It’s not just kids — dogs also sometimes do the darndest things. But does occasional weird dog behavior have an underlying cause, or are they just showing their individual personalities? That depends on the behavior itself.
For example, a lot of dogs chase their tail. Oftentimes, they just do it because they’re full of energy, and it’s an easy game to play alone — no toy or human required. But if your dog does it all the time, it could be a nervous habit or a sign of a physical condition, such as fleas, that needs to be treated by your vet.
Here’s one that some dogs do that their owners do not find endearing —eat their own poop. Or they eat another dog’s feces. Once again, some dogs just do this because they think it smells or tastes good. In other pets, it signals a possible nutritional deficiency. If your dog has this disgusting habit, it’s definitely worth asking your vet if there’s a problem or a way to stop it.
Does your dog do anything strange when it’s time to get into his or her dog bed? Does he or she turn in circles or dig at the bed before deciding it meets some requirements you can’t see? Theory has it that this behavior is a throwback to when canines lived in the wild and had to create their own bed from leaves and twigs and scare off any bugs.
One behavior every dog owner is familiar with is their pet’s way of greeting other dogs by sniffing their backsides. Why do they do this? No one really knows, but just remember that a dog’s nose works a lot better than ours, and somehow they’re learning something about their new friend through this olfactory introduction.
A lot of dogs love to kick grass after they’ve done their business outside. Why? This is another throwback to their ancestors that lived in the wild. Dogs actually have glands with their personal scent under their paws, and the scent is released when they scratch. It’s just another way they “mark” their territory in their “wild” backyard.
And the last weird dog behavior we’ll address in this blog may be the most common — licking. A lot people like to say their dog is “kissing” them or just likes the salty sweat on their skin, but a dog’s licking is really more important than that. For starters, licking is one of the first behaviors a dog learns. It’s how they relate to their mother from the moment they are born, so it’s significant in their world. In addition to possibly signifying love and trust, many dogs lick as a submissive behavior. So if your dog licks you, he or she is letting you know you’re in charge.
So, just like people, dogs have their own quirky or weird behaviors that make us laugh. But in many cases, the behavior is common in many dogs and may have a link back to their ancestors. In other cases, a compulsive behavior may need a trip to the vet just to rule out anything more serious. Generally speaking, these funny behaviors are just dogs being dogs.