4 Common Things Dogs Do That You Always Misunderstood (Until Now)

4 Common Things Dogs Do That You Always Misunderstood (Until Now)

Barbara Hanly

We often disregard a lot of canine behavior as meaningless and cute. There are also times when we assume certain dog behaviors mean certain things. Instead of looking it up on a trustworthy pet health advice blog, we pass the “knowledge” on to other pet parents.

In this post, we reveal some dog behaviors that you always misread, until now.

Bringing You a Toy

Most people think that their dogs bring them items such as stuffed toys and chew toys is because they want to play fetch. As it turned out, that’s not why they do it. One of the most common theories why dogs exhibit this behavior is showing gratitude and love. They bestow this toy offering to please you because they consider you to be the alpha of the household. That means if you throw it away, you actually end up hurting its feelings. Don’t get us wrong, there are times when dogs do want you to throw their toys, especially if the toy is a bouncy ball. However, most of the time they just want to say, “I love you.”

Head Tilting

The head tilt is probably the single most cute doggie gesture, at least till the time you know what it actually means. In most cases, head tilt is in response to familiar words of sounds. Some experts believe the tilt is to adjust their ears in a way to figure out the source of the sound. For example, if your dog knows the word “outside” and gets excited every time it hears it, then it may tilt its head if hears a familiar sound. Once it confirms that it is, in fact, the actual word “outside” and it’s coming from it’s human, the head tilting stops immediately. It’s usually replaced by joyous celebration; you know how that looks like.

If your dog is tilting its head frequently, this may be a sign of an ear infection. Seek out help from a vet immediately.

Chasing their Tails

This canine behavior is pretty common and noticed in breeds of all sizes and temperaments. If your dog chases its tail once in a while, then it’s probably just doing it out of boredom or just for the sake of having fun. However, that’s not the only reasons why dogs might chase their tails. Some pets do that in response to itchiness, infection, or a cut on their tails. If your dog chases its tail and then bites and nibbles it for an extended period of time, then there is cause for concern. Take your pet to the vet for a closer inspection.  

Pets can have OCD and some dogs keep on repeating this activity because they are obsessed. The activity produces rewarding hormones such as endorphins and they continue doing it throughout the day to get a hit. Most of the times, obsessive tail chasing can be corrected by seeking help from an animal behaviorist.

Ignoring Your Calls

There are times when dogs would completely ignore your calls. It’s a behavior mostly seen in senior dogs. They show reluctance to respond to known commands and are not as happy to see you when your return from the office. This is a behavior that is often misdiagnosed as disobedience.

You should never try to scold or punish the dog for snubbing you. Mainly because it might be a medical problem. According to experts, this may be a sign of canine cognitive dysfunction. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans, this can affect your dog’s awareness, memory, and responses to commands and other stimuli. Once diagnosed, vets can recommend supplements and pet medications to slow down the degenerative effect and help your pet recover.


Photo credit: Patrice Alstee