9 canine behaviors deciphered
If the dog is undoubtedly man’s best friend, this does not mean that we understand it perfectly. 30millionsdamis.fr deciphers 10 intriguing, yet simple to understand canine behaviors.
The animal originally functioning in a pack, the dog has developed a very important body language to make itself understood by its congeners. The tail beat is one of the manifestations of this: it expresses, when it is fast and regular, a strong enthusiasm. But if the dog wags its tail in a low position, this indicates a state of fear or at least anxiety.
1- He sniffs his congeners
Dogs have a sense of smell about a million times better than humans. Olfactory recognition plays a big role, both towards his masters and towards the other animals he comes across. During walks – and if the animal does not show signs of aggression – it is very important to let it smell the other dogs, who thus “introduce” themselves to each other and exchange different information. It is also essential to allow the dogs to feel the behind because if the leash is held too short and only the muzzles brush against each other, this can be interpreted as a provocation!
2- He runs away
A dog does not try to escape because he is not happy… but because his curiosity and his desire to discover the world are sometimes uncontrollable. Guided by his instinct, which pushes him to explore an ever-larger environment, the most daring will never stop “roaming around”. Especially if it is a male and a few females are around. If it is important to watch the animal – a runaway can be a source of danger, for him or fear of others – it is also necessary to take care not to scold him. He risks associating the punishment with his return home and risks not having the desire to return the next time.
3- He tries to grab his tail
A dog sometimes seeks attention. He quickly identifies the attitudes likely to arouse a reaction from his master and then adopts stereotyped behavior, such as that which consists of trying to grab his tail. And the more the master reacts, the more the dog will reproduce this behavior. The attention gained by this unusual attitude is indeed perceived as a reward. Sometimes these stereotypical behaviors can become more troublesome, such as a dog barking consistently when its owner is on the phone. It is then advised not to react but on the contrary to reward your dog when he keeps quiet!
4- He constantly licks
Licking can have several meanings: it can first be a sign of submission and/or affection from the animal to its master. It may also be reminiscent of when he was a puppy and begged his mother for food. On the other hand, if the dog licks itself compulsively – sometimes going so far as to injure itself – it is imperative to consult a veterinarian or a behaviorist.
5- He barks at the arrival of his masters
Barking is the preferred mode of communication in dogs. It can translate into joy, enthusiasm, frustration, questioning, mistrust, warning, anger… or warning of the arrival of a visitor, which is quite normal. If the animal barks when its master arrives, it is probably stressed by its comings and goings. He may not tolerate his absences and the fact of being left alone, and barking is a manifestation of his discomfort.
6- He eats his excrement (or those of others)
This phenomenon, called coprophagia, can have different origins: either the dog suffers from deficiencies, and as his stools contain food residues, he wants to absorb them; or he suffers from digestive irritations such that the ingestion of non-food matter relieves him. Another explanation, psychological this time, can explain this attitude: a dog that has been traumatized by punishments during toilet training can also ingest its stools to hide them, and avoid being scolded again.
7- He “steals” everything lying around the house
A “thief” dog does exist! This can reflect certain gluttony: the dog in a state of craving seeks to put something in his mouth and hide it to make the most of it. This can be the food of course, but also toys and sometimes the master’s personal effects, such as his slippers or his socks. To remedy this, you have to give him food at a fixed time, and never give in to his imploring looks when the family is at the table. Do not scold him when it comes to personal effects: the dog will steal in secret the following times. Be careful not to run after him: he would take this for a game!
8- He destroys everything
A dog that destroys the house in the absence of its master is very annoying. But there again, this can be explained, and there are four main reasons behind this behavior: boredom, lack of exercise, the fact that the animal is still young – and that to explore the places and objects, he has no other way yet than to take them in his mouth – or separation anxiety. Depending on the cause of the problem, several solutions are available to owners: provide the animal with as many suitable toys as possible; take him out as much as possible and allow him to let off steam; or consult a behaviorist who will help him bear the absence of his master.
9- He turns in circles before going to bed
Many masters are surprised by this attitude. In reality, there is no reason to worry. Dogs, when they lived in the wild, flattened the grass and thus scared away parasites before lying down. The domestic dog has kept this instinctive behavior even though his basket is now perfectly clean and cozy!