Common Dogs Behaviors – Explanations & Solutions

Dog Growling

Having a dog around can be a joyful and fun experience, even though there are some behaviors dogs can exhibit that are annoying or semi-destructive. Certain dog behaviors occur in specific breeds, while other behaviors can be found in any dog breed at any age. There are four common dog behaviors we wanted to give you some details about as well as how you might fix these behaviors in your own dog.

Dog Digging Behaviors

One common behavior in many different dogs is digging, and this particular behavior can be very frustrating as a dog owner. Digging is one of the more natural behaviors that dogs of all ages and breeds are known to engage in. The location of digging may indicate different behaviors and causes. A common reason that your dog is digging outside is because of genetics. Certain breeds such as hounds are just natural diggers. You may notice your dog digging underneath your fence, which means he smells prey and is trying to hunt.

Stress can cause a dog to dig and it’s common if there is stress related to separation anxiety. Dogs that dig all of the time could be experiencing stress or separation anxiety. If separation anxiety is the issue, a dog can quickly become compulsive and obsessive with the digging. It also could be due to boredom from not getting enough physical or mental stimulation.

Denning is when a dog is trying to make a shelter or den, and this behavior is often times seen happening indoors to simulate outdoor living. You might notice that your dog is digging in his bed, your bed, or in their crate. This is one of the hardest causes of digging to stop in a dog because it’s a natural behavior that is more instinctive than anything else.

Dog Biting/Chewing Behaviors

A destructive behavior that many dogs, especially puppies, engage in is chewing or biting different objects. This is thought to be a natural behavior and it’s often times healthy, although it can get to a destructive point. The force of the chewing and biting could indicate different behaviors. Light chewing and biting could be for entertainment or play. A more constant heavy chewing could be due to a lot of stress or possible medical issues such as teething.

Most of the time chewing and biting is done to release energy that your dog has, but it also can be done to help relieve stress. During the time that your dog might be going through teething, it’s likely you will notice an increase in chewing and biting. The teething phase for a dog is between three-months old and six-months old. As an adult, chewing is a great way to maintain healthy teeth and helps keep the teeth clean.

There are also some dogs out there that simply like to chew and find this to be a fun and entertaining behavior. Dogs can chew on a number of items including blankets, shoes, ropes, the sides of furniture, and socks. It’s always a good idea to have chew toys around that are designed for dogs, which will help keep the dog from chewing your household items.

Dog Humping Behaviors

Dogs are known to engage in humping and this is more of an annoyance for you as the owner than anything else. If your dog is running around humping it simply could be because your dog is excited and wants to engage in play. You might see the excitement humping at places such as dog parks or doggy day care. In these situations, it’s best to get your dog to understand this behavior is not acceptable.

Pleasure is one of the main reasons why dogs hump, especially if they are puppies. Puppies are practicing these techniques for future mating. Even dogs that have been spayed or neutered can exhibit these behaviors. If your dog is humping you or someone else, this could be a sign that they want attention. Your dog knows that you are likely going to push him away, which gives him attention he wants.

A dog also could be humping due to stress or other anxiety, and this could be humping objects or other dogs. If the dog appears to be humping out of stress, the best thing to do is remove the stress from the environment if possible. Various medical conditions such as allergies or a urinary tract infection also could be the underlying reason for your dog humping.

There also could be an underlying mental issue going on, such as a compulsive disorder that is causing the humping. In these medical situations it’s best to seek veterinary assistance so that these issues can be worked out and an appropriate treatment can be given. Your veterinarian might recommend that you see a behaviorist.

Dog Barking Behaviors

Barking is one of the natural and identifiable traits of dogs, but there are many different reasons for why your dog might be barking. Dogs will bark at you or someone around if they need to go outside to use the bathroom or need other items such as food or water.

Dogs also are known to bark to get attention from you, such as if you are busy and focused on something else. This is just his way of making you look at him and give him the attention he wants. Barking also could be a sign of anxiety, such as if there are loud noises going on and the dog is scared. If your dog is alone and left by himself for a while, he may also begin to bark to try to get someone to come into the room with him.

Barking could also be a sign of territorial aggression and your dog might bark at other pets or objects that are in his house or yard. A lot of dogs will bark if people walk by their house and they can see them outside the window. You may also notice that if a small animal gets into the yard your dog will bark at it because it’s territorial.

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