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If you have always wondered about common dog behaviors and why dogs engage in them, this article might be of interest to you. Our furry companions do a lot of strange things that we don’t necessarily understand but there is a reason behind these weird behaviors.

Common Dog Behaviors Explained

1. Howling

Howling is very much an instinctive behavior that all dogs have in some form. It is most commonly used as a way to communicate with other dogs. This is why one dog howling will often cause other dogs to howl. Or why your dog howls back at you if you howl.

This is their way of responding and letting you know that they heard you. It is also a way to make their presence known. It can be a way to communicate displeasure, joy, fear, or excitement.

Dogs often howl at loud or shrill noises as it often sounds like other dogs’ howl. This is why your dog might start howling when they hear a siren. Certain breeds will howl more than others.

Excessive and continual howling could also be a sign that your dog isn’t feeling well or is distressed.

2. Panting

Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat to cool down. This is why they pant as it is a way of cooling their body down the same way sweating would. Dogs will usually do this if the temperature is warm or they have exerted themselves by playing or running.

Excessive panting could be a sign that your dog is overheating and is in danger of heatstroke. So, too much panting should not be ignored.

Very anxious dogs might also pant when they are nervous. This is very similar to how our palms might start to sweat when we are nervous. It is a stress response and a way to soothe themselves.

3. Running in Circles

When dogs start to run in circles, this is often their way of trying to catch their tail. This is one of those dog behaviors that might not seem like it has a point.

If a dog is high energy or silly, they will often play this game as a way of entertaining themselves. This could also be a sign that your dog is bored and needs mental and physical stimulation.

This could also be a way for them to get out their frustration. If your dog is irritated or frustrated, they might chase their tail to get out that angry energy.

4. Tail Wagging

Tail wagging is another dog behaviors that have a purpose in its own way. Dogs will wag their tails when they are happy.

This is pretty obvious to most dog owners as their pooches obviously wag their tails faster when they are happy or excited. This will often happen when they are greeting their owner or getting praise.

Tail wagging is also a sign of submission, which may be why you see dogs wagging their tails around each other. A low tail position or low wagging shows submission and respect for the more dominating dog.

Strangely enough, tail wagging can also convey feelings of stress, anxiety, or fear. Though we do not know why this is a common response. It could be a way to self-soothe or to deescalate the situation.

If your dog’s tail is hanging at a resting position, it means they are relaxed if it is sitting upright, they is either alert or excited. A tail that sits very low and even goes between their legs means that they are scared or very nervous.

5. Making a Bed

Making their bed is one of those dog behaviors that goes all the way back to their early ancestors.

If you have ever watched your dog closely, you would have noticed them making their bed in a strange way. This often includes digging, rooting, biting, and making several circles in their bed.

This goes back to when their ancestors would bed down in caves, where they would have to dig a slight depression in the dirt. Digging and scratching was a way to create a comfortable indent in the ground. While biting was often used to remove hard or unwanted objects.

Circling was also a way to create a depression in the ground that was softer to lay down on.

This is largely why your dog does their weird little bedtime routine. Like their ancestors, they are trying to create the most optimal bed that is a perfect balance of soft and hard.

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