The Top 8 Dog Behaviors That Are Most Common and Why

When we share our lives with our furry friends, we quickly realize that dogs have unique behaviors that make them even more endearing. Some behaviors are adorable, while others might leave you scratching your head. In this article, we will explore the top eight most common dog behaviors and uncover the reasons behind them. Think of it as your beginner’s guide to understanding your canine companion!

Tail Wagging

You’ve seen it a million times – that joyful, wiggly tail! Dogs wag their tails to communicate their emotions. A rapidly wagging tail usually means your dog is happy, while a slow wag may indicate uncertainty or curiosity. So, when your pup greets you with a wagging tail, know that it’s a sign of love and excitement.


Barking is how dogs express themselves. It can mean many things: they’re alerting you to something, asking for attention, or even just saying hello. Pay attention to the context and tone of their barking to understand what’s going on. If your dog barks excessively, it might be due to anxiety or boredom, and some training can help.


Puppies love to chew, and sometimes adult dogs do too. Chewing helps keep their teeth clean and jaws strong. It’s also a way for them to relieve stress or boredom. To prevent your favorite shoes from becoming a chew toy, make sure to provide plenty of appropriate chew toys.


Dogs have a natural instinct to dig, which dates back to their ancestors who dug to find food or create a comfortable resting spot. Modern dogs may dig to cool off, escape the heat, or hide their toys. If your dog’s digging becomes a problem, creating a designated digging area can help satisfy their instincts.


When your dog excitedly jumps up to greet you, it’s their way of showing affection and getting closer to your face. While it’s a sign of love, it’s essential to teach them to control this behavior, as not everyone appreciates a jumpy dog. Consistent training is key.


Dogs love to give wet, slobbery kisses, but excessive licking can have various meanings. It’s a sign of affection, but it can also be a soothing mechanism or an indication of anxiety. Keep an eye on the context to understand why your dog is giving you extra attention.

Rolling in Unpleasant Smells

You might be perplexed when your dog rolls in something smelly like garbage or even animal waste. This strange behavior harks back to their wild instincts when they would disguise their scent to hunt or avoid predators. While it might not be pleasant for you, it’s perfectly normal for them.


Dogs have a fascinating array of behaviors, each with its unique reasons. By learning about these common behaviors, you can better connect with your furry friend and provide them with the care and understanding they need.

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