Why Is It Important to Understand Your Dog?

closeup photo of brown and black dog face

Having a dog is a lot of work; don’t let experienced dog owners fool you! Puppies, in particular, take a lot of time and effort when you’re training them. It’s essential to house train your pet, leash train them, and give them some basic obedience commands. Many owners also like to teach their pets more complicated tricks like rolling over.

Sometimes, dogs misbehave. Disobedience can stem from many factors, including a stressful environment. Dogs are animals, after all; they may act out when put in a situation they don’t find comfortable.

However, the owner can almost always avoid these situations. Understanding your dog’s feelings and behaviors can ensure a better relationship between you and your four-legged friend.

Read on to learn why understanding your dog is vital and how better to interpret your pet’s mind.

1. It Reduces Stress

Like humans, a dog can experience stress and anxiety. Unfamiliar situations, busy, crowded areas, or larger dogs can all trigger a stress response. In some cases, dogs may even become stressed when left alone for extended time periods.

Some behaviors that indicate stress include sweaty paws, food refusal, constant yawning, or lip licking.

By noticing that your dog is feeling stressed, you can better accommodate it and catch the problem before it gets out of hand.

2. It Creates a Bond and Helps Communication

The best-behaved dogs have a solid relationship with their owners. Building this relationship takes a lot of quality time, and it also entails communication. Communication is a two-way street, so as much as you need your dog to listen to you, you also need to listen to them.

Dogs can’t speak, so body language and noises are the only tools you have to determine what’s going on in your dog’s head.

It’s essential to learn how to read your dog so that you can form a strong connection. For example, if you want to hug your dog and she seems skittish or shakes you off, you need to understand that she doesn’t want physical contact.

Similarly, you should be able to tell when your dog is hungry or in need of something like a water bowl refill. Doing so will establish trust between you, creating a solid relationship.

There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friends; when the communication works, the bond is unbreakable.

3. It Keeps Everyone Safe

Body language can also indicate when your dog is feeling unsafe and is likely to lash out. Every dog is capable of causing harm to other animals and people. No matter if your furry friend is the calmest, most loving dog in the world, it has the potential to snap if backed into a corner.

It’s up to the owner to control the dog. Pay attention to your dog when out and about to spot the signs before the situation escalates. If your dog’s hackles go up, you need to react by redirecting his attention away to something else.

Dogs can read body language, too. If you respond to the situation with yelling, anxiety, and more stress, it’s likely to make things worse. Stay calm, give your dog some affection, and direct it away from the situation.

4. It’s Better for Training

Returning to the communication point, training your dog is much easier when you understand its body language.

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photo of person holding black and white dog

There’s a lot to consider when training a dog. Part of it is knowing when your pet is tired and needs a break so they can learn better.

Dogs may also struggle to learn if they are anxious, unwell, or hungry. Picking up on these signs can help you avoid frustration and create better training sessions.

One way to keep your pet calm no matter what is to use CBD treats, which are also great for training. Try CBD treats for large dogs if you have a big breed, so you can ensure they are getting enough CBD. There are also plenty of CBD options for small and medium breeds.

Don’t worry if you have never considered using CBD for dogs; the American Kennel Club notes some anecdotal evidence that cannabidiol can be beneficial for dogs. The AKC is also sponsoring a study that will better help us understand the effects of cannabidiol on dogs.

How to Understand Your Dog

Every dog is different, and it may display different signs of various moods. There are some standard behavioral features to look out for, though:

  • Tail wagging: People often assume that a waggy tail means the dog is happy. This is not strictly true; it simply means the dog is emotionally aroused. It could be feeling happy, excited, frustrated, or angry.
  • Tail position: A dog with its tail between its legs could be feeling stressed and anxious. Alternatively, a tail pointing upward signifies assertiveness and perhaps even aggression. However, different breeds can have different neutral tail positions, so take note of where your dog’s tail rests naturally.
  • Raised hackles: When a dog’s hackles are up, it means its fur is standing on end along the back. Usually, this means the animal is upset or distressed, but it can sometimes be the result of excitement. Think of it like goosebumps in people.
  • Facial expression: Dogs also have facial expressions. Lip licking in dogs can often be a sign of hunger or anxiety while panting with the tongue out means they are hot. Baring the teeth usually denotes aggression, but sometimes, when coupled with a loose posture, it can mean that the dog is peaceful and showing you that it is non-aggressive.

These are just a few ways to tell how your dog is feeling. It’s essential to spend plenty of time with your dog in various situations to find out how they respond when they’re in different moods.

Final Thoughts

Understanding dogs is crucial as a pet owner. You need to know how your dog is going to react so you can make sure your pet stays safe in any given situation, along with other people, animals, and even yourself.

If you have a particularly anxious or reactive pooch, you could give CBD treats a try. However, make sure you do thorough research beforehand and perhaps consult your vet.

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