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5 Dog Habits Explained

In comparison to cats, canines may seem pretty easy to understand, although if you’re a dog lover or owner – you’ll probably have noticed a few baffling acts of behaviour your precious pooch does that you just don’t understand.


As humans, it’s hard for us to make sense of canine body language and social cues – so whether he’s chasing his own tail or giving you the silent treatment, here are a few of those odd little behaviours explained.

Chases his tail

If you had a tail, wouldn’t you chase it? This quite amusing behaviour, although completely normal, is simply a fun way of your pup expressing his or her enthusiasm, and expending excess energy. However, if they do this constantly – they may have anal gland problems or flea allergy dermatitis. In some cases, tail chasing can also be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you suspect your pup may have a medical condition, or if you are struggling to distract them from chasing their tail – speak to your vet ASAP!

Excessive licking

While you may not appreciate sloppy kisses, your dog’s licks are their way of expressing affection, and has probably realised that licking can get your attention, pretty quickly.

Apart from the obvious however, there are also other reasons why dogs lick. Some say it is a sensory tool for dogs, and others believe that as canine mothers lick their puppies, this natural behaviour continues into adulthood, for grooming and social reasons.


As wolves in the wild howl to send messages to pack members who might be far away, or to reinforce rank, it may just be a behaviour that has been passed on from ancestral cousins. Some dog behaviourists consider that howling is instinctively necessary and rewarding for dogs, so do not worry if a domestic canine howls – it’s normal!

Walks in circles before lying down

We’ve all seen our lovely dog walking round and round in circles before finally settling down, however, why do they do this? Is it to make the spot comfier, or to change their resting position? Whatever it may be, this too is an extremely normal behaviour of both domestic and wild dogs. In the wild, dogs would walk around a spot several times to pat down leaves, grass or other debris to create a nice nesting spot, so naturally, it is another behaviour trait that has been passed down from canine ancestors.

Head tilting

Talking to your dog, or whistling, can often cause one of your dog’s cutest and most amusing behaviours: head tilting. The reason as to exactly why your dog may cock their head to one side is still not certain, but some behaviourists believe that by doing this, canines are trying to make sense of what they hear. Once accustomed to words, commands such as ‘walk’, ‘fetch’ or ‘lie down’ may be something they are trying to listen out for, especially if it’s a word they know often leads to something fun or rewarding. Dogs also tilt their head to determine the location of sound; however, if they are consistently holding their head to one side without an obvious trigger, they may have a medical issue so contact your vet ASAP.


Here at CK9 Training, we understand the importance of communication between dog and owner, and provide quality dog and puppy training classes in Surrey. We are experts in our field, and promise to find the ideal solution to any behavioural or canine issue you may be experiencing. For more information about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team on 07739 815 265 today!