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Article by Dimitri Michel

Understanding dog behavior

Updated on 31 October 2023.

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questioning dog
Dogs have always been man’s best companions, and for this to be the case, we need to understand their daily behavior.

To be able to love and train your dog properly, you need to understand his behavior!

In this article, we attempt to break down canine behavior, i.e. how a dog “thinks and reacts”…

Dogs are different from humans

A dog’s behavior is quite particular, since it acts according to its senses. Their non-verbal communication is based on olfactory, visual, tactile and sound signals, which are the rules common to this species.

The concordance and complicity between the two promote good communication between the animal and its master.

They can’t communicate with words, but they can memorize a few by listening to them frequently. He doesn’t know their true meaning, but he associates sounds with gestures thanks to his associative memory.

Pheromones are also part of their means of communication, chemical substances responsible for transmitting signals. This is the case for ringing, and for information on the sender’s age and sex.

The canine breed is sensitive to the slightest sensory perception, and very easily perceives changes in human scent or voice. The same applies to skin color, gestures, clothing, etc.

How does this animal think and react?

sad pug lying downThis animal is able to act on commands, not because it understands the meaning of words, but because it can pick up and interpret messages through movement. For him, each action corresponds to a piece of information.

His tail, his ears, his paws, his position… are capable of evoking an expression revealing his intentions and emotions. His growls and barks also have meanings.

He may feel fear at a certain moment when he’s having difficulty managing this interaction, but his master is able to detect this state and give him a helping hand. This initiative enables him to better understand the dog’s behavior.

Even if the dog has a highly-developed communication system, this plays into his reflexes, perceptions and psychological development.

The owner must learn to understand the dog’s behavior

If a dog’s behavior seems unusual, it may be due to a lack of communication. It’s difficult for him to adapt to his surroundings, and he’s aware that his lifestyle isn’t suitable for him.

So it’s essential to observe his every move and try to discover what they mean. Knowing how to respect him also helps him to adapt quickly.

A good understanding is always conducive to cohabitation and good dog training. Even if everyone has their own way of expressing themselves, it’s easier to understand each other when there’s mutual understanding.

This animal is sensitive to small details thanks to its highly-developed sensory interactions, which it can combine and memorize. It can also discern our different emotions.

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