When they’re not doing cute things like wagging their tails and nuzzling you on the couch, dogs can be some mysterious creatures. Just like babies and other beings that can’t talk to say exactly that they want or need, dogs deserve time and patience when it comes to understanding their individual needs. The next time your dog does one of the following actions, take a moment to recognize what it means and determine what you might do, if anything, to help the situation.
Naturally, dogs will bark to signal danger to their fellow canines or to announce a new arrival. In general, it’s a means of communication just like talking is for us. Depending on the situation, your dog could be telling you that he or she is bored, scared, confused or alarmed. Sometimes, barking can even signal that your dog has been spoiled, especially when the barking begins every time your dog is denied something it wants like human food, for example. If you want your dog to stop barking, you may need to remove it from the situation or train it over time to stop the behavior in a predictable situation.
If you have a dog, then it’s probably no mystery where the other sock disappears to. Young dogs will chew on toys and other objects in your home as a part of the teething process, while older dogs are probably chewing for a completely different reason. If you come home to find your belongings ripped to shreds, then your dog could have some sort of anxiety problem. If you’re losing your possessions to your dog’s teeth, you’ll need to find a way to encourage appropriate chewing and discourage inappropriate chewing!
Most people discourage their dogs from jumping up on people, and rightly so. It can be annoying, uncomfortable and hard to stop. It might seem playful, but what your dog is actually is trying to assert his or her dominance over you. If you let the jumping continue, you are basically saying, “Yes, you are dominant.” If you discourage the behavior, you’ll show that you are in fact in control.
When you’re playing with your pup, biting is just a part of the game. When your dog starts biting you in other situations, however, there is likely a problem. Dogs don’t usually bite for no reason, but instead bite when they become aggressive, afraid or nervous. To prevent a dog from biting, you’ll need to learn more about dog body language and perhaps see a specialist.
Did you know that your dog sweats through the pads of his or her feet? Crazy! Well, panting is actually the way that dogs regulate their body temperatures, so if your dog is panting, it’s probably overheating. If it’s really hot outside, consider getting your dog out of the heat, pouring a bowl of water and letting him or her get some rest. Dogs also pant to cope with pain, so be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.
And remember, this list is just scratching the surface. If your dog is all over the place, jumping and chewing, then you might need to think of hiring a dog walking service if you don’t have time to give your dog the exercise he or she needs.