Saturday, November 28, 2009

Understanding Dog Behavior and How to Deal With It

Dogs communicate in a different way than humans do. Even though you as a dog owner are in control of your dog's world, he can't still explain to you what you don't understand about him. This is why understanding dog behavior is a very important part in a successful dog-owner relationship.

Understanding dog behavior enriches your relationship with your dog and strengthens your bond as a pet and owner. It is also very helpful in communicating with him and vice versa.
-When you pet your dog's head and he moves away he perceives it as a sign of dominance and not affection. So the best way to stroke a dog is on the side of his face or under his chin. You can also stroke the front of his chest or scratch his rump.
-If he grunts, it is his way of communicating pleasure. If he whines, that means he feels cold or hungry. The whining will stop if you put a warm towel on him or feed him. Whining may also mean that he needs to be comforted and seeks for some attention.
-If a dog blinks, he is contemplating  something and thinking hard over what you want him to do. If he pants, he is just regulating his body temperature. For some, understanding dog behavior may be complicated.  But there are also a lot of instances where a dog behaves like a human does.

For example, if your dog yawns, it is an indication of stress, tiredness, or inner conflict. We  yawn when we are tired and stressed right? Same is true when a dog licks his lips, it shows signs of anxiety, nervousness or submission.
Now, what if your dog eats grass? This behavior is not really alarming. When a dog eats grass, it is his way of self-medicating. It could be because he has a stomach upset and he believes that eating grass will make him throw up after he eats too much of it.
Some dog behavior  has obvious explanations - like when he runs while sleeping, it could be because he dreamed of chasing a rodent or just remembering something that happened the previous day.
When it comes to aggression, there is always a reason why a dog becomes aggressive. It could be fear motivated, or a sign of domination. For some dogs, barking can also be caused by a threat or phobia or they are just bored.

In understanding dog behavior, you must also understand their body language because they communicate a lot through it. Moreover, dog training is the best way in decoding your dog's body language and understanding them better. A big part of understanding dog behavior and communicating effectively with them starts with being attentive to their relationship to other living things and their environment.

**Carolyn Anderson loves to takes care and train her puppies. For a compete guide to caring and training your dog, check out Dog Lover's Guide. Also check out DIY Dog Training, a good guide to help you train your dog at home.
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