7 Dog Behaviors and What They Mean

Dogs are expressive animals that don't hesitate to let you know how they're feeling at any given moment. Their body language is easy to read which makes it easy for dog owners to understand what's being communicated. Sometimes it happens that dogs engage in behaviors that seemingly goes against their grain and leaves you confused or angry. When it comes to behavior, dogs are influenced by their instincts, heredity, breed traits, physical issues and age. Sometimes a behavioral issue requires a trip to the animal vet in Bend for a diagnosis and treatment. Following is a look at why dogs behave the way they do and what these behaviors mean.

1. Breed-Related Behaviors

Herding dogs will herd, pointers point, and retrievers retrieve. Dogs have been bred for specific traits for centuries which has resulted in many dog breeds that have a strong instinct to do a specific job. Your purebred might be a couch potato, but don't be surprised if they dash off the couch to engage in a behavior that's a breed trait.

2. Howling

When a dog howls, it's because it's responding to a deep-seated instinct that comes from its wolf-like ancestors. A howling dog may be responding to a wolf or coyote pack that's nearby, or it's responding to the howl of a siren. Regardless of the cause, it's normal for a dog to howl.

3. Digging

Sometimes dogs dig for no other reason than they like to dig. But there can be a stimulus at play such as boredom or anxiety If your dog is digging to the point where they're paws are becoming raw or bloody, contact our Bend vet clinic for an appointment to find out the root cause of the behavior.

4. Humping

Does your dog hump other dogs, inanimate objects or other people even though they're fixed? Humping isn't always about sexual behavior. A dog may engage in the behavior because they're excited, looking for attention or asserting dominance. If your dog is causing issues with this behavior, look into veterinary care in Bend to get expert help for resolving the behavior.

5. Panting

Dogs pant to exhaust heat on warm days and help them recover after exertion. Panting is a normal behavior, but sometimes it's a visual cue there's something else going on. A dog pants when they're experiencing fear, stress, anxiety, pain or illness. Call our Bend vet clinic when you notice abnormal panting to find out if you should bring your dog in for an exam.

6. Separation Anxiety

Dogs are social creatures that thrive on attention and don't always do well when left alone for long periods of time. A dog that experiences separation anxiety is prone to displaying their stress through vocalizations, toileting in the house instead of outside, and destroying furniture or other objects they can reach. Separation anxiety can happen even if there's another dog or pet in the household. Sometimes you can't easily resolve the behavior – consult your vet in Bend.

7. Inappropriate Defecation or Urination

Dogs are capable of holding their bladders and bowels for extended periods of time, but age and stress can make it harder for them to hold back. Sometimes a dog acts out and cuts loose in the house. There are any number of issues that cause a dog to deface or urinate in the house and it's a good idea to seek out veterinary care in Bend to rule out causes that are beyond the dog's immediate control.

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