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Weird things your dog does and why

February 16, 2022

Weird things your dog does and why

Have you ever noticed your dog acting a little bit unusually? Or have you ever seen them do something strange and wondered ‘what’s that all about?’

Dogs can get up to all sorts of strange behaviours, and there can be a number of reasons why.

They may suddenly start moving in an odd way for no apparent reason, or perhaps they have a habit that doesn’t seem to make sense, like spinning in circles or licking the floor.

We’ve put together this quick guide to some of the strangest dog behaviors around. Check it out and see how many you’ve witnessed your furry friend do!

Weird things dogs do explained

If your dog has some strange habits they love to show off, it’s usually nothing to worry about. It might just be a fun thing they do to entertain themselves, or it could be a way of communicating something that they need or want.

In some cases though, weird dog behaviors can actually be symptoms of an underlying health condition. If you see your dog doing anything on this list and you’re not sure what to make of it, always consult your veterinarian for advice.

Why does my dog eat poop?

Dogs eating their own or another dog’s poop is known as ‘coprophagia’ and it can be a weird habit to witness. But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean they have bad manners! There are some common explanations for why your dog may do this:

  • They could just be hungry and see the poop as a food source. This is obviously not ideal, but it’s not generally harmful and can be easily corrected by ensuring your dog is always fed a balanced diet.
  • They could be trying to get nutrients that they’re missing from their diet.
  • They could have an underlying health condition like parasites, diabetes or liver disease that is causing them to crave poop. If you think this may be the case, take your dog to the vet for a check-up.
  • It could also simply be that your dog is bored or has low self-esteem, and sees eating poop as a way to get attention.

    If your dog is engaging in coprophagia, the best thing you can do is try to work out why they’re doing it and address the underlying cause if possible. In most cases though, there’s not much you can do to stop your dog from eating poop, so just be sure to clean up after them properly!

    Why does my dog lick everything?

    Dogs licking the floor, walls or furniture is another weird behavior that can be puzzling for pet owners. Again, there can be a few different explanations:

    • They could just be really thirsty and trying to get some moisture from whatever they can find.
    • They could be seeking out salt, as this is a mineral that dogs need in their diet.
    • They could be trying to get some of your scent off the object they’re licking.
    • They might also have an underlying health condition that is causing them to lick weird things. If you think this may be the case, make sure you get them seen by a professional vet.

      Why does my dog bark at nothing?

      It can be pretty weird when your dog barks incessantly for no reason whatsoever, but again it’s usually not anything to worry about. In most cases, dogs will bark for one of the following reasons:

      • They’re trying to tell you something, like that there’s someone at the door or they want to go for a walk. This is one of the most common reasons, and one you are likely familiar with.
      • They’re feeling anxious or scared and are trying to communicate this to you.
      • They’re bored and looking for something to do.
      • Their hearing is more sensitive than ours, so they could be reacting to a weird noise that you can’t hear.
      • They want attention and know that barking will get it for them! If you suspect this may be the case, then ignoring the noise might be the best strategy - even if that's not easy to do!

      Why does my dog spin in circles?

      Dogs spinning around in circles before settling down somewhere to sleep is another weird behavior that pet owners often notice.

      There can be a few different reasons for this:

      • They could just be really comfortable and content. Spinning in a circle is a way of getting even cosier and more settled! If you think this is the case, there’s obviously no need to try and deter your dog from doing this. Just enjoy knowing that they are happy!
      • They could be trying to get rid of parasites like fleas or ticks.
      • They could have an underlying health condition, like liver disease or diabetes, that is causing them to behave oddly. This is unlikely but can occur in rare cases.

      Why does my dog chase its tail?

      Dogs chasing their own tails is often weird for pet owners to watch. But this behavior usually isn’t dangerous and there are some common reasons why it might happen:

      • They could be trying to get the dirt and parasites off their tail.
      • They could be playing - this is especially common in puppies. It might simply be that they are having fun chasing their own tail, even if they do look pretty silly!
      • They could be anxious or scared. Spinning in a circle might be a way of expressing their anxiety.
      • If your dog is chasing their tail for any of the reasons above, there's usually nothing to worry about - but it's still a good idea to get them checked out by a vet just in case.

      Why does my dog eat grass?

      Dogs eating grass is weird because it goes against what we think of as normal, but the truth is that they’ve been doing it for a long time! While there are still some theories about why this happens, no one knows for sure.

      However, most experts believe that dogs eat grass because:

      • They’re seeking out nutrients that they’re missing from their diet.
      • They’re trying to get rid of parasites or other toxins from their system.
      • They're feeling sick and they think the grass will help make them feel better.
      • They're bored and they find pulling at the grass with their teeth entertaining.

      Most of the time, your dog should suffer no ill effects from doing this. However, if they have a tendency to eat large amounts of grass it could cause them digestive problems and lead to discomfort or more serious side effects. 

      If this is the case, you may simply need to try to limit their time spent in grassy areas (opt for walks in a forest or on a beach, for example). You may also want to try using whichever discipline measures you usually use with your dog (such as verbal commands or spraying with a water bottle).

      Why does my dog eat weird things?

      Dogs eating weird things like wood or mud might be weird for us humans, but it often doesn’t cause any harm and is usually nothing to worry about.

      The reasons behind this behavior are likely the same as those for when dogs eat grass.

      When dogs eat weird things, they might be:

      • Trying to get the nutrients their body needs (like a mineral or vitamin). This is especially true if they're eating weird-tasting grasses. They could be trying to fill in nutritional gaps.
      • Trying to get rid of parasites or other weird things in their stomach. If they're eating weird things because they feel sick, it's a good idea to take them in to see the vet just in case there is an underlying cause that needs treating.
      • Bored and looking for something to do! Some dogs might try chewing on weird stuff just to pass the time. The sensation might be enjoyable for them, even if they don't actually enjoy the taste.

      If you’ve been noticing your dog doing weird things and are unsure of the reason, it’s always a good idea to take them in for a check-up with the vet. They might be able to tell you what’s going on and how best to deal with it. And if it turns out that there’s nothing wrong, at least you can rest assured that your dog is healthy and normal in their weird way!

      We hope you've found this quick guide to strange doggie behaviors helpful. You might also enjoy Do cats and dogs dream when they sleep?

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