Dog behaviour explained: Five common traits

September 14, 2017

All dogs have very different personalities, along with distinctive characteristics influenced by their age, breed and past experiences.

This means their behaviour and reactions to particular situations are likely to differ. However, there are some common dog behaviours that most dogs will display – and it can be useful to know what these mean.

After all, the more you understand your pet, the better relationship you’re likely to have and the more rewarding it will be. But if you’re frustrated or worried by anything, remember you can ask our nurse Jessica or another of our team for advice. Just give us a call or drop by.

Contact us for advice

In the meantime, here are five common behaviours and what they tend to mean:

  1. Barking
    This is a dog’s main form of vocal communication and it usually means they’re keen to tell you something. For example, they may be feeling excited, happy, alarmed, scared, bored or anxious. With time, you may spot different sounds and types of bark which you learn to recognise – so you can respond appropriately.
  2. Howling
    This is often a sign of separation anxiety in a dog, but can also be used to get attention or announce their presence. If you have concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01621 828381.
  3. Begging
    Dogs love the same foods that humans do – and have a much more powerful sense of smell – so naturally they’re drawn towards us while we’re eating. However, you need to put rules in place and stick to them. If you’ve ever given your dog a bit of food from your plate, they’ll assume you’ll do it again and try their best to make that happen. So if you don’t want them to beg, don’t do it!
  4. Chewing
    Young dogs chew to discover the world and relieve the pain of growing their adult teeth, whereas in older dogs it can be a sign that they’re bored or anxious.
  5. Digging
    This is part of a dog’s genetic make-up, as wild dogs will dig to hide or uncover food. They also sometimes dig at the ground to make it more comfortable for lying down.

Is your dog behaving strangely? Or perhaps they’ve developed a pattern of behaviour that you want to improve? Whatever your concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask our team for help.

Get help with your dog

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are required for our website to operate and include items such as whether or not to display this pop-up box or your session when logging in to the website. These cookies cannot be disabled.


We use 3rd party services such as Google Analytics to measure the performance of our website. This helps us tailor the site content to our visitors needs.


From time to time, we may use cookies to store key pieces of information to make our site easier for you to use. Examples of this are remembering selected form options to speed up future uses of them. These cookies are not necessary for the site to work, but may enhance the browsing experience.


We may use advertising services that include tracking beacons to allow us to target our visitors with specific adverts on other platforms such as search or social media. These cookies are not required but may improve the services we offer and promote.

Change Settings

Welcome. You can control how we use cookies and 3rd party services below

Change Settings Accept
Learn how we use cookies