Dog, Why Do You Do What You Do?
Every now and then, your dog will behave in strange, peculiar ways like zooming around or rolling in something nasty. You’ve likely wondered--why? This list of 10 strange dog behavior makes for a fun read. Some we can explain; others we won’t know for sure until our canine friends can explain it to us. Here are a few of the things dogs do that boggle our minds.
Strange Behavior 1: Zoomies
Have you ever been doing something in your house and suddenly see your dog take off at a dead sprint? Tail tucked, they round a corner nearly missing the chance to take you out at the knees. These bursts of energy are called the zoomies and they are quite normal. It’s a quick way for your pup to release a lot of energy in one quick zip.
Strange Behavior 2: Chasing their tail
Like the zoomies, a dog chasing his tail is usually just burning excess energy but it could just be for fun. If there are anal gland problems or skin allergies, the tail chasing could have a more serious purpose. It can also be a compulsive behavior issue that gets worse with time. If the tail chasing seems more than fun, or your dog chases his tail compulsively, talk to your veterinarian.
Strange Behavior 3: Making their bed
Does your dog make you dizzy as you watch him spin around and around before he finally plops down to rest? This very well could be due to his ancestors and how they would circle in the attempt to mat down the leaves that made up their beds. Your dog has no real need for this, of course, but some dogs are picky and like a smooth, flattened surface to lay on at night.
Strange Behavior 4: Sitting on your feet
With plenty of places to sit, your dog wants to sit ON your feet. When your pup does this, it means that he wants you all to himself. This is one sure way to mark you as his. Another reason dates back to a dog’s ancestors where they always sat at the feet of the leader. As you are their leader, they sit at - or in some cases, on - your feet!
Strange Behavior 5: Fear of the vacuum
Does your dog see the vacuum cleaner as a scary, alien monster? Not every dog fears vacuums, especially the little, robotic kind. Most bark frantically and run and hide when the loud, standard vacuum starts though. See it from your dog’s perspective; it’s super loud to their sensitive ears and they don’t understand what’s happening. It keeps being thrust out into the room as it roars loudly. You can help desensitize your dog to at least make some level of peace with the scary vac.
Strange Behavior 6: Rolling in something nasty
In the wild, animals will mask their scent by rolling in whatever they can find on the ground. Domesticated dogs have no need to mask their scent and, while it is possible that they feel the old need to roll in something smelly, most likely it’s just because they want to. You’ll certainly want to give them a bath afterwards!
Strange Behavior 7: Awkward staring while they potty
This one is quite simple. Animals won’t stop mid-potty so they constantly keep a look out for predators (even if their only threat is a sibling zooming by them in an attempt to play). They keep an eye on another dog in the pack to watch for signs that a threat is near. Next time your dog makes that awkward eye contact mid-potty, be sure to comfort him - at a distance - that all is well. Keep calm and potty on.
Strange Behavior 8: Sniffing another dog’s butt
Why has sniffing another dog’s butt become a typical way for a dog to get to say “hello” and get to know another dog? A dog’s sense of smell 10,000 times better than ours, so they get to know a lot of things about this new dog through the interesting smells coming from their fellow canine’s behind.
Strange Behavior 9: Humping
If your dog isn’t fixed, yes, the cause could be sexual. But dogs, even those who are fixed and female dogs, will suddenly try to hump your leg, another dog or even an object. In these cases, it isn’t sexual and it isn’t aimed at domination. It’s most likely because they are either wanting attention or overly excited. The best option is to try to redirect their attention or just to ignore it (if you’re at home).
Strange Behavior 10: Poop Eating
This is the weirdest (and grossest) crazy dog behavior yet. As disgusting as this is, Dr. Sophia Yin says that this is normal behavior. Dogs evolved as scavengers and poop appeals because it contains protein. It could also be due a tendency to clean up the mess. In the wild, females will eat the feces of their young in order to keep the den clean. Poop eating is also a behavior that is more likely to occur in multi-dog households.
Our pets do some pretty strange things! If you feel any of these are a concern, please contact us at any time.