Common Canine Behaviors Explained

Licking You:

Licking, like most of these other behaviors, can be traced back to the wolf. Wolves lick their pack members as a way of showing submission and respect. In fact, in the wild, dogs don’t start licking each other until they’ve been accepted into a pack. This is why you’ll often notice that when dogs first meet for the first time it can be confusing—they’re using this behavior as a way to figure out who’s in charge.

A dog could give two reasons for licking another dog: either submissively or dominantly (or both). They might show submission by licking your hand if they are afraid of you or want to let you know they trust you; however, they might also do this if they want something from you such as attention or food—in which case it’s dominant behavior because there’s no fear involved! Either way it works out well because all that really matters is whether or not both parties understand each other well enough so everyone can live peacefully together without any problems arising later on down road.”

Rolling In Something Gross:

Rolling in something gross might be instinctive, but no one is quite sure why. Dogs have apocrine glands in their skin that give off a scent used to communicate with other dogs about age and gender.; because of this, rolling around tends to up the scent level, allowing them to give more information. Rolling in something also might just make things smell more familiar.

  • Dogs do not like change or new things
  • They will react differently to different scents, depending on whether it’s something familiar or unfamiliar
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For example: if you take your dog for a walk and then come home without her/him smelling like anything else (i.e., “clean”), he/she will react negatively because they’re used to smelling like whatever they rolled around in while they were out walking!

Yawning When You Yawn:

Yawning When You Yawn: A dog yawning when you yawn isn’t simply copying your behavior, but is communicating empathy: dogs are able to feel what other members of the pack are feeling. In this case, by understanding that a human is tired and needs rest, your dog has the ability to let you know that he too understands and feels what you’re feeling.

If you’ve ever wondered why your pup looks happy when he sees his favorite toy or seems sad after losing it for a moment—it’s because dogs are empathic creatures! They can feel what other members of the pack are feeling and even communicate with each other by regulating their body language (wagging tails mean happiness). As such, it’s not surprising that they can also feel what humans are feeling too.

Chasing Their Tail:

Some dogs chase their tail because they are bored. Others may be frustrated or playing a game and wanting to catch their tail. The most common reason for this is that you have not taught your dog that chasing their tail is not appropriate behavior. If your dog chases his or her tail in an obsessive fashion, this may indicate a problem. Some dogs also do it as part of an effort to get rid of fleas, ticks or other pests on their bodies.

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Tearing Up Your Stuff When You’re Not Around:

Dogs can destroy your stuff for a variety of reasons:

  • For fun. If your dog tears up things when you’re not around, he might enjoy the act of destruction itself. Some dogs are just naturally more destructive than others, and it may be that your pup is just one of those dogs who likes to rip things up.
  • To get attention from you (and possibly other people). A bored dog might pick up a pair of scissors and go to work if he knows that this will make his human come running back into the room and fuss over him, thus proving that at least someone cares about what’s going on in his little doggie brain.
  • Because he’s suffering from anxiety or stress related to being left alone in an unfamiliar environment—in other words, separation anxiety—or because he’s stressed out by something else altogether such as loud noises outside or passing traffic near your home (though these things usually aren’t enough on their own).


In the end, it’s important to remember that even if something looks like a strange behavior, there’s often some way of interpreting it. We hope this article helps you understand your dog a bit better, and we wish you and your pup the best!