9 Dog Behaviors and What They Mean

9 Dog Behaviors and What They Mean

Understanding dog behaviors and what they mean is essential if you want to adopt a dog and get along with them. This is also important for training them because their behavior will determine how much training they will need.




Before you adopt a dog, it would be crucial to know that all dogs have different behaviors which you should accustom yourself with. Some dogs may be more behaved than others, and some dogs may be harder to train than others. Understanding these behaviors will give you an idea of how much training they’ll need, and help you choose the dog that has a temperament that will match yours.

One of the most difficult things is when you adopt a dog and decide to put them in a shelter because you can’t train them, or you find them to be too difficult for you. In this article, we’ll discuss 9 dog behaviors and what they mean


If you’re looking for a way to bond with your dog better, you should know dog behaviors because they can also determine if your dog is your forever friend. Aside from that, we want to help you be 100% sure that you are ready to adopt because a lot of people say they’re ready but end up putting a dog in the shelter when they can’t handle them.

Let us know if any of these tips are helpful in making your decision for adopting dogs. 


9 Dog Behaviors And What They Mean:

Adopting any living thing is not easy because their behavior is often unpredictable. As humans, we make better connections with people whose behaviors we can understand and are repelled by people we perceive to have a different behavior from us; which is why we should consider the same attributes when adopting dogs. 

No dog is born with the same behavior and personality, and this can be difficult if you don’t have a lot of time and energy to focus on them.


Getting To Know Different Dog Behaviors And What They Mean:




  1. Stretching to greet you: One of the things you’ll notice is how dogs tend to stretch by bending forward and raising their butt up in the sky. This is also called the “downward dog” position in yoga. The fascinating thing about this stretch is that they often do this to greet you. If your dog or your friend’s dog does this, they trust you.

  2. Butt-sniffing: Another common form of greeting from dogs is when they sniff butts. For dogs, they sniff other dog’s butts to get familiar with their smell, and while this isn’t a normal greeting for humans to do to other humans, it is one of the best ways to get close to a dog. Aside from that, letting a dog sniff your butt when they’re unfamiliar to you is an easy way to prevent getting bitten.

  3. Humping objects, dogs, and you: One behavior that can be seen as strange in neutered or spayed dogs is when they hump objects. While it’s easy to assume that this is because they’re horny, that’s actually not the case. Most neutered dogs hump objects to display their excitement.

  4. Walking in circles/digging on the couch: Another dog behavior that may seem strange is when dogs walk in a circle or dig certain spots on the couch before they lie down. While it’s apparent that a couch is soft and comfortable, this little ritual they do can be attributed to their ancestors. Wolves were known to walk around circles or pat-down grass to make nesting places to rest.

  5. Panting: This is one of the most common dog behaviors and what it means. Panting is a way dogs expel heat from their body and a good indicator that they may need a refill for their water bowl. If your dog is constantly panting, then you may want to take them to the vet.

  6. Eating poop: This is one gross dog behavior that will never truly make sense, but eating poop can be a manifestation of a lot of things. For one, it could be a sign that your dog has anxiety and is eating poop to calm down, or they could just be smelling something in the poop that is interesting and they want to taste it.

  7. Staying between your legs: Some dog owners would see this as a sign of possessiveness, but it’s actually a sign of anxiety. If your dog stays between your legs when they’re approached by another dog, they may be signaling that they need you to protect them from a potential threat.

  8. Thrashing around their toys: Another dog behavior that is commonly noticed is when dogs vigorously shake their toys from side to side. This can be deduced as them acting on their primal instincts. While for us, we see them enjoying their favorite toy, for them, they’re displaying how they would potentially kill their prey. This is generally harmless behavior.

  9. Showing teeth or biting: A dog behavior to take notice of is when they seem to be baring their teeth and growling. When a dog is doing this, you may want to back away from them because it might lunge and bite you. This is usually a way for them to assert dominance or express aggression, and you should avoid any sudden movement because they may see that as an attack.



While there are more dog behaviors to take note of, these are the most important dog behaviors and what they mean. Try to see if you are willing to put up with these behaviors before you adopt a dog so that you don’t regret it in the end. 


Most people make the mistake of adopting dogs before properly thinking it through and end up giving the dog out when they can’t figure out why a dog is doing what it’s doing. Let us know if these tips help.

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