The Meaning Behind Why Dogs Do What They Do

Too many people who don’t own one, a dog can seem like a nuisance or just another cute furry animal. Maybe some people like dogs but feel like they don’t have what it takes to train them. People get dogs for many different reasons too! Some for therapy, others for working purposes such as herding, police work, search and rescue, and gatekeeping, with many others getting dogs as a status symbol. Some get a small dog to keep at home and just to have something to pet, other individuals like to get big dogs because they see themselves as big and healthy too, or vice versa as well.

Two dogs are sitting on a bench looking excited.
Source: Shutterstock

However, the truth is that although some dogs may have more instinctual strengths than others, all dogs share the same body language. Moreover, they understand each other very well too. It’s this language that decides every dog’s status in the pack, and they inherited from their first ancestor, the Wolf. We listed the top 50 most common canine body languages so you can understand your companion better and speak to them better as well. Enjoy!

Dog Standing on Its Hind Legs

A dog getting up on its hind legs can mean many things. One of the things it means is that it’s a sign of affection. They want to get up and grab a hug just like any other human would.

A beagle dog is standing on its hind legs next to the owner.
Photo by Kostyazar /

However, if they are hanging out with other dogs and get up on their hind legs, it could mean that they aren’t feeling playful. If they aren’t acting aggressively or growling at all, then this just means that they are playing.

Chewing on the Furniture

Puppies are just like small babies. They like to chew on things to get rid of the pain from teething. If your pet is chewing on furniture and different things like this when he is no longer a puppy, it could mean something else. That doesn’t mean the dog is badly behaved or trying to destroy everything.

Boston Terrier is sitting on a torn-up white corner couch.
Photo by Skyward Kick Productions

This could just mean that they need more physical activity and probably need to be taken out more to release their energy. Start with a walk and go from there. You can also try to take them to a dog park so they can run around more freely.

Why Dogs Bark

There are many reasons that a dog would bark, and it really depends on the situation surrounding it and how the dog barks. If the barking is loud and frequently, this could mean that it is an urgent matter. They could be sensing that danger is approaching you.

A cute dog with his mouth open, as if he is barking.
Source: Shutterstock

If your dog is barking with shorter and softer barks, it could be that they want to play with you. Loud barking could be a sign that they are in pain.

This next photo will show you why you should watch out when a dog wrinkles its muzzle.

It’s Not Always Time for Fetch

Even though your dog might be carrying around a toy in his mouth, it doesn’t mean that he always wants to play fetch. There are a few different reasons they could be carrying around a toy or why they might bring you one. It could be that they are looking to please you. This is the way that a dog tries to gain your respect when he looks at you as his Alpha.

A golden retriever holding a to chicken in the backyard.

Another reason could be that he wants to show you that he trusts you and brings you his prized possession. Your dog can be bringing you a toy just to show you that he loves you and is happy to see you. It shows that your dog likes you and wants to show you his toy. They say that if you throw the ball, it could hurt his feelings. Next time that your dog brings you a toy, you should try to hold onto it and see how he reacts. If it makes him happy, you can tell he doesn’t want to fetch.

Yawning Doesn’t Have to Mean Your Dog Is Tired

Humans yawn if they are tired or bored. However, it isn’t the same when it comes to dogs. We always see dogs yawn, and there are a few different reasons for it. One of the reasons could be that they feel safe when they are with you and trust you. Yawning can also be a sign of submission, so when your dog yawns 15 times in a row, then you can tell that they are relaxed.

A large fluffy dog is yawning while sitting in front of a German Shepard.
Photo by chinahbzyg /

However, it can also be a sign of anticipation or stress. Let’s say you’re at the vet’s office waiting to be called. If your dog yawns there a few times, it is their way of dealing with being nervous. Dogs also use yawning to control their enthusiasm before they go on a walk. Like humans, dogs also yawn when they are tired. If you really want to figure out which type of yawn it is, check out the environment.

Wiggle Like A Worm

When your dog is wiggling around on its back, kicking its legs up in the air and just looking happy, then you’re right. Most of the time, in this situation, your dog is really happy. However, it could mean something else.

A large cute dog wiggling on the dirty ground.
Source: YouTube

If your dog is wiggling excessively trying to reach an itch or something that is irritating him, this could be their way to get your attention. So just stop what you were doing for a moment and see if you can help him out.

Look at You Before You Leave

Usually, owners don’t like to leave their dog home alone and even spend a lot of money, making sure they have a babysitter. Or even spend money on one of those cameras so they can see and talk to their dogs during the day. The main reason behind this is the sad look that they get when we are about to leave the house.

A cute dog is watching sadly from the window.
Photo by Kames Kirkikis /

Well, there isn’t much reason to worry. That look on their faces is more of calmness rather than sadness, which means that they know you are leaving and they are sad about it, but they trust that you are going to return to them at the end of the day. They feel like they can count on you, and you have gained their trust.

When Your Dog Paces Back and Forth

There are several reasons that your dog would be pacing back and forth. It could be that they are nervous, bored, or excited. Just like humans’ pace around the room, the dogs do too. A sign that your dog wants to play is if they place around you in circles.

Two German shorthaired pointer puppies chasing each other in the grass.
Photo by WilleeCole Photography /

They want to see whether or not you are opening to playing. When two dogs first meet, it is common for them to start chasing each other and running in circles. This doesn’t mean that something is wrong; this is just how dogs play.

Pointing Its Snout Outward

This one is mostly for hunting dogs, but all dogs can essentially do this. If your dog freezes up and points their nose in the direction of something specific, it is called pointing. Sometimes you’ll notice that they lift one of their front paws.

A German Shorthaired pointer dog in the grass pointing.
Photo by S.M. /

Usually, his tail will be pointed upwards as well. This position would be used for hunting back in the day. Once their dog would point, they would throw down their nets and capture whatever they were hunting.

Yawning Can Also Be A Sign of Discomfort

We already spoke about how yawning could just mean that a dog is tired and comfortable; this could also mean something completely different. If your dog is feeling anxious and uncomfortable in a public setting, they will yawn a lot, but don’t need a nap.

A large cute dog in the back of a car yawning.
Source: Shutterstock

If you are in a new place and you notice that your dog yawns a lot while walking around in general, just pay attention so that you can give them some extra love and care.

The Casual Head Tilt

Most of us speak to our dogs using a higher-pitched voice than normal. Sometimes we notice that our dog tilts his head to the side as if he’s listening intently and understand what you’re saying. Well, this is partly true. Dogs can read body language and vocal cues. So, when you are instructing your dog to do something or getting a bit angry after they ripped up another shoe of yours, they are just taking it in.

A golden retriever sitting on a green carpet with a tennis ball with his head tilted to the side.
Source: Pinterest

Dogs can recognize different words, so it is possible that they are trying to make out a specific word like ‘treat,’ ‘walk,’ or ‘outside.’ There are some experts who believe that they adjust their outer ear when they tilt their heads in order to pinpoint the noise.

Sniffing the Air

There are plenty of things that dogs will use their nose for. Dogs actually have 220 million olfactory receptors, which is way more than humans. We only have around 5 million. Dogs can smell a thousand times better than a human can. If your dog is sniffing the air around him, it could mean that there is danger coming, or they are tracking prey.

A puppy Pomeranian sniffing the air outside in a park filled with leaves.
Photo by Grisha Bruev /

When they are doing this, the dog will remain completely still and absolutely silent. Dogs can smell the difference between different types of animals, including dogs and people. A dog’s sense of smell is so great that they can tell the difference between identical twins.

Flipping Their Tongue Up Is A Dog’s Apology

When a dog is aware that they have done something wrong, usually they’ll stick their tongue out and flip it upwards. This is their way of apologizing to us. They understand what they did and feel bad about it.

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy with his tongue out and a sad puppy face on.
Photo by olgagorovenko /

Usually, they will also put an innocent face on because they are fully aware that we can’t help but give in to a cute puppy face. Even if they do something like pee on the floor, they will look up at you with a cute face and flip their tongue up.

Stretching Has A New Meaning

Stretching isn’t only done after waking up to stretch our muscles, unlike people. When a dog stretches, it can mean that they are showing you affection and love. If you come home and your dog stretches excitedly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were sleeping.

A French Bulldog is stretching at the entrance to a house.
Photo by Loida Sanchez Real /

They also want to show you that they’re excited to see you. So, next time that you arrive home from work and he is there stretching, make sure to give them some affection and love back.

Exposing the Belly

When a dog lays back and exposes his belly for you, it is a sign that he is submissive and comfortable, and that he respects you. To encourage them to behave like this, you can rub their belly. This way, they are taught that whenever they lay back like that, stomach out, they will get a nice massage.

A dog is lying on his back with his paws up and belly out.
Photo by Travel for Love /

However, another reason that a dog would lay on it’s back like that is when he is being attacked by another animal. Make sure to check around you before petting him if you aren’t used to him doing it.

Tucking in Their Tails

Here is another sign that your dog is in distress. Sometimes, a dog will tuck his tail in between his legs. They do this for multiple reasons, but usually, it isn’t a good sign. It could be because he is uncertain, nervous, scared, guilty, or ashamed.

A dog with his tail between his legs.
Photo by Sarah2 /

This is a sign to show your dog some extra love. Try talking to him with a sweet, calm voice and petting him. Giving him a dog treat could also make him feel better.

Why A Dog Raises Its Paws

As most of these signs, there is more than one thing that a dog raising its paws can mean. Either they want something from you, or they are just looking to play. Usually, puppies or a younger dog would do this.

Photograph of a puppy putting his paws on his owner’s knees while his mouth hangs open.
Photo by Bachkova Natalia /

A puppy will raise its paws and touch their mother when they want to eat. If they do this to you, it means that they are looking for some love and affection. Just another reason to rub his belly and give him a treat.

A Dogs Tail Says as Much as Their Eyes

When a dog wags its tail, it’s typically a sign that they are happy and excited. Of course, you probably know this already. However, if they hang their tail downward and wag it, this can mean that they are showing you they are submissive.

A country dog is wagging his tail.
Photo by coma /

This can also mean that they are sad, confused, or just not feeling well. If they wag their tails up high, it means that they are very alert and ready to play. Like I mentioned before, their tail shows you just as much as their eyes do.

Dragging His Bum

I’m sure you’ve seen this before, and you probably thought it was funny. However, this isn’t a good sign. A dog dragging his bum is called scooting. It usually means that you should take your dog straight to the vet because they have an impacted anal sac that they want to release the pressure on.

A dog is dragging his bum across dirt outside.
Source: Twitter

Depending on the breed of your dog, it can happen more often than others. This isn’t comfortable for the dog, and it is recommended that you bring him to the vet so that they can drain it.

Laying on Your Feet

I love it when a cute dog lays across my legs. Dogs seem to really love this also when you’re watching TV in the living room or even sitting at dinner. A lot of owners don’t always like this and push the dog off of them, but it actually means something really sweet. This is a sign that your dog wants to protect you and is loyal to you.

A puppy sleeping on his owner’s lap while she sits on her phone on the couch.
Photo by LarsZ /

They are looking to be as close to you as they can get. If you try to get up, they will allow you to have your own space. Dogs actually pass down certain behaviors from their ancestors. Dogs have loved to sleep with their pack of dogs. So, if a dog wants to sleep close to you, they are considering you part of their pack.

Lean on Me

You’ve probably noticed that when you hang around sometimes, your dog will lean up against you. This is a sign that they are hugging you. This is how they connect with you and doesn’t mean that they are lazy in any way.

A German Shepard is leaning on his owners’ leg.
Photo by Lena Ivanova /

Don’t push your dog away next time they do this, as it can hurt their feelings. You should allow them to express their feelings towards you even reach out a hand to pet him. Keeping reading for more fun meanings!

Tackling You to The Floor

This is just the cutest thing. It might not be the most comfortable, but it is showing you that your dog is crazy about you. It doesn’t mean that they are trying to get your attention or just annoy you. Although, it can end up with you having a few minor scratches.

A happy golden retriever is greeting his female owner, jumping up on her.
Photo by Ioana Catalina E /

This means that your dog is so happy to see you, and they love you the most. After waiting around the house alone all day, they are just so happy to see you. This is where dogs show some emotions like a human. We also jump up when we’re excited, depending on the situation, of course. But when your dog jumps, it can mean they are jumping for joy, or they can be trying to establish their dominance.

Flicking Their Ears

When a dog flicks their ears, it means that they are trying to listen to their surroundings. Most animals have this same behavioral trait of flicking their ears when they are trying to listen. Whenever there is a noise or a sign that they don’t really recognize, they try to figure out what it is by moving their ears.

A shaggy dog with his mouth open and ears flicking around.
Photo by Jolanta Beinarovica /

Just give them a second to figure it out. Not only for the dog’s sake but because it is absolutely one of the cutest things to watch them being observant and inquisitive. Although, I can say that about most of the things that dogs do.

Licking Themselves

This one might be a bit more obvious, but there are probably some of you out there who haven’t heard this before. There is also more than one reason behind it. Dogs, like most animals, will lick themselves clean. So, if your dog gets dirty outside, they will probably lick themselves clean.

A cute white puppy with black spots near his ears lying in the grass licking his tiny paws.
Source: Pinterest

When a dog licks itself, it can also mean that they are in pain. If a dog is licking his legs and paws a lot near their joints, it can also be because of arthritis. If you notice him mostly licking his joints, it is a good idea to take him down to the vet to be sure that he is okay.

Wrinkling Their Muzzle

Dogs are known to show their varying moods in different ways. Some of them are positive, but then we have some negative ones. When your dog wrinkles up its mouth, it usually means that they are acting aggressively.

A chihuahua dog snarling and looking angry.
Photo by otsphoto /

If they are snarling with their teeth out, then you should probably remove them from whatever situation they are in. This usually is a sign that the dog is prepared to attach if it gets to the point where they feel it’s required. How cute is this dog, though, even though he’s snarling?

Playing Detective

I’m sure you’ve noticed at one point a dog stopping what he’s doing, lifting a leg up in the air, and looking around. This means that they hurt their paw. It is actually something a lot more normal. Dogs will do this when something caught their attention, and they want to play detective to find out what it is.

A cute black and white dog standing in the snow, alert with his front leg up.
Source: Tumblr

When a dog’s brain is working, they will lift their paws. Sometimes, they also start to sniff a lot. To figure it out, though, just look around you guys. It could be there’s another dog waiting to play. Next up, we have a dog whose tail straightens out.

Straightening Their Tail

When a dog wants to show they are excited or confident, they will sometimes stick their tail straight in the air. They sometimes do this when they are meeting another animal. However, if their tail is sticking straight up and it is a little shaky, then it could mean that they are anticipating a challenge.

A Beagle dog is looking alert with his tail sticking straight up.
Photo by Ross Stevenson /

When a dog’s tail is more leveled with their body, it shows that they feel happy, content, and loved. However, if they do this with their tail low or between their legs, it could be a sign of insecurity.

The Meaning of The Cute Side Tongue

One of the cutest things is when a dog hangs their tongue out of the side of their mouth, whether it’s just hanging around or they have their head out of the car window. If your dog has his tongue hanging out of one side of his mouth, it is usually a sign that he is just happy and calm. They also do this when they are done playing or getting back from a walk.

A happy German Shepard with his head hanging out of the car window, and his tongue is hanging out of his mouth.
Photo by Christin Lola /

However, if your dog has his tongue hanging out most of the time, then it could mean there is something to worry about. There is a condition called ‘hanging tongue syndrome.’ A lot of breeds with flat noses have it, like a bulldog or a boxer. If you notice that your dog is walking around like this, it could be time for a trip to the vet.

Why Do Dogs Dig Up the Yard?

Dogs are an animal that instinctively digs. It is something that is engrained in their DNA, especially with the terrier breeds. A dog will usually dig to hide something in the yard or to uncover the valuables that they have already buried. You can find bones or toys in there, and sometimes even some of your belongings.

Dog digging in the sand at the beach.
Photo by Iuliia Khabibullina /

Wild dogs sometimes dig holes so that they can uncover their prey under the ground. Just like humans, they will bury their dead. If this is something you don’t want your dog to do, they can be trained to stop.

The Reason Behind Biting

When a dog bites you, it isn’t always the most enjoyable thing. However, it could just mean that they are showing affection, and your puppy just wants to play. Also, when dogs play together, they tend to bite each other a lot. But this doesn’t mean that your dog is aggressive.

A Sealyham terrier biting a Golden Retrievers ear while playing.
Photo by Utekhina Anna /

This is just how dogs play. There are different reasons why a dog would bite a human. One reason is that they are nervous or fearful and will react aggressively. If you are in tune with your dog’s body language, there are ways to prevent the bite from happening.

If They Sleep with You, They Love You

This is another trait that has been passed down through the generations of dogs. Even though you go through the trouble and expense of buying them their own bed, they insist on sleeping with you. When their ancestors would hunt, they would do it in packs. They would also sleep together for warmth and security. He just wants to feel as close to you, protected, and warm as possible. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that your dog loves you by being with you all night long.

A woman is sleeping while she cuddles her puppy under the covers.
Photo by BublikHaus /

They just want to hang out with you whenever they have an opportunity. If your dog climbs into bed with you, it is a big compliment. It’s showing you that you are their number one and that they are most comfortable to be vulnerable with you. Also, studies show that your dog sleeping next to you can make you feel more loved and protected.

High Four

Of course, no one appreciates being slapped by another person. Well, some people do. However, if your dog slaps you with his paw, it doesn’t mean that he’s upset. It is actually a way of him trying to get your attention. When a dog slaps another dog, it can mean something completely different.

A German Shepard holding his owners’ hand.
Photo by Irina Kozorog /

When a dog trusts another dog, they will pat their doggie friend. This is just like how a person will pat someone else on the back to congratulate them or just be friendly.

After Meal Cuddles

Another way that your dog can show you he loves you is by coming to cuddle with you after a meal. Just like me, dogs want to take a good nap after they eat. They also like to be with their favorite person, just like when they sleep.

A man is cuddling his dog on the couch.
Photo by Daxiao Productions /

This is a very intense way that dogs express their love for you. If you notice your dog does this a lot, make sure you don’t feed him anything that will make him gassy, as you don’t want that laying up against you.

Why Your Dog Pants

When your dog pants, it doesn’t mean that he is out of breath or having a heart attack. This is actually how a dog cools down. When a human tries to cool down, our bodies naturally produce sweat. Since dogs can’t sweat, this is how their bodies cool down. If you notice that your dog is panting a lot, just put some water in a bowl for him, so he doesn’t get dehydrated.

Two dogs are lying in the grass panting after playing together.
Photo by Markus J /

There is another reason that your dog can be panting, though. They also do this when they are trying to relieve pain or stress. So just make sure that all of his needs are met, and it is just water he is looking for.

Eye Movements

Dogs show a lot of their emotions through their eyes, similar to the way humans do. When they are tired or sad, they will look down on the ground. If they have their eyes open wide and are looking around excitedly, then they are excited.

Jack Russell Terrier is looking up as if they are asking a question.
Photo by GLandStudio /

If they are trying to ask you something, they will look at you and sometimes even raise their eyebrows as if they are curious. Most of the time, you can tell how a dog is feeling based on their eyes more than you could by looking at their tail.

Why Your Puppy Bows

There are a few reasons that your puppy would bow. If your dog bows by lowering their head but keeping their body standing up, they usually want to play. Sometimes they will also swing their hips with it or wag their tails excitedly.

A small white fluffy dog is bowing with his tail up.
Photo by Cryber /

This is called the Play Bow by dog trainers, and it’s the most common way that a dog will try to show you they want to play. The photograph of a dog bowing is just too cute for words.

Walking in Circles Before Lying Down

You may have noticed that when a dog goes to lay down, they sometimes walk in circles before settling down. This is a trait that dogs take from their ancestors. Wolves have the habit of doing this before they lay down to make the leaves and dirt flat so they can rest comfortably.

A cute fluffy puppy lying down in the grass with a wooden fence behind him.
Photo by otsphoto /

This doesn’t mean that your dog thinks that your house is dirty or even that there’s something to flatten. It’s just a funny habit that was passed down to them.

The Meaning Behind Howling

There is a reason behind your dog howling, but it isn’t to assert their dominance. It is actually just because this is a dog’s way of yelling. It feels good for them to get it out. The same way that we can release any anger through yelling, dogs are doing the same thing when they howl.

Two Siberian huskies are sitting in the rocks onshore, howling.
Photo by Konstantin Zaykov /

A lot of us had tried to quiet our dog when they were howling. But if we were in that situation, we would want to let it out. So, why not let your dog do it too.

Puppy Dog Eyes

Our hearts melt when we get those puppy dog eyes, and it’s a good sign. A lot of people assume that they are just trying to get your attention, but when they do that, it’s really their way of giving you a hug. How cute is this? This whole time, your cute puppy was hugging you with their eyes.

Cute chocolate labrador with a sad-looking expression on his face, showing he wants some love.
Photo by Sam Strickler /

When your dog gives you the puppy dog eyes, they are showing you that they love you and want you to hug and kiss them. If he is really looking to show you that he’s crazy about you, then he will look directly into your eyes and stare.


No, your dog is not trying to master yodeling. A lot of owners think that this means their dog is actually speaking to them. It can also be a way of them trying to communicate with you. An animal journalist wrote about his dog’s yowling:

A basenji dog talking on a white background.
Photo by BublikHaus /

“Our German Shepherd rescue, the sweetest dog we have ever owned (unless you happen to be a cat), is 9. She ‘talks’ about everything! Grumbles, over being denied a cat lunch, has 5-minute conversations over going out for a walk, exchanges pleasantries (you would swear) over how happy she is to see someone.”

Eating Poop

If you have ever had a dog, or even been around one long enough, you probably saw him eat poop. It’s very gross, but it is common. Whether he is eating his own poop or other dogs, its usually one of two things. It could be just a behavioral thing that can be modified by training. But it can also mean malnutrition.

Photo of a man using a blue bag to pick up his dog's poop while his dog sniffs at it.
Photo by antoniodiaz /

If your dog does this a lot, then it would be best to take your dog down to the vet. Once they rule out nutrient deficiencies or any other medical reason, then you can move on to a trainer and help get rid of the habit. Even if it might not be dangerous, it’s pretty gross.

Chasing Their Tail

I’m sure you’ve seen your dog chasing his tail while running in circles around it. It is common for dogs to chase their tails, and most of the time, its nothing to worry about. However, if you notice him doing it a lot, then it could be time to take him to the vet.

A dog biting his tail on the seashore in the summer.
Photo by Lumena /

Just as an example, if he chews his tail a lot, it could be a sign that he has some skin allergies or anal glands to be drained. This can also be a sign that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Animals can get this also, although it’s not too common. Of course, it’s best to just be on the safe side and take him to the vet.

Licking People

Dogs will like you when they want to show you affection. There are a few reasons, but this is the main one. It is their way of telling you “I love you” or trying to get your attention. Also, we have nutrients and minerals in our skin, and it can taste pretty good to a dog.

A cute white puppy licking its owner.
Photo by DavideAngelini /

If they keep doing it too much, but then it could be time to train him a bit. He’s probably doing it because he knows he can get something from you. While a dog’s saliva is harmless unless it gets in an open wound, it’s a myth that they are cleaner than humans.

When Dogs Hump

Even though we all probably think it is, dogs humping isn’t always a sexual thing. It doesn’t even always mean that they are trying to assert their dominance. This is a very common and natural behavior for a dog to have.

A couple of dogs sleeping together under the blanket.
Photo by Javier Brosch /

For dogs, humping is a playful activity that they can do with other dogs, objects, or people. Unless the other dog is bothered by the humping, it isn’t going to harm anyone. I would just try to get them to break the habit of humping people, as that isn’t always the most comfortable thing.

Sniffing Each Other’s Butts

A dog’s sense of smell is more than 10,000 times better than a human’s sense of smell. They use their nose to study their surroundings and learn more about things. Have you ever heard someone ask, “Can you imagine if people greeted each other like that?” when you’re sitting around and notice dogs sniffing each other’s butts?

French bulldog and a beagle are greeting each other by sniffing their behinds.
Photo by Spiky and I /

From sniffing each other, dogs can learn a lot of things. They can tell which gender the dog is, their reproductive status, diet, personality, and more. Imagine if we could learn those things from our sense of smell.

Squinting or Blinking

Another cute thing that dogs do (I’m not referring to the topic before this one) is squint a bit, so they look like they are smiling. When he wants to spend some time with you or get your attention, he will squint or blink.

A smiling and squinting golden retriever.
Photo by Tatiana Gass /

If your dog starts doing this a lot, then it could be a sign that he’s looking for you to spend more time with him. Maybe you are spending too much time apart, and you should put aside time for some quality time with your cute furry friend.

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, and High Ears

This is probably the best time to approach a dog, and I’m sure that’s what everyone’s wondering at this point. If you’re around a dog with their mouth opened, tail relaxed, and ears pointing straight up, then take the opportunity to steal some cuddles.

A cute Old English Terrier is smiling with his ears up.
Source: Pinterest

This shows us that they feel relaxed and they are in a neutral state. Their current surroundings make them feel safe, and it shows us that it’s a good time to say hi. How cute is this smiling dog?

Tail Straight Up and Ears Pointed Forward

I’m sure that you’ve seen your dog straighten out his tail and stand with his ears pointed forward. This shows you that they are trying to figure out what is going on around them. Something got their attention, and they just want to get a bit closer and listen in.

A puppy with his ears forward and tail pointed standing in the grass.
Source: Pinterest

It could even be a new noise or smell in the air that got their attention, and they just want to know where it’s coming from. These curious animals love to learn new fascinating things.

Play Dead Pose

This cute post has been seen by everyone who has ever seen a dog before. If it wasn’t in person, then it was somewhere on social media. I’m referring to when a dog lays on his back with his paws bent up and his head back. He kind of looks like a dead bug lying on his back, but he’s got a smirk on his face, which is very cute.

A cute dog is lying on his back, pretending to be dead.
Photo by CK Elf /

When a dog lays like this, it means that they are submissive and vulnerable. Their environment makes them feel safe. Some dogs can sleep like this, but it isn’t often. When they do, it means that their personality is more laid back and independent.

Sleeping on His Side

This is another way to tell if your dog feels safe and like he’s around his pack. Dogs enjoy sleeping on their side when they feel safe and usually won’t stay like that for a whole night.

A French bulldog sleeping on his side while cuddling a teddy bear.
Photo by Patryk Kosmider /

When they lay on their side, it means that they won’t be able to stand up and get prepared to defend themselves more easily if something were to happen. So, if your dog is relaxed the whole night on his side, you can take it as a compliment and as a sign of love.

The Superman Pose

There are some very cute things that dogs do, but this one takes the cake for me. I’m sure that you’re a fan also. When your dog gets home from a walk and just sprawls out on the floor with his paws out, stomach down on the floor, and just crashes.

A Basset Hound puppy lying on his stomach with his paws stretched out in the green grass.
Photo by Anna Tronova /

This is what happens when he is completely exhausted. If you have a puppy who plays a lot, you probably have noticed him doing this while he is playing. Puppies do this because if they lay down like this, it is easy for them to get back up to continue playing a few minutes later.

The Passed-Out Pose

There is another position like playing dead pose, which looks like your dog is passed out. However, this one means that your dog is just comfortable and basically on cloud nine. It could also mean that your dog is trying to cool off because he is overheating.

Photograph of a dog lying on his back passed out on the arm of the sofa.

If your dog’s paws are just swung across their chest, then just let them rest. They are just trying to find a way to cool off. This next one is also very cute.

The Belly Curl

This one is also super cute but doesn’t actually mean that your dog is comfortable. He probably isn’t getting a good night’s sleep when he lays down on his stomach with his paw’s underneath or down to the side.

A cute white dog is lying on his stomach with his paws down at his sides.

This usually happens when your dog’s muscles aren’t completely relaxed, and it leads to them not getting a night of good REM sleep. The dogs who usually sleep like this tend to have a more gentle and shy personality. I’m sure that we wouldn’t be able to get the best night’s sleep in this position, either.

Curled Up Like A Fox

This cute dog looks like a baby fox curled up and relaxing. When he curls up with his paws underneath its body, and his tail wraps around him, touching his face, this is usually a sign that your dog is cold.

A cute small yellow dog that is curled up resting in the stone.
Photo by jasenwang /

When a dog curls up like this, it usually means that they are trying to get as close to themselves as possible and take advantage of their body heat. If you notice your dog lying down curled up like this, just grab a fuzzy blanket and throw it over him.

Dogs Sleeping Back to Back

This one just looks so sweet, and it also means something sweet. While dogs might not live in packs now, they still have traits that go back to when they did. We are reminded of their pack lives every time we see two dogs getting along. One of those times is when they sleep back to back.

Two puppies sleeping back to back on the wooden floor.
Photo by Magdalena Szachowska /

Besides how cute this is, dogs will only do this with another member of their pack, or another dog that they consider being part of their pack. It is a sign that he has complete trust in them.

When Your Dog Brings You A Gift

I’m sure that you’ve received your own shoes, along with other things, as gifts from your dog. They also are known to bring dead animals around, but even this has a good meaning behind it. You should take this as a big sign of respect because this means that they are trying to make you happy by giving you a gift.

A little French bulldog bringing a sandal for her owner.
Photo by Tienuskin /

Next time your dog brings you a dead animal while proudly looking at you with their cute eyes, try to hide how grossed out you are, smile, and give them some love. How cute is this dog with a shoe?

The Post-Bath Energy Boost

Dogs aren’t always the biggest fans of bath time. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. But most of the time, your dog can’t wait to jump out of there. If you see them running like crazy after their bath, it means that they don’t enjoy it.

A cute wet brown dog is running around the yard with his tongue out, and water is spraying off of him.
Source: Pinterest

They also do this because when they are wet, it is very uncomfortable for them. They just want to get dry as quick as possible and go back to how they smelled before. We all know how much dogs enjoy their amazing sense of smell.

When Your Dog Stays by Your Side

If you’ve ever had a dog or even kids, you know what an invasion of privacy is. However, when a dog avoids your personal space, there is one reason to be annoyed. When they stand close to you in the bathroom or just stand around waiting for you, they just want to be close to you.

A large dog is standing near his owner’s legs while they look out into nature.
Photo by Olena Yakobchuk /

These pack animals just want to behave the way that they know how to, by being close to who they feel most comfortable with and love the most.

When Your Dog Shows Empathy

The cutest thing ever is when you are sitting there sad or upset, and your dog comes over and starts licking you. Maybe he just looks at you or rests his paws and then his head on you. The same way a human will show empathy, a dog wants to give you some tender love and care.

A Golden Retriever is giving his owner a hug in front of a bamboo wall.
Photo by Francisgonsa /

This is their way of showing you that they are there for you. There isn’t a more loyal friend to us than our dog. What is better than the love of our furry friends.

Dogs Eating Grass

It’s pretty common for dogs to eat grass. However, it means that their bodies are trying to tell them something. Dogs will usually do this when their bodies are missing a specific nutrient. It can also mean that they are just trying to get their food to digest more easily from the fiber in the grass.

A Jack Russell Terrier is playing in the park eating grass.
Photo by Aksana Lebedz /

Another reason they do it is because of intestinal worms. But the most popular reason that dogs will do this is that it is hot outside, and they can hydrate through any water that is still in the blades of grass. If they do it too often, I will take them over to the vet to get a check-up just to be sure.