Dog behaviour, actions and their meaning

by Akshay Mirchandani

Your little one's actions will tell you a lot about his mood and how he is feeling. And although you may not be fluent in the canine tongue just yet, you do need to learn how to interpret your dog’s behaviour.

  1. Bad Breath

Dogs aren't known for having wonderfully fresh, minty breath, but if you notice a distinct change, it might be time to take a trip to the veterinarian or to a professional. This is because there could be something wrong with your dog's oral health. Bad breath may also be a cause for concern with respect to his gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidneys. So, even if your dog’s mood appears to be happy, pay attention to his breath.


2. Biting

Dogs usually bite out of anxiety, fear or aggression. Can you identify which is making your pet to do so? Is it his mood that is influencing his actions? If you're having trouble teaching your dog not to bite while training him, consider working with a professional trainer, or better yet, a veterinary behaviourist. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend one that will suit your dog.

3. Circling

Dogs who can't stop running around in circles may have a health issue. Usually, it's fun to see our little buddy chasing his own tail, but if your pup can't shake off the compulsion, there's a problem beneath the surface. Ear infections may cause the over-circling in your dog. Only your vet can know the reason behind excess circling, so if you notice this action, contact him straightaway.

4. Digging

Dogs dig in the ground for many reasons such as to escape, to track animals, to make a cool spot to lie, or to hide something that is important to them. However, some dogs "dig" inside their homes as well. Have you ever noticed your dog scratching at the blankets or couch in order to find the perfect place to sleep? This dog behaviour happens most often during nap times and it is completely normal!

5. Panting

Dogs expel most of their body heat through their mouths. When your dog pants, he's probably feeling too hot, so he is neutralising his body temperature. However, it's important to pay attention to his panting, as he may do it if he is in pain as well. Help your dog to regulate his body temperature and make sure he's well hydrated before any kind of physical activity–especially with the temperatures rising as summer approaches.

6. Sitting between your legs or on your feet

This adorable action, unfortunately, is most often a sign of anxiety or nervousness. Your dog is probably trying to feel safer by staying close to you. You should consider whether your dog would benefit from a visit to a veterinary behaviour specialist.

7. Yawning

Although you might think your buddy needs some sleep, a dog yawn doesn't usually mean he's tired. Of course, he may be interested in napping, but he could also be showing a sign of fear or stress. So, observe your little one if he suddenly starts yawning too much during a new activity or meeting a new person, it means he is in a stressful situation. This way you can ease him out of his fear.

If your dog is experiencing any of these behaviours, and it's not normal for him, don't hesitate to make an appointment with his vet to rule out any systemic medical issues. Once you pay attention to his behaviour, you'll be able to help him to feel better. Contact us for any queries related to your little one right away!