts his head down and rears in the air, that’s when it’s time to play! The playful bow can look like a variety of other positions, but you’ll be able to distinguish it from other postures (like the hunting bow and morning stretch) by the way your dog gets wiggly and squirmy and by the way his tail begins to wag. Your dog may also bark loudly and explosively. These are barks of excitement?and indicate that your dog wants you to join in the fun.
Dogs have a variety of aggressive poses that are sometimes used when dealing a threat, especially with other dogs. For example, your dog might bow his head, slightly raise his rear, put?his head down and raise his hackles. This behavior is a sign that your dog is feeling angry, threatened or aggressive. Other signs of aggression include growling, snapping and biting.
3. Extreme Fear
Sometimes dogs move from aggression to fear. Often, extreme fear is something dogs experience when they’ve decided they aren’t going to be able to win a fight with another dog. Extreme fear frequently takes the form of total submission. When this happens, your dog will flip onto his back, bend his legs?close to his body and expose his belly. This is a sign that your pet is not willing to fight and is trying to avoid a one-on-one confrontation. This pose looks much the same as the “rub my belly” position that dogs sometimes display for their owners. If your dog lays on his back and exposes his belly for scratching, this is a sign that your pet trusts you and would like some affection.
4. Stress Behaviors
Stress in dogs can be surprising to non-dog owners. Some dog stress behaviors can look happy, others may look more like grooming. Some common stress behaviors dogs exhibit include:
- Licking the lips and nose.?Your dog might lick his lips slowly, then use his tongue to lick his nose.
- Stress blinking.?If your dog blinks his or her eyes slowly, this is a sign that your dog is attempting to calm himself.
- Shaking.?Shaking is another indication of stress. This can be an attempt to provide self-comfort, or may simply be a natural physical reaction to feeling some anxiety.
For dog’s who regularly show signs of anxiety, there are many incredible trainers that specifically target these fear-based issues. We also recommend trying all-natural anti-anxiety supplements like Naturegood’s Calm Dog formula which combine powerful ingredients like chamomile and L-Tryptophan to relax your dog without chemicals or pharmaceuticals.
5. Friendly Behaviors
Friendly behaviors can take many different forms. When they’re feeling friendly, dogs wag their tails, curve their spine, wiggle their front and rear end and sometimes jump up and down. This is an indication of pleasure. If your dog is being introduced to another person or animal when your dog exhibits these behaviors, you can assume the meeting is going well.
6. Good Morning Stretch
If my human gets up for even a second, I steal her spot. It’s warm. I can finally stretch out. And it amuses me to hear her complain about it every single time. ? #dogfun #doggames #seattheif #stolemyspot #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbullsofig #pitbullsofinsta #rescuedogsofinstagram #rescuedog #backsleeper #dogstretch #princessgrace #pgracie
The good morning stretch is a pose that your dog will assume by putting his rear in the air, his paws out in front of him and his head down. When your dog is done, he might shake out his rear legs as he walks away. The good morning stretch is your dog’s way of saying good morning?and is also an indication of familiarity. Dogs don’t stretch in front of strangers, only trusted companions.
7. Hunting Bow
The hunting bow looks similar to the play bow in that your dog’s rear will go up and his head will go down. This bow is different from the play bow in that your dog’s body will be stiff, his tail will be straight and his eyes will be wide open. The hunting bow is a position that pet owners sometimes see when their dog is stalking prey, like a small animal. Dogs are more likely to assume this position when they’re a part of a larger group, or when they’re hunting in packs.
Next time your dog is displaying behavior that you find puzzling, think about the posture and what’s happening at the moment.?Consider dog behaviors and what they mean. This will help you determine what is happening in your dog’s mind. Noting your dog’s body language can help you learn more about your dog’s likes and dislikes.
Do you have other common dog behaviors including their meanings that are not included in this list? Please share it with us in the comments section below.
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