Even if your dog can't talk, it will still communicate with you. From whining to barking, dogs have a way of making themselves heard. However the best way for our canine pals to make themselves understood is to use their body language.
That said, this 'secret language of dogs' isn't always easy to decipher, leaving us at a loss when it comes to understanding their wants or needs. So, it's a good idea to learn more about canine body language and the different behaviours that dogs exhibit. Understanding their behaviour will help you to better identify and respond more accurately to your dog's expectations, meet its needs and deal with potential problems.
1. Your dog looks at you when it goes to the toilet
This often happens during walks. Everything is going wonderfully, your dog's having a ball, the sun's shining and all's right with the world. Suddenly, however, your dog stops dead in its tracks and you have absolutely no idea why. You realise your dog's looking at you intently. You can only guess why. You figure that he needs to go to the toilet, but why the hard stare or pleading look? Is it a lack of privacy? Apparently not, as according to dog behaviourists, looking at you is reassuring. When they're about to pee or poop, dogs feel vulnerable, so, a dog will look at its owner because it's counting on you to protect it.
2. Your dog follows you to the loo
It's not easy to pee or poop in peace when your dog's staring at you or scratching at the door. Why do they do this? Apparently, this is due to pet dogs' domesticated behaviour. Your dog has been taught to come to heel, so if it feels like it, it will follow you anywhere, anytime. It may also stem from separation anxiety, even if there's simply a closed door between you...
3. Your dog jumps up to greet you
Try to put yourself in your dog's place. When a dog comes across another dog that it likes, they'll make eye contact. They may even give each other welcoming licks. With owners it's not quite as easy. We're too tall for our dogs to lick us on the face just like that. So in order to give you a big smacker, it will jump up in order to say "hello".
4. Your dog hides when it's time for a walk
Your dog usually loves to go for walks. They'll often be out the door as quick as a flash. Except that sometimes, your dog may become afraid when it sees its lead and other signs that indicate a trip outdoors. What could possibly cause this sudden timidity?
According to some experts, there are several reasons for this behaviour. Your dog may have a skin problem caused by the lead rubbing on its neck and it may be in pain. Another possible situation: leads may mean a trip to the vet's. Its fear is understandable...
5. Your dog destroys everything in its path
This is something all dog-owners fear. Noone wants a destructive dog. To manage this problem, you'll need to understand what causes this behaviour. In some cases, it may be your fault. Puppies need to chew objects to help teething and keep themselves amused. If you haven't trained your dog to leave things alone, as it gets older it will continue to destroy everything in its path because of the boredom caused by your absence or lack of attention. It will vent its frustration and fear of abandonment by turning your house into a pile of ripped cushions, bedding, clothes...
6. Your dog drags its rump across the floor
This behaviour may at first seem funny. However, your dog may feel differently. Dogs don't drag their rumps across the floor for fun - it may well have a medical problem or skin irritation. Our advice is to take your dog to the vet's.
7. Your dog eats its own poop or that of other dogs
It can be disgusting to see your dog eat poop. However, there are many reasons for this stomach-churning behaviour. This can be related to a health problem such as diabetes, external or internal parasites, an unsuitable diet or even a thyroid disease. It can also be a sign of anxiety, such as fear of abandonment, feeling isolated or feeling in need of attention.
8. Your dog doesn't like someone in your entourage
The reason? This can stem from jealousy, or because your dog is being protective. Dogs often have instincts that are more highly developed than ours. If your dog doesn't like someone, there may be a good reason. We suggest you keep an eye on its behaviour and take action if necessary. If you don't, as soon as your back's turned it could sneakily pee all over its "adversary's" coat/shoes etc..
9. Your dog lets out heavy sighs
If your dog sighs, it's generally a good sign. Where humans tend to sigh when they're bored or impatient, your dog will sigh when it's feeling relaxed and totally at peace. However, if your dog repeatedly sighs, get it checked out in case it has a health problem.
10. Your dog turns around in circles before settling down to nap
This behaviour can be intriguing. Why would our dog turn around in circles falling asleep? Is it checking out its territory? In some ways, yes. This is "ancestral" behaviour. Non-domesticated dogs turn in circles to check out the safety of their sleeping place before settling down. They may also prepare their bed by patting it so as to ensure they have a comfy bed for the night.