Odd Ways Your Dog is Trying to Communicate

Dogs are usually easy to read.

When they hop up on your lap that usually means they want to snuggle. They wag their tails when they’re excited. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to figure out exactly what your pup is trying to get across.

Here are a few ways your dog is trying to communicate with you that you might not fully understand.

Sniffing Your Butt

Not only do dogs like sticking their noses in each other’s posterior regions, but they occasionally try to push them into ours too. That’s because dogs have anal sacs in their nether regions that let each other know the other dog’s gender, illnesses, and emotional states. Sometimes, they figure they can get the same info about us from the same region.

Sniffing Your Front Side

Unfortunately, dogs don’t simply let things go once they’ve covered your behind. Pheromones are released from special sweat glands called apocrine glands in most mammals. In humans, they’re highly concentrated in the groin area. Your dog is simply trying to get a feel for your emotional wellbeing when he’s shoving his nose a little too close for comfort.

Digging Holes In Your Yard

Dogs actually dig for a variety of reasons, some of the main ones being boredom or frustration with being alone. However, he could also be trying to keep himself cool. In hot weather a dog will dig into the ground to find cooler soil to sleep on. Next time you see your furry friend tearing into the dirt he might be letting you know it’s time to take him inside. Or he’s kindly informing you that your yard has a mole problem.

Chewing Your Shoes

Dogs can be incredibly restless animals and often need to be exercised throughout the day. When they get bored, they chew. That’s not the only reason they tear into your shoes, though. Dogs also crave attention and will rip apart your favorite items because they know it’ll draw you to them.

Some trainers have even noticed they tend to zone in on one owner’s items in particular—usually their favorite friend. That’s right, if your dog is chewing your stuff more than anyone else’s it might be because he likes you the best. You can’t get too angry at that, can you?

Head Tilting

Many people believe dogs tilt their heads when they’re confused, or are maybe trying to hear something a little better. Some research, however, indicates they’re actually adjusting their vision. Dogs tend to respond to visual cues as much as, if not more so, than verbal. So, when your dog is tilting his head he could just be trying to see around his own muzzle to get a better view of your face.

Wagging His Tail

A rapid movement of the tail can definitely mean your dog is excited, but pay closer attention to which direction he’s wagging it in. When they’re happy, dogs will typically wag their tail to the right. However, when they’re stressed or feeling threatened the tail will swing to the left. Just because that tail is swinging at full-speed doesn’t mean your dog is in a playful mood.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

Is Your Dog Aggressive? Or Just Scared?
Superfoods: Dos and Don'ts with "Human" Foods for Dogs