The Art of Understanding Dog Behavior

Dogs PlayingPhoto: David Shankbone

What does it mean when

Fido prances into your clean kitchen smelling like a rotten pile of elephant dung.

Fritzy humps every dog he meets – it’s his favorite greeting. And last night he humped your leg.

Mollydog goes outside to pee and eats her own poo.

Worst of all, Duke bites the pizza-delivery boy hard enough to require sutures to close the wounds. Does this mean he’s more likely to bite someone again?

Dogs quickly become beloved members of your family, don’t they? Your dog’s like a little sponge, happily absorbing all your leftover love.

Dog in ChairPhoto:

It’s easy to forget your pet isn’t a “little people”.

Loving? Sure. Cuddly? Yep. Always there when you need comfort? You bet.

But dogs they remain. Each one has dog needs, dog instincts, dog communication techniques.

Longhair Dachshund PuppyPhoto: Boylan Family Dachshunds

Here are some samples of doggy behaviors – and their translations:

Rolling in smelly, icky gunk = “I need to hide my scent so my prey won’t smell me coming.”

Jumping up on people = “I am soooo glad to see you. Let’s play!”

Mounting or humping = “I really get stimulated when you’re around.”

Eating poop = “I want this out of my habitat; besides, maybe there’s some leftover nourishment here.”

Finally, any dog that bites hard enough to draw blood = “I cannot control my impulse and instinct to defend.” This is an animal that needs to be re-evaluated very carefully. Although most dogs have the potential to bite, a dog that has already acted on that potential is more likely to do so again compared to a dog that has never bitten.

In conclusion, go right ahead – love your furry four-footed friend. There’s a precious little life within that huggable body!

Just remember. He’s not a people.

He’s your dog!