Avoid Humanizing Your Pet: Common Behaviors in Dogs

Avoid Humanizing Your Pet: Common Behaviors in Dogs

Last update: 04 July, 2018

Sometimes the love for our pets can go so far that we forget they are: animals. That’s right; no matter how much we love them and treat them like they are our children, they are still animals. This being the case, there are common dog behaviors that are typical of their kind.

It is wonderful to treat your dog well and care for him or her as another member of the family. But this can not stop your dog from continuing to do the things that all dogs should, or from simply being a dog. An ideal scenario is when balance reigns in the dog’s environment.

Let us discuss the common behaviors in dogs, as well as how to avoid impeding these behaviors and therefore, avoid humanizing the animal.


Common Behaviors in Dogs

No matter how hard you try to humanize your pet or prevent it from doing certain things, there are many things that you can not avoid. These traits are a part of your pet for one simple reason: he or she is a dog.


 Licking is innate to dogs. It is a way for dogs to express themselves and is a part of their body language. So, no matter how much you insist that your dog stops doing it, this would be like stealing a part of your dog’s personality.

A dog’s tongue is the most sensitive part of its body, and using it causes the dog to have a special connection with the person he or she chooses to lick. Therefore, do not prevent your dog from licking.

Additionally, it is linked to their hygiene, since dogs use their tongues to clean and groom themselves.



Even though most of the time, panting goes hand-in-hand with slobbering, which can bother us enormously, they are both essential for the animal as they are both ways in which a dog will regulate their body temperature.


By inhaling and exhaling, this process takes place much more quickly.



Dogs do not shake obsessively or out of habit. They usually shake after activities that require effort (like defecating) or before doing something else. Shaking helps dogs to get everything into place and causes their blood flow to go back to normal.



It is true that howling can be annoying for both us and our neighbors. However, you must bear in mind that dogs are not blessed with the gift of human speech, and howls are a way for them to express themselves.

As we have mentioned before, dogs originate from wolves and their howls serve to unite the herd. Even though domestic animals do not need to gather a herd, howling can be a sign of loneliness, and so it becomes a way for dogs to express their feelings.


Turning Around in Circles Before Laying Down

Their ancestors, the wolves, used to turn around in circles before lying down, this smoothed the grass underneath them and they felt more comfortable. So, for dogs, turning around in circles before laying down is a way of “fluffing” their bedding and making it softer.

Chasing their Tails

Even though it looks like a game, it is actually a form of protest. Dogs are social animals, so if they feel lonely or bored, they get frustrated and look for a way out. Chasing their tail is one of them.

For dogs who have been separated from their litters or who spend a lot of time alone, their tail becomes their best friend and their best toy.

Barking, rolling around in the dirt (even if you just bathed him or her), dragging their butts across the ground, among an endless list of other things, are all common behaviors in dogs that identify them. No matter how hard we try to humanize them, dogs will never stop being themselves. So, allow your dog to bark, get dirty, play with other dogs and to enjoy all of the furball things that mark a dog’s personality.


And last, but certainly not least, always love your dog just like you would love any other member of your family.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.