50 Ways Dogs Communicate with You (Part 3)


From Ellen Epstein

ALEXANDRIA,VA- Have you ever been around your dog and wondered what she is thinking or feeling? Surely you have caught your canine doing something bizarre that has made you question his mental status. Even the position that your dog sleeps in means something.

This month I’m presenting the last part of a list Inno Asuncion* contributed to the Animal Channel, of the ways your doggie communicates with you: Part 3 of the 50 most common dog behaviors, explained in human terms.

31) Post Bath Energy

If your dog starts running around like a wild animal after she gets a bath, she probably hates being wet and is trying to dry off. She also may be relieved that it’s over!

32) Staying right by your side

Most of us find this dog habit annoying, even an invasion of your personal space. You must remember your four-legged family member is innately a pack animal and desires to be close to his “pack.” That’s you!

33) Squinting or blinking of the eyes

This means your pet wants attention and is ready to spend quality time with you. If you notice this behavior, check yourself. Have you been too busy to show her some love today? If so, make some time. It’s good for both of you!

34) Tongue out, studying you

If you caught the opposite sex doing this to you, you might call the police. When a dog does this, it’s a sign they are relaxed, happy, and mellow. This is usually their expression after getting the attention they crave!

35) Rocking Horse

Likewise, when your dog makes like a rocking horse and moves from front to back, she is enjoying the current activity and wants it to continue.

36) Showing empathy

Your dog knows when you are upset, and most likely wants to comfort you. Dogs have their own ways of doing so, but if you are upset and your dog is sitting near you watching you, licking you, or resting his head on you, he is letting you know he is there for you. Dogs can read our body language and they don’t like it when we are upset!

37) Eating grass

Every dog owner has wondered why dogs do this and if it is normal. The good news is that it is normal. The bad news is that they are lacking a specific nutrient in their diet, trying to improve their digestion, or (worst case scenario) may be trying to treat intestinal worms. If it is a hot day, they may just be dehydrated.

38) Eating feces

This one is repulsive, but don’t worry, he will survive! Dogs do this to keep their “territory” clean. They may eat their own or other dog’s feces because they don’t want to poop where they eat. Mother dogs eat their puppies poo to keep them clean. Just because they won’t get sick does not mean you must let them do this!

39) Awaiting your approval

If you find Fido looking at you before he is about to do something, this means he respects and desires your opinion. He understands you are in charge and does not like to upset you.

40) Puppy dog eyes

One of the most adorable things your dog does is give you those big puppy dog eyes. Though most people melt and reward this cuteness with a treat, this is your dog’s way of saying he loves and trusts you. (I’m sure he will appreciate the tasty morsel too!)

41) Humping

Another cringe worthy dog habit: humping someone or something. Take comfort knowing there is nothing sexual about it. Dogs do this to show dominance.

42) Taking over your bed

When your dog joins you and your significant other in bed, then tries to take up all the space, he wants to feel like part of the pack. I promise he is not intentionally trying to annoy you!

43) Sitting on your feet

By sitting on your feet, she is essentially marking her territory. She may be acting out of insecurity and trying to reinforce that you are there for her.

44) Hunched Over

This is a common behavior of a previously abused or attacked dog. By hunching over he is making himself small and unnoticeable. Make sure you are patient and gentle with him.

45) Fast wagging tail

She needs to be comforted if her tail is wagging super quickly with a short range of motion. She is anxious and feeling slight discomfort.

46) Fast tail, wide range of motion

On the flip side, if her tail is going crazy but has a greater range of motion, she probably wants to exercise and has lots of energy to burn!

47) Digging

This is a sign of boredom. Save your yard by making sure your dog gets daily exercise in the forms of fetch or walks!

48) Forward Ears

If a dog’s ears are pointed forward, she is focused on something right in front of her. She could be feeling a range of emotions: curiosity, fear, excitement, or something else entirely.

49) Raising a single paw

Sometimes when a pooch sees something the interests him, he will raise a paw. He may also be hungry or in the mood to play.

50) Yawning

Dogs yawn for the same reason people do. She may be bored, tired, or she may have “caught” the yawn from you.

We will never 100 percent know what our furry friends are thinking, but I hope that now you are a bit closer to understanding the subtle and not so subtle clues they give you.

*Inno Asuncion is director of operations at Shareably, an online media site that believes that a media company should be dedicated to enriching and impacting the lives of its readers. They do this by highlighting positive and uplifting stories.

Ellen Epstein is Top Dog @ Bow Wow Meow Pet Care [email protected] • 703-850-5559

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