5 Common Dog Behaviors and What They Mean


Your dog’s behaviors can tell you a lot about his mood. Although you may not be ready to learn how to speak dog language, it can be very helpful to learn how to read his behaviors. Have you ever wondered why he spins in circles in the same spot or licking certain textures? Once you learn how to read his behaviors, you’ll be able to tell if the behavior is normal or if it’s something more concerning.

1.      Bad Breath

Dogs certainly aren’t known for their minty-fresh breath, but if you notice a major worsening in your dog’s breath it may be time to call the vet. There could be an issue with his teeth, but it could also have something to do with his kidneys, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. Even if he seems healthy otherwise, a noticeable worsening of his breath is cause for a checkup.

2.      Nipping and Biting

If your dog is a puppy, he may simply be nipping because that’s how puppies communicate with their parents and siblings. It’s a normal part of playtime. If this is a regular behavior for your puppy, it should be addressed ASAP so that it doesn’t become a problem down the line. Older dogs may bite out of aggression, fear, or anxiety. Be observant to see what is motivating your dog’s behavior. You might want to work with a professional trainer to address the issue before it gets out of hand.

3.      Circling

If your dog can’t stop walking in circles, it could signal a major health issue. Of course, he may also simply be chasing his tail for fun, but if he can’t seem to stop, then there may be a problem. Things as simple as ear infections could be the cause, but it could also be something more serious like a brain tumor.

4.      Digging

Digging is motivated by lots of things, such as escaping, tracking other animals, hiding things, or simply just creating a cool spot to lay down. Digging and rearranging the blankets before he lays down is also completely normal and nothing to be concerned about unless it becomes destructive.

5.      Eating Poop

Dogs may eat poop for a variety of reasons, and although it’s disgusting, it’s usually a normal dog behavior. They often learn it from their moms who do it to clean them. He may simply be curious, or he may smell something in the stool and wonder what it tastes like. In fare cases, it can signal a nutritional deficiency. If you’re concerned, try changing his food or consulting with your vet for advice.

The most important thing is to be observant. If your dog adopts a behavior that’s not normal for him, don’t hesitate to take him in for a checkup.

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