Dog Psychology: Facts & Tips to Interpret Your Dog Better

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 10/22/23 •  6 min read
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We love our dogs and want to take the best care of them. But to know what they want, you need to understand them. However, understanding the psychology of another species is difficult but not impossible.

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Dogs don’t think like humans, so you must be careful while interpreting your dogs. That’s where this guide comes in. Here we will take you through some essential tips and facts to understand your four-legged friend.

Importance of Understanding Your Dog

Dog Psychology: Facts & Tips to Interpret Your Dog Better

As a pet owner, we are responsible for fulfilling all their needs. They can’t speak, but they do try to communicate. We can care for them better when we communicate with them and understand what they are saying.

Every dog has a different personality, just like humans. So they behave differently when they need something. Why is he chewing every pair of shoes in the house?

Understanding your dog’s psychology helps you enable better training of your pooch. For instance, greyhounds are highly sensitive, so a harsh approach to training them can be a big mistake. When investing your time in finding the best food for greyhounds, it’s important also to understand their psychology.

Besides, understanding your pooch gets you closer and helps build a strong bond with them. Most importantly, it helps protect your dogs from any imminent danger. For instance, you get to know the precursor of their aggressive behavior. This helps you deal with it before any serious behavioral problem can occur.

Interesting Facts of Dog Psychology

While these facts will be jaw-dropping, they will help you understand your dog better:

·      They Recognize Your Tone of Voice

These intelligent fellas understand your tone of voice. MRI testing shows that canines’ brains react to the sound of pain and joy the same way as humans. This means they can understand your vocal intonation and the meaning behind them.

·      Barking Is Not Just Always Warning

Barking is not always a sign of aggression or trouble. Sometimes, it may be a call to attention, an expression of joy, or a greeting. So, don’t associate their barking with a warning, it can be a self-rewarding activity.

·      Your Dog’s Posture Says a Lot

They don’t speak, you know that. But you might not know that their body posture has a certain meaning. Their body posture points out your dog’s state of mind and mood. For instance:

·      Jumping on People is a Wake-up Call

If your dog is jumping on people, it doesn’t mean it is a sexually driven behavior. This way, your dog is showing dominance. So, you should consider delivering your little furry friend a better education.

·      Growling can be Alarming

Growling is something that every dog owner must be serious about. Is your canine growling? Something is making him feel uneasy. This means they are encountering a state of uneasiness. But why? You need to find the answer. So, carefully examine their surroundings and try to spot the triggers.

·      Sniffing the Lower Back to Say Hello

If you ever spot your pooch sniffing the lower back of his peer. Don’t worry. This is the natural way for the dogs to say hello. Among dog communities, it is an accepted way of greeting. So, don’t be ashamed if you see them doing so. They are just having chit-chat.

Tips to Understand Your Dog Better

Here are a few infallible tips to understand your dog and make their life as happy as you can:

·      Fear is their Biggest Enemy

Your dog won’t listen to you when they are afraid. So, never think of building your relationship with your pet out of fear. This way, you won’t ever understand your dog because they will try to hide their emotions out of fear. Be gentle and train your dog without using anger. It can be detrimental to your dog.

·      Be Consistent with Rules

Rules are an important part of your dog’s training. However, you should be consistent with these rules. If you set a few rules but don’t apply them consistently, it can negatively affect their behavior.

·      Reward them when Necessary

When your dog does something good, you should give rewards. For instance, you can consider petting them, giving away treats, or hugging them. Here, it is important to know that your dog deserves your reward. So, reward them when they do something great.

·      Search about Their Breed

Dogs are not created equal. Different breeds might use different sign language to communicate with their owners.  So research the breed of your dog. Know about their traits and history to learn more about the specific requirements of your furry friend.

·      Be the Pack Leader

Dogs are pack animals by instinct and want a strong leader. So, pose yourself as a pack leader who sets clear, strict boundaries. This confident approach will help your dog feel secure and more willing to behave well. When they feel you are a pack leader, they trust you more. As a result, they will follow your guidance and act the way you want.

·      Take Time and Be Patient

Mastering your dog’s psychology is a big achievement, but it takes time. Every dog has its own pace of learning as well as expressing themselves. So be patient and gentle while going through your journey of understanding your dog’s psychology. This patience and understanding will help build trust in your four-legged friend.

Final Words

Dogs are known to be the best friends of humans. But they don’t understand English or any other verbal language of this world. This makes understanding your dog a bit of a challenge. But don’t worry, you can master your dog’s psychology with consistent effort and patience.

Do some research on your dog’s breed and learn their sign language. They try to communicate with you in a language that takes time to understand. However, a little consideration can go a long way in cracking the psychology of your four-legged friend.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!