Sometimes dogs act in a wacky manner that humans find strange and yet are entirely normal to them. They love to please their owners and do weird things that can be quite amusing to downright annoying.
So, let’s talk about just what weird and wacky things your pup does, which will help you understand and respond to him accordingly.
Dog Behaviors Explained
There are more doggo behaviors that can fit inside this blog, so let’s break down the top ten and then give you some warning signs to look for when a behavior isn’t healthy.
Weird Behavior #1: Zoomies
What are zoomies, you ask? Well, if your pup runs around or zooms around excited for seemingly no reason, that’s a zoomie. Why do dogs do that?
Explained: This burst of energy means the dog is happy or excited. It could be after a refreshing bath, after a meal, or after a brisk walk or run. Have you ever just zoomed around because you’re happy to be alive? This is what dogs do, so embrace it!
Weird Behavior #2: Eating grass
You’ve seen your fur baby munching on grass blades and think he’s weird. After all, he has a full bowl of food. Plus, grass isn’t very appetizing.
Explained: Although dogs eating grass is perfectly normal, experts aren’t exactly sure why they do it. One myth that should be put to bed though, is that eating grass doesn’t mean your dog will vomit afterward. If your dog often vomits after being outside, it may be for another reason altogether and should be investigated by your vet.
Weird Behavior #3: Eating their vomit
To us, chowing on your own vomit is just gross, so when we see our doggos doing it, it repulses us.
Explained: For dogs, eating vomit is an instinctive urge. Eating regurgitated food is a natural behavior that puppies often mimic as the mother regurgitates partially digested food. Of course, dogs aren’t concerned with social standards, so when in Rome. Now, just because it doesn’t bother your dog, regular vomiting isn’t normal.
Weird Behavior #4: Eating poop
Another disgusting behavior for us but is perfectly natural for dogs is eating their poop. I mean, wouldn’t that alone make you sick? Not for dogs.
Explained: Some dogs have a fascinating obsession with their own feces and will eat it, which is actually common. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt the dog to eat it or indicate there’s a medical problem. It actually has a name, though: coprophagia. This behavior can include eating other dog’s poop too! Eating feces can be due to a lack of supervision at toileting times or just copying other dogs. Proper behavioral help can nip this one in the bud.
Weird Behavior #5: Humping inanimate objects
Ok, you’ve seen your dog humping a pillow, a stuffed animal, or a stranger’s leg and may be quite amused or embarrassed. Why do they do it?
Explained: This Behavior may seem bizarre to us, but it makes perfect biological sense to your fur baby since it’s to get your attention. Just like some people will do things for shock value or to get a rise from others, dogs can do the same. The more you scold the Behavior, the likely they are to continue doing it, because it gets you to stop what you’re doing and “play.” Another theory could be that it’s hormonally driven fo when a dog goes into heat.
Weird Behavior: #6: Digging or pawing the ground after pooping
If you’ve seen your dog trying to bury his poop or pawing at the ground after, you may think it’s wacky, but there’s a good reason.
Explained: No, dogs aren’t trying to cover their waste but more like marking their territory. This instinctive behavior for some dogs goes back to their ancestral Behavior, where the scraping of scent from their paws helps reinforce that they were there and left their mark.
Weird Behavior #7: Digging
Unlike humans, dogs don’t care about getting dirty, and digging in the dirt or freshly mowed grass is nirvana to them.
Explained: Dogs love to dig, but it could just mean they’re hot and need to cool off, or their scent has discovered something that needs investigating. If they’re bored or trying to relieve stress, this is a good way of using his pent-up energy. Just be careful with your garden beds.
Weird Behavior #8: Squatting while peeing
Males that squat while peeing may seem strange to us since males usually lift a leg to urinate, and female dogs lower themselves to the ground.
Explained: Sexual maturity may affect a dog’s bathroom habits, and they may just be in a different stage of development than their fellow peers. Both sexes can squat, and there’s not a problem, so no worries.
Weird Behavior #9: Dogs sniffing behinds
It may seem weird to see your dog sniffing another dog’s backside, and you may want to intervene, but again, there is a reason.
Explained: Sniffing another dog’s behind is a great way for a dog to make new friends. This is their way of getting information about this new acquaintance. This all depends on if both dogs are accepting of the Behavior. Since a dog’s nose contains more than 220 million olfactory receptors, it’s no wonder they can discover a lot of interesting information when they smell other canines — particularly if a dog’s in heat.
Weird Behavior #10: Offering you his bone
Dogs love treats, and they love to show them off, even going as far as placing a slimy bone at your feet or on your lap.
Explained: Bringing you their bone is a sign they’re looking for praise. If you’ve seen your pup walking around with a bone before and reacted excitedly, she knows each time she does it, she will get the same attention. It’s a way your dog interacts with you and may signal they want to play. Other reasons may include the pride they feel with their possessions and wanting to share them; this is the ultimate sign of respect and of being welcoming and feeling safe. This is their way of showing love and affection.
There you have it, the top ten wacky and weird, yet normal behaviors your dog exhibits. Now, here are some behaviors that aren’t normal and need attention.
Not-So Normal Dog Behaviors
Here are some abnormal behaviors of dogs that you need to be aware of, so your dog stays healthy and feels safe.
- Panting or Salivating Heavily - This behavior is usually due to fear of something and an exaggerated fear response that needs addressing. Panting can be due to anxiety over something, such as being in car, thunder, wind, or separation anxiety. If your dog continues to act this way, it’s important to find out why and treat the Behavior with a specialist.
Compulsive Behavior - These disorders may be repetitive, ingestive, stereotypic, locomotory, or grooming behaviors that happen out of context to the time and situation in which they occur. They can happen at an excessive frequency or duration. For example, if a dog is continuously chasing his tail or spinning, it could indicate an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This could be due to genetics or to a traumatic experience or abuse from a prior owner if the dog is a rescue dog. Medication can be helpful in these cases, but it’s vital to rule out any potential medical issues first.
- Aggression - Dogs often show aggression when threatened, defending their pack, or showing possessive aggression. (resource guarding) When there’s been no provocation, aggression isn’t normal. Aggression can be the result of fear or a defensive behavior that goes well beyond normal Behavior. In this case, a behavioral specialist needs calling in, so safety issues can be addressed, and the aggression stopped.
- Eating Disorders - Ingestion-related behaviors include those in which food intake is excessive (polyphagia), inadequate (hyporexia), or too fast. (gorging) These behaviors could be due to medical issues, so rule those out first. Otherwise, they could be maternal behaviors and reinforced by you.
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