When you think of dogs you think: loyal, fun, straightforward. They're eager to please, simple to understand - and so much less complicated than cats. You know when a dog is happy. You know when a dog is sad. And you know when your dog wants you to walk, feed or pat them.
Or do you? Dogs also have a few weird behaviours that are not so easy to interpret. Here, we reveal the meaning behind the more unusual behaviours your dog exhibits.
The canine sigh
What's with that? You're quietly sitting there minding your own business when all of a sudden you hear your pooch let out an almighty sigh. Are they sad? Are they depressed, bored, missing someone?
It's easy to leap to the conclusion that they're feeling blue here but, in actual fact, dogs sigh when they're content. Next time you hear your pooch let out a big sigh, and then follow it up by laying its head down on its paws, pat yourself on the back for being a great mum. Your hairy guy is happy and couldn't want for anything more!
They stare at you
When your dog stares at you it makes you question how different dogs are to cats after all. Are they judging you? Do you have something on your face? Does this colour not look good on you?
As it turns out, they're probably thinking about food or doing something they love like going for a walk. Actually probably food. You are the provider of all of the things they love in life, so if they start staring at you, you can bet your bottom dollar they want you to feed them (something from the MY DOG® Home Recipe™ perhaps?) and are hoping you will pick up on their telepathic pleas.
Lick you all over
The lick, of course, is a sloppy sign of affection. When dogs lick the people they love, feel-good endorphins are released which calm and comfort them. They also quite like the taste of our salty skin. So you can see why it's hard for them to break this habit.
If you do want to lose the lick, stop patting them and walk away as soon as they start licking. You want your dog to realise that the moment they start licking, the attention stops.
Eat their own poo - and other poo they find
This is gross - no other way to describe it. And another good reason why you probably don't want your dog licking your face. Why do they do it? They might be bored. They might consider poo to be undiscovered treasure when they're out on a walk.
The best way to discourage them is to keep them on a leash when you walk them, reward them with a MY DOG® treat when they leave poo alone and give them lots of playtime and chew toys to ensure they're kept entertained. Most puppies start doing this at around four to nine months old but if you discourage them, they should grow out of it.
Digging random holes
Granted, digging is a behaviour that you'd expect from a dog but there are a number of reasons why they do it, and some are surprising.
For some dogs, it's simply a matter of instinct. Breeds like terriors are hardwired to dig because of their hunting ancestry.
Dogs dig when they're bored, when they have excess energy or when have something they want to hide like a bone or toy. Dogs that are 'runners' might dig because they're trying to escape. Dogs also dig out of fear or as a way of comfort-seeking.
Or they might just be having fun. What's not to love about digging a hole, right?