Common Dog Behaviour And Its Meanings

Dogs have proved to be quick in training. They learn and unlearn very quickly with focused training by humans. While dogs have been a companion of humans for a long time, they like to please their owners, but they cannot exactly copy human behaviour as they have different brain levels and have other functioning. Nevertheless, some behaviours are an essential part of their being and cannot be taken away.

If there are countless similarities between dogs and humans, various genetic differences cause different behaviours. For example, dogs cannot speak or think, which is why they need to express and convey information through different behaviours, as discussed below.

Various dog behaviour:


Who hasn’t heard a dog bark in their life? Barking is not only a very common behaviour in all dogs but it also makes them different from other animals.

Why do dogs bark?

Well, there can be several possibilities as to why your dog is barking. They might want their owner’s attention or sensed something alarming/dangerous. It is also observed that dogs bark around other fellow dogs or to gain their attention and make them aware of their presence. Barking is a normal behaviour in animals, they try to express and communicate through it. But, if your dog is barking unusually and the barking is prolonged, they might be experiencing some discomfort in terms of health or any other condition. Therefore, you must observe and pay attention to their problem if the barking is consistent.


Dogs have proved to be great companions for humans. The only reason why some people are afraid of them is their capability to bite.

Why do dogs bite?

Well, they don’t, unless they feel the need to. Dogs are very friendly and calm unless someone threatens them or crosses their territory. If someone told you that a dog bit them for no reason, they are wrong. Dogs only bite in defence or if they feel danger from someone. Most dogs bite when they sense danger for their puppies. If you make a dog comfortable and do not threaten them in any way, they will never bite you.


This goes back to their wolf ancestors. Howling is almost similar to barking as dogs howl to gain attention, express, and announce their presence. Some people also believe that howling is an expression of sadness and isolation but this is observational information. Most dogs howl as a response to unfamiliar sounds like traffic sounds or sirens.

Food guarding

This behaviour is not healthy and must be treated as dogs begin to guard their food if they have a history of not having enough food or if they feel the threat of losing their resource. They start defending the food as a reaction to the danger. You must build a relationship of trust with your dog and make sure they do not feel threatened by losing any of their needs.


While dogs are the most friendly when treated right, they all, despite their breed, can be aggressive for various possible reasons. Most dogs have been observed to be aggressive when they don’t get their meals on time or are going through some illness causing aggressive behaviour. Whatever the reason is, the dog owner must find out and solve their issue. It is important to remember that dogs should not be forced to play during their resting time as this can also cause aggression in them due to lack of rest/sleep.


All dogs have been seen to dig the ground. Why do they do this when they can just lay on the floor? Most dogs happen to dig in hot weather because the ground becomes hot and through digging, they can comfortably lay on the lower ground which is comparatively cooler. There are other various reasons for this: dogs like to hunt and search, and digging is common behaviour.


Most dogs chase as an activity of fun. Sometimes dogs are seen chasing their tail and sometimes they chase their human companions. Dogs get bored sitting all day and some activity or playtime is very important for them. This is why they chase after their human companions to gain attention. If a dog is chasing you, they are most likely in a good mood and there is no need to be scared.


There is no exact reason why dogs lick themselves and their owners. But, the observational information is that they might find it calming and soothing. They might be doing it out of boredom as well. It is also common dog behaviour to clean themselves by licking.

Escaping/running away

Dogs cannot survive in a very limited space where they can’t freely walk or play. It does not mean you can’t adopt a dog if you have a small home. It only means that all their requirements must be met. You must take them for routine walks every day and spend time with them playing. If you neglect all of these essential activities, they are likely to run away and escape whenever they find the chance. This means that your dog might have been unhappy in their space.


Dogs jump in excitement when their favourite human comes home or when they get their favourite treat. They jump in happiness and excitement.


Dogs release their body heat by letting it out through their mouth while panting. If your dog does this once in a while, it is normal, but if you see them panting more than usual, they might be thirsty or going through some sickness which must be informed to their veterinarian.

Dog behaviour training is an essential part of making them a family member. Their extremely aggressive behaviour must not be ignored and they should be trained to stop doing that. Dog behaviour training requires communication. You can convey what dog behaviour you approve of as a dog owner and what not. Praise them when they do something right and convey it to them when they do something wrong.

Some dog behaviour is common among all but some can vary depending on their breed and age. Puppies show different behaviour than adult dogs. All these common behaviours are nothing to worry about or be concerned about until they are harmless. As the dog owner, it is your responsibility to give them the time and love they deserve.

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