Understanding Doggie Behavior

Understanding Doggie Behavior

Ever wondered what your dog’s behavior actually meant? Here are a few conceptions and their actual meaning.

Rolling in the dirt:

Rolling around in strong smelling stuff, that include feces or dead animals can give predators a considerable advantage. Their own scent is thus masked from the prey they are stalking. While most pet dog breeds no longer hunt for their food, their old instincts and the smell-loving tendency remain and love to roll around in smelly stuff regardless of their owner’s behavior. Thankfully now we have enough dog washes around to remedy that!

Wagging Tails:

When dogs eat or play alone, they rarely wag their tails. So they have to be using the gesture to communicate with others. The popular example is that of a dog wagging its tail as an expression of pleasure to its owner.

An erect and quickly wagging tail can often be a sign of playfulness or intense happiness, but can also signal aggressiveness. A steadily moving tail parallel to the ground suggests that your dog is concentrating on something. And when a dog tucks its tail between legs, it signals fear and an expression of submissiveness and not posing a threat.


Licking is a natural activity for dogs. But unlike cats, they do not lick themselves instead of dog baths. Even as puppies, they lick their siblings to groom one another and to strengthen family bonds. Adults may lick each other’s faces to show submission, affection or friendliness. When a dog licks you, it is a display that acknowledges you as dominant, its affection, begging for food, or of course, grooming you.

Eaters of the Grass:

Munching on grass is normal behavior for dogs, and there are several theories as to why they do it. Several believe that dogs eat grass due to digestive problems. If they have eaten food that doesn’t agree with them, eating grass will help them vomit and clear their stomachs. Another belief is that, similar to wolves and foxes; grass is also a natural part of a dog’s diet… or it may be that dogs just prefer the taste.

Lift to Pee:

Ever noticed that male dogs prefer to pee on standing objects, like lamp posts or trees? They do so in order to place their scents at nose level, so that it’s easier for other dogs to smell and to be spread by the wind, more easily than if the scent were at the ground level. Accordingly, smaller dogs have to lift their legs quite high to send their pee to a high spot. However, larger dogs don’t need to try as hard, rarely lifting their legs as high as their smaller cousins. And thankfully they rarely ever do so in a dog wash tub!

Dog Dreams:

Ever seen a dog twitching, moving its legs, or making noises while asleep? These are typical signals that he is dreaming! Dogs too dream, though for shorter periods than humans, and also tend to move around more while doing so. Dogs also often make licking or chewing motions, move their feet around as if they’re running, and even bark or growl in the throes of R.E.M.

Related Post: Teaching the Responsibility of Caring for a Dog