Dog behaviour explained: Five common traits

All dogs have very different personalities, along with distinctive characteristics influenced by their age, breed and past experiences.

This means their behaviour and reactions to particular situations are likely to differ. However, there are some common dog behaviours that most dogs will display – and it can be useful to know what these mean.

After all, the more you understand your pet, the better relationship you’re likely to have and the more rewarding it will be. But if you’re frustrated or worried by anything, remember you can ask our nurse Kate or another of our team for advice. Just give us a call or drop by.

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In the meantime, here are five common behaviours and what they tend to mean:

  1. Barking
    This is a dog’s main form of vocal communication and it usually means they’re keen to tell you something. For example, they may be feeling excited, happy, alarmed, scared, bored or anxious. With time, you may spot different sounds and types of bark which you learn to recognise – so you can respond appropriately.
  2. Howling
    This is often a sign of separation anxiety in a dog, but can also be used to get attention or announce their presence. If you have concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0207 723 0453.
  3. Begging
    Dogs love the same foods that humans do – and have a much more powerful sense of smell – so naturally they’re drawn towards us while we’re eating. However, you need to put rules in place and stick to them. If you’ve ever given your dog a bit of food from your plate, they’ll assume you’ll do it again and try their best to make that happen. So if you don’t want them to beg, don’t do it!
  4. Chewing
    Young dogs chew to discover the world and relieve the pain of growing their adult teeth, whereas in older dogs it can be a sign that they’re bored or anxious.
  5. Digging
    This is part of a dog’s genetic make-up, as wild dogs will dig to hide or uncover food. They also sometimes dig at the ground to make it more comfortable for lying down.

Is your dog behaving strangely? Or perhaps they’ve developed a pattern of behaviour that you want to improve? Whatever your concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask our team for help.

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