Common Dog Behaviors and What They Could Mean

Dogs are unique pets to own, and with that, each dog comes with its own unique personality. You might notice that your dog is showing some behaviors, maybe not bad ones, constantly and you’re intrigued to know what it could potentially mean. If you are wondering what exactly your dog might be doing, you’re not the only one. Here are several common dog behaviors and what they could mean that your dog is trying to tell you through them. 

Butt Scooting 

Photo courtesy of YouTube, “Toby’s New Trick”

Watching your dog scoot their butt across the floor could be funny, but you also might wonder if you should be concerned. Don’t be worried though; all dogs do this at some point in their life, which usually means something on their backside is bothering them. This could be an anal gland, something stuck back there, or anal masses. If your dog is continuously doing it, you might want to take them to a vet, but typically it’s nothing to worry about. 

Panting – Common Dog Behaviors and What They Could Mean

Photo courtesy of YouTube, Golden Retriever Panting

Panting is an entirely normal thing for a dog to do, and it is usually a way for them to cool themselves off. Dogs don’t sweat the way people do. Instead, they use air from their mouth to cool their bodies down. This process isn’t really efficient, so make sure you take precautions on sweltering days to keep your dog cool and help prevent heatstroke. 

If your dog isn’t hot but still panting, it could be related to anxiety, stress, or fear. The best way to manage this is by removing your dog from the stressful situation, and you should see the panting subsides. 

Head Tilting 

Photo courtesy of YouTube, The Pug Head Tilt

You might be thinking your dog is listening to you very intently when it is tilting its head, and you could be correct. Sometimes dogs tilt their head to the side to get a better position to hear or see something. This behavior is also typical for dogs who just heard a new sound or don’t understand something, hence why we see it a lot with puppies. 

If your dog is tilting its head for no reason or it stays that way, contact your vet because it could mean your pup has an ear infection or problem with their brain. 

Closing Mouth or Slightly Opening It – Common Dog Behaviors and What They Could Mean

Photo by Florencia Potter on Unsplash

You might see your dog close its mouth or slightly open it, and this is a sign that your pup is happy and relaxed. If your dog’s mouth is pulled back though, and the ears are pinned, it could mean they are stressed, scared, or in pain. The best way to make sure your dog is content is by just watching it and talking to it. 

Showing Teeth or Biting

Photo courtesy of YouTube, Golden Retriever Dad Tells Daughter Playtime is Over

Some of us have dogs that are a little more dominate or aggressive, which is why it’s important to know the signs. If your dog is showing its teeth or biting, it is either trying to be dominant or scared and lashing out. 

If a dog shows its teeth, it is best to leave it alone until it is calm because it can bite you. Angry dogs will also start snarling or wrinkling its muzzle. When this happens, just leave the dog alone until it calms down. 

Barking or Yelping – Common Dog Behaviors and What They Could Mean

Video courtesy of YouTube, Dogs BARKING LOUD Compilation 

Let’s face it, dogs bark a lot, but they have different barks for different things, so make sure to pay attention when your dog is barking. Loud and rapid barks could be a sign of aggression, or they sense danger. Short, soft barks are usually happy, friendly, and playful barks. If a sudden yelp occurs, then it indicates pain. 

Sometimes a dog can yelp when something startles them that causes pain, like a person stubbing their toe, so make sure if your dog yelps to thoroughly check to make sure they aren’t actually injured and need to see a vet. 


Video courtesy of YouTube, Dogs Barking and Howling

If your dog howls, it could indicate that it is feeling lonely. Dogs are used to being in herds, and they usually announce their presence with a howl, if the howl is short, then it could be an excited one. Sometimes dogs, like Huskies, also howl to mimic sounds they are hearing. 

Flicking Ears – Common Dog Behaviors and What They Could Mean

Video courtesy of YouTube, Happy Dog Doing Ear Dance

Dogs who have ears that flicker just shows that they are listening. Usually, this happens when they hear something unusual, and they are attempting to catch the sound a little clearer. Do note though, if your dog has pinned ears or drooping ears, it may be signs of an infection and your vet should check it out. 

Dogs are special pets and animal and always have quirky behaviors that go with them. These behaviors are typically never bad and just show how much personality your dog really has. If your dog is displaying a behavior that slightly worries you though, it is always a good idea to check with the vet and make sure your four-legged pal is doing great.