Strange Dog Behaviors Decoded
There are many delightful perks to dog ownership – that cute face, those sweet ears, the endless snuggles and unconditional love…we could go on and on. Of course, all those weird activities your dog engages in (from butt sniffing to stealing your socks) are just par for the course when it comes to having a canine companion, right?
However, some of you may be wondering what drives these strange dog behaviors and whether you should be worried about any of them. The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center are here to answer some of your most burning questions!
Why do They do That?
It’s the rare dog owner who hasn’t seen their pooch engage in at least one of the following strange dog behaviors:
- Turning circles – Does your pup turn in circles before settling in for a nap? This may be a holdover from their wild ancestors, who often dug out their own resting spots and inspected the area before lying down.
- Stealing your stuff – There’s no prevailing theory as to why some dogs are inclined to run off with your slipper or TV remote, but many animal behaviorists believe it has something to do with getting your attention. This habit can turn dangerous if your dog swallows something inedible or gets into something toxic in the trash can. Put a stop to this behavior by providing alternative toys and chew items and by making sure nothing edible is left within your dog’s reach.
- Burying toys – The sight of a dog furiously digging in the dirt (or in your bed pillows) to bury a treat or toy can certainly be perplexing. Much like spinning in circles, this strange dog behavior is probably instinctual. Dogs in the wild often bury excess bones, carcasses, or other food items they don’t have time to eat in order to protect it from other predators and save it for later.
- Sniffing butts – We all know that dogs have an amazing sense of smell, which makes it all the more confusing when they put that incredible nose right up against another dog’s rear end. However, this helps your dog learn as much as possible about a potential new friend/foe, including their age, gender, reproductive status, mood, overall state of health, and more.
- Eating poop – There are a variety of reasons for coprophagia (poop-eating), including boredom, lack of nutrients, or simply because a dog enjoys the taste (eww!). Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, attention, mental enrichment, and plenty of supervision while outdoors to stave off this stinky problem. Your veterinarian is happy to provide a nutritional analysis of your pet’s diet during their next wellness exam to ensure they’re receiving all the important nutrients they need for optimal health.
Strange Dog Behaviors
For the most part, odd dog habits aren’t anything to worry about. However, if you notice any behavior that appears obsessive, destructive, or if it interferes with your dog’s ability to eat, drink, or enjoy normal daily activities, please give us a call. We can rule out any underlying health conditions that may be at the root of the problem and help you develop a plan to get your dog back on track. We also have training classes that can help modify certain behaviors!
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor’s Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
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