In this month’s article, we will be covering a unique topic of different and common behaviours you may have wondered the meaning of in your canine pets. There are many little quirks that we witness often in our dogs’ personalities; however, today we will be addressing those that we are asked the most about.

You may have noticed that at times when you whistle or create a high-pitched sound, your dog may cock his head to one side or the other alternately. This behavior is commonly seen as a cute peculiarity that most owners find adorable, without questioning why it occurs. As in humans, when we are trying to pay extra attention to the speaker in front of us while listening, we tend to nod our heads in agreement or towards understanding what is being said. Similarly, our canine companions will cock their heads to one side in the same way that we nod our heads during a conversation. Their curious nature causes them to move their ear to one shoulder or the other to show that they are trying to comprehend what is going on with extra attention. Sneezing in canines has always been a very interesting topic. Originally, it was seen that our dogs sneeze in the same manner as the rest of their human family members do. However, recently it has been discovered that there may be two different meanings to their sneezing and what they wish to communicate to us. If your dog actively leaves the room or is in a separate room already and sneezes, this means that they are naturally sneezing, as we would. Yet, if they are in the same room as you and sneeze, it can have other indications. If they sneeze next to you in general, it means they are extremely excited to play and wish for you to be their playmate. If they sneeze while already playing with you, this means that they are indicating that even if they may be playing a bit on the rougher side, it is only a fun recreational activity for them. They do not wish any harm towards you!

Majority of dogs will be seen circling around in one spot before deciding to sit down or lay there as a place chosen to rest. Animal behaviourists have researched and discovered that this innate behavior may be seen stemming from their ancestral background of wolves. It is seen that wolves display an identical behavior of choosing a spot to rest after circling there for a certain amount of time. This process allows them to flatten that surface of any grass, leaves or twigs. Thus, making this placement as comfortable as possible for long periods of sleep or relaxation.

Taking your dog out to the yard or for a walk in the neighbourhood may feel like a common part of your daily routine, to help them go to the bathroom. What most overlook or don’t realize is that this simple activity of them relieving themselves can only occur based on a strong foundation of trust with their owner. Dogs are always actively aware of their surroundings, when it comes to smells, visuals and sounds. However, when they are defecating or urinating, they are in their most vulnerable state. In this position, their concentration is solely on their given task, rather than their whereabouts. Being able to comfortably perform this daily routine means that they are blindly trusting their human companion at this defenceless time to be attentive for them.

 Dr. Sifti Bhullar


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