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Why Dogs Tilt Their Heads and the Meaning Behind Other Canine Behaviors
Dogs are some of the most likable and trusty animals ever tamed by man. Like humans, dogs use facial lingoes to show their emotions. How your canine friend opens its mouth indicates its current sentiment. For instance, a fearful or submissive dog acts submissively by displaying dodging behaviors such as licking lips, turning away, and exposing the stomach. Read on for insight into different canine behaviors:
1. Tilting the head
Every first-time dog owner has seen their canine friends tilt their heads and wondered why they did so. Tilting the head is often complemented by the perking up of dog ears and widening of the eyes. This facial expression exhibits a sense of awareness and curiosity to learn. It can be anything from strange noise and people to new environments. Equally, tilting of the head could also be a reaction to unfamiliar verbal cues.
2. Exposing the belly
Dogs roll over and expose their bellies when playing with their owners or other dogs or when overly excited. When a dog exposes its belly, it’s usually a sign of trust and submission. By exposing its vulnerable underside, a dog shows that it is comfortable and at ease with its environment. This behavior is often seen in puppies and young dogs, as they still learn to trust the world around them. Older dogs are often seen exposing the belly when they feel neglected or ignored in an attempt to draw attention from owners.
3. Raising a paw
Raising a paw usually shows that your four-legged canine friend is showing excitement or looking for attention. When you ignore your pup, and he or she happens to crave your attention, they might signal you by raising a paw to your knee or arm. Also, when the dog is playing with dog toys or is naturally excited, it could notify you of its current energetic state by raising its paw.
When your canine friend licks you, it’s typically a sign of affection. But when a wagging tail accompanies the licking, your dog may be craving a play moment with you. In addition, dogs often lick human faces because of their keen sense of smell. Your canine friends might as well display the unusual behaviors of licking people and other dogs when experiencing contentment and happiness. It’s equally common for puppies to lick out of submission or feelings of intimidation.
This is standard conduct in four-legged canines but doesn’t always indicate illness or pain. Circling could be a learned behavior that your canine friend develops over time or part of a compulsive disorder. When your dog is anxious, stressed, or frustrated, it could as well exhibit circling behavior. Dogs are naturally pack animals and hate being left alone for long periods, so dogs may start circling to burn off excess energy or out of boredom.
6. Flat ears
When a dog flattens their ears against the head, it indicates a feeling of fear, submissiveness, or anxiousness. The ear flattening behavior is a defensive mechanism; the tighter the dog holds its ears back against the head, the more fearful it is. However, when a dog flattens their ears toward the sides of their head, it typically indicates a sad mood.
Giving your dog a diet of balanced dog food and veterinary approved dog treats, and buying stimulating dog toys are not the only ways to keep him or her happy and satisfied. You must also keep an eye on your pup’s behavioral changes and respond to its unique needs.