Dog to human translations…..

  • Like, why do dogs insist on sniffing the entire lawn before doing their business? Well, to a human, going to the bathroom is just going to the bathroom. To a dog, it’s a form of communication. It tells other dogs who he is. Dogs can also tell how long it’s been since another dog marked that spot. Basically doing their business is like leaving their calling card and it’s only natural for your dog read all the messages lying around before leaving his reply.
  • So what does it mean when your dog licks your face? Is it a kiss? Not really. It’s your dog’s way of saying ‘You’re the boss; I defer to you.’  It’s a hold over from what puppies do to their mother or the leader of the pack. They often lick their faces and lips when they want to be fed. So why does your dog lick your face in a moment of affection? Because he’s been conditioned that when he licks your face, he gets petted or praised. So he learns to keep doing it.
  • And what about a dog who chases his own tail? Well, terriers and German shepherds are the breeds most likely to go after their own tails. But it’s not normal dog behavior for them or any other breed. Tail-chasing usually starts in dogs with a high predatory drive and no natural hunting outlet for their instincts. So one day, when your dog is bored from being in the backyard all week with no walks, he’ll spy his tail out of corner of his eye and try to pounce on it. Sometimes it becomes compulsive and dogs can bite their own tails and make themselves bleed. If your dog chases his tail compulsively, he’s not getting the mental and physical stimulation he needs. You may need to start taking him to agility classes, or on long walks everyday, or maybe even get him on anti-obsessional drugs. But get a couple opinions from veterinarians you trust before starting that type of medication.

Courtesy of Bark magazine.

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