Dog Psychology Facts Every Dog Owner Should Know


Specialist Advice

Dogs are slowly but surely having more and more of a prominent footing in our society. Bars and cafes are becoming more dog-friendly, selling treats and setting out water bowls, and dogs themselves are getting more and more rights.

What a great time to be alive. But do we really understand them beyond their cuteness and unparalleled companionship? Here’s a bunch of things you should know about dogs.



When your dog sneezes on you, it doesn’t mean they are suffering from allergies. It’s their way of telling you that they are just play-fighting and do not mean to harm you.

This behavior usually happens when a dog is excited or giddy. They just want to make it clear that they’re not being aggressive – awww!

Eye Contact


You may have heard this one before but eye contact can tell you a lot about how intelligent your dog is and can act as a warning sign too.

Intelligent dogs will look you in the eye to meet yours. But when a dog looks you in the eye for too long and doesn’t avert their gaze now and then, it’s a sign of aggression and a warning not to get too close.

Sniffing Your Crotch

Animal Care Centre of Smyrna

This behavior may be the cause of some embarrassing moments at parties or when you have friends over.

When dogs sniff your crotch, it’s their way of checking on someone’s health and mood. Dogs use their sense of smell to make sense of their surroundings and read people. If your dog does this to you, they’re just making sure you’re okay.


Modern Dog Magazine

Dogs lick people for two reasons; as a form of affection or as a way to help you heal.

Dogs have antibacterial compounds in their saliva and will often like their wounds to help it heal and because they love you, they’ll also do the same to you if they notice you with a wound.

Chewing Up Furniture


If your dog has a tendency to chew on your furniture or shoes and he or she is no longer a puppy, then it could be a sign of anxiety or boredom.

Dogs will rarely do this infront of owners as they are preoccupied by your attention and calmed by your presence. To eliminate this, see a behavioral psychologist and try to limit the amount of time your dog spends alone.

Sniffing Your Face


Similarly to a dog sniffing your crotch, when a dog sniffs your face, they’re collecting pieces of information about you but mostly about what you’ve recently eaten.

Their sense of smell is about 40 times greater than ours. It’s much more sensitive than the most advanced man-made instrument currently existing. If we had that super power, I guess we’d be smelling everything too!

Eye Contact While Pooping

Labrador Training

If your dog looks deeply into your eyes right before or during their pooping, you may be surprised to learn exactly what that means.

It’s their way of telling you that they feel very vulnerable and that they trust you to keep an eye out for them and have their back.


The Labrador Site

A human yawn is an involuntary process of acquiring more oxygen into their lungs when we’re feeling tired or empathetic.

For a dog, it’s quite different. They yawn to alleviate stress and anxiety. It’s their way of calming themselves down and remaining comfortable.

The Head Tilt

YouTube/n Beats

When a dog tilts their head, it’s like their brain is undertaking a huge data analysis procedure. Tilting their head is an automatic response when their brains are working extra hard to read your body language and analyse your tone of voice.

It may be a lot of work for them but it’s adorable to watch.

Choosing To Sleep Next To You

Pets Magazine

If your dog chooses to sleep next to you, you can rest assured that your little pupper trusts you like no one else.

Researchers have found that sleeping with your dog encourages peaceful sleep and decreases overall stress for both you and your dog!

A Soft Gaze


If a dog looks at you with a soft gaze where his eyelids are relaxed and his body language is relaxed, it’s a sure sign they’re very happy and content.

An extra telltale sign of a happy dog is when their gentle eye contact is paired with frequent blinking. Then, you can be sure they’re loving life.

Sleeping On Your Clothes

Do you have a dog you love but you’re not sure if he loves you back? If so, watch out for this one sneaky behavior.

A dog that loves you will want nothing more than to be close to you. They’ll lie on your clothes, soothed by your scent on them. If they do this, they do love you!

Kicking Backwards

Cesar’s Way

When dogs go to the bathroom, it’s common to see them digging into the ground with their back paws and kicking upwards afterwards.

Surprisingly, this isn’t to cover up their dodo. Instead, it’s a way for them to mark their territory further by using the glands on their paws.


Country Living Magazine

Some dogs seem to sleep their lives away and while some owners can get worried about it, it’s the way they’re supposed to be.

A happy adult dog is supposed to sleep for around 16 hours a day. If they’re sleeping any less than that, it’s a sign of stress which can be exhausting for them. This should be looked into.