Canine Mysteries: Weird Dog Behaviors Explained

If you own a dog, you know there’s a reason they’re referred to as “man’s best friend.” It seems like dogs are always happy to see us, and sometimes, it may feel as if your dog can actually read your mind!

Although the bond between humans and their canine companions is remarkable, there are plenty of times when our pets reminds us they are, in fact, a different species. Let’s take a moment to examine some weird dog behaviors and what may be causing them.

Weird Dog Behaviors

Dogs can engage in some pretty strange activities. Some are endearing, some are perplexing, and some are downright disgusting!

  • Tail chasing – Tail chasing is cute and definitely weird. It’s most likely a fun way for your dog to release excess energy. Let us know if the behavior becomes excessive – anal gland problems, underlying health issues, or obessive-compulsive disorder may be the cause.
  • Poop-eating – Also known as coprophagia, poop-eating may be the result of hunger, curiosity, boredom, or your pet may simply enjoy the taste (ew!). In some cases, coprophagia can be a sign that certain key nutrients are missing from your pet’s diet, so check with your veterinarian if you notice this behavior.
  • Head tilting – This is one of the more adorable traits often seen in dogs. Animal behaviorists aren’t exactly sure why some dogs cock their heads when we speak, but it may be an effort to determine what we’re saying by putting their ear closer to the source of the sound.
  • Howling – Whether your dog howls at a passing ambulance or at the sound of other dogs barking, this definitely qualifies as a weird dog behavior. Dogs tend to howl in response to high-pitched sounds, which may remind them of other dogs howling in the distance.
  • Butt-sniffing – As strange as it seems to us, butt-sniffing is the dog equivalent of a friendly greeting. A dog’s sensitive nose can learn a lot from the rear end of another pooch, including their gender, age, and recent activities.
  • Circling – Does your dog turn in a circle (or three) before lying down? This common dog behavior may stem from their wolf ancestors, who walked in a circle to tamp down grass and vegetation before settling in for the night.
  • Digging – Dogs may dig in an attempt to escape, to track another animal, to hide something important to them, or when they’re trying to make a cool spot to lie down. Unfortunately, the behavior can transfer indoors when dogs scratch and dig in their beds or the couch cushions before lying down. If the behavior becomes destructive or bothersome, consider working with a professional trainer.

If you’re ever concerned about any weird dog behaviors you observe, please let us know. The team at Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care have seen it all. We’re happy to help you uncover the reason behind your dog’s behavior.