Dogs do the darnest things.
How many times do you look over and your lil’ fluffbutt is taking a nap, but his little legs are running ferociously?! Or you put your pillow on the ground when making your bed, and all of a sudden your pup is, ahem, “getting busy” with it? These unusual behaviors, like many others, typically have a cause.
It’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s behaviors. What seems like a silly habit, could actually be your dog’s body trying to tell you something about their health. We investigated some of your canine’s weirdest behaviors so you don’t have to.
1. Chasing his tail
According to Vetstreet, when your pup is chasing his tail, it could simply mean that he is just trying to entertain himself when he is bored. Imagine having something attached to you that you only occasionally see out of the corner of your eye. You’d be intrigued too!
But if your fuzzy buddy is chasing his tail an excessive amount, he might have anal gland problems, or it could be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Try to distract your pup when he’s zooming around in circles. If he can’t be bothered by you, chat about it with your vet at your dog’s next appointment.
2. Licking you excessively
When dogs lick you it’s true what they say – they are giving you kisses! Dogs lick as a sign of affection, and also because mother dogs lick their young when they are first born for both hygiene and social reasons.
When your pup is slobbering all over you, it’s probably just because he loves you (aww). Not to mention, human skin is extremely salty so that’s why dogs enjoy licking it, especially when you’re sweaty. Gross, but true!
3. Eating their poop
This rather disgusting habit is usually caused by your dog not getting enough nutrients in his diet. According to Vetstreet, coprophagia (the fancy term for feasting on poo) could also just be because he likes the smell and taste of it. Whatever the case, feed your dog the proper food, and if poop-eating becomes a huge problem, chat with your vet.
4. He humps you, even though he’s fixed!
“Buddy, NOT AGAIN!” Your face turns bright red as you try to distract your pup from mounting the sweet poodle at the dog park. Sound familiar?
According to PetMD, humping in a fixed dog isn’t necessarily for sexual reasons. It is usually to display dominance over whatever he’s humping (whether it be a pillow, your leg, or another four-legged friend). Some dogs do it just to get attention, or because they get really excited. Humping has become part of play for pups, because unlike with humans, no one has told them that it’s not socially acceptable.
5. Running in his sleep
Your dog is having a dream! Maybe he is chasing after the mailman or playing a great game of fetch in his dream. Dogs go through sleep stages just like humans do, and sometimes their bodies will take to whatever is happening in their dream. Have you ever jerked awake, because you tripped or fell in your dream? This is the same when dogs move while asleep.
According to VetStreet, when dogs jump up and go from 0 to 100 in about one second, it’s called a “frenetic random activity period,” or better know as ZOOMIES! This is basically just a dog who has a lot of energy that he is trying to release. Personally, my pup likes to do zoomies in the early evening, and has certain cues that set her off – play lunging at her, making a weird noise, or any sudden movement during playtime.
There is nothing wrong with zoomies, per say, but in a cramped space, they can become dangerous for both your pup and hoomans.(Ever seen a zoomie end in a crash? It’s not pretty. If you live in a smaller house, try to initiate zoomies outside in the yard, or at the park and cater toward the time of day that your pup usually has a lot of pent up energy. And then, let the good times roll!
7. Staring or barking at his reflection
It’s actually quite simple. Your dog thinks he is seeing another fun dog to play with, so he’s barking to get the other dog’s attention! Sometimes a pup can get frustrated that he doesn’t smell the other dog, and that is usually why they end up barking or simply staring at the mirror in confusion.
8. Scooting his butt
If you’re squeamish, get ready. The main reason a dog scoots his butt, is because his anal glands are full and need to be released. He is trying to release the fluids from the gland, to help with the discomfort. When your pup is scooting, you need to help him out! When anal glands get infected, it can be painful for your pup.
Vets can either teach you how to manually release your pup’s glands or for a fee, they can do it themselves. If your dog is scooting a lot, and you have recently handled the anal glands, there could be another problem like tapeworms or an infection so make sure to take your buddy to see his vet ASAP.
9. Rubbing his head into the ground outside
Cute at first, until your pup comes inside and you realize he smells like something rotten! Dogs, like humans, have a preference for certain smells. While you might prefer your new Tom Ford cologne, your pup prefers eau de poop or even better, eau de dead-thing.
Personally, my pup really likes finding a nasty grub and rubbing her beautiful fur all over it, usually when I’m not looking, so that later when she cuddles me, I realize she smells like something died. Simply put, dogs find a smell they like and try to bring it with them.
10. He hides bones or treats
Your dog is a smartie-pants! He is probably hiding his bone or treat because he isn’t hungry at the moment and wants to keep it for later when he is. If you find that your dog becomes bothered when you get near the area that the treat is hidden, he might have food aggression problems, which require training. Speak with a dog trainer or your vet for tips.