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  • Writer's pictureNicola Smith

16 Weird Things Your Dog Does (And Why They Do Them)

Pug looking very cute at the camera

As a dog owner, you have probably noticed your puppy behaving a little…well, a little weird from time to time, and chances are you have wondered why they are doing that strange thing. Well, I’m here to reveal what all of those odd little doggy quirks really mean.


dog having fun in the grass acting silly

1. The Poop Feast: A Gourmet Meal for Fido

Okay, so we’re going to start with probably the grossest, and most perplexing ( to us owners) dog habit of them all: eating poop (more info on this website). Yep, it’s gross, but dogs seem to find it as appealing as we find Nanaimo bars. This delightful habit, known as coprophagia, actually has some logic to it. Dogs might eat poop to replenish enzymes needed for digestion. Or, they might just be bored. It's like their version of eating chips out of boredom – but way, way less appetizing.


2. Chasing Their Tails: The Doggy Merry-Go-Round

Ever watched your dog chase their tail and thought, “What the heck?” It’s like they're trying to solve the mystery of what’s following them. This behaviour could be a playful act (because who needs toys when you have a tail?), or it might be a sign of boredom. Either way, it’s free entertainment – better than cable, sometimes. It's also a sign to put the phone down and interact with your pup.


3. Humping Everything in Sight: The Awkward Conversation Starter

Nothing says “Welcome to my home” like your dog humping your guest’s leg. While we often associate humping with sexual behaviour, it’s also a way dogs assert dominance, relieve stress, or just get some attention. It's awkward, sure, but it's also a reminder that dogs will be dogs, in all their weird glory.


4. The Obsession with Squeaky Toys: Canine Concertos

Why do dogs love squeaky toys so much? It’s like they’re on a mission to destroy every squeaker in the house. This obsession is actually rooted in their instincts. The squeak resembles the sound of prey, so when your dog is going to town on that rubber chicken, they’re channelling their inner wolf. It's nature, with a side of noise pollution.


5. Digging to China: Backyard Archaeologists

Dogs love to dig, whether it’s in your garden, their bed, or the couch. They're not trying to escape to China; they might be trying to cool down, hide their toys, or just follow their natural instinct to burrow. Sometimes, it seems they’re just digging for the sheer joy of it – like a toddler in a sandbox.


6. Rolling in Gross Stuff: The Stinky Mystery

Ah, the classic move of rolling in something smelly. Why, just why? This behaviour is a throwback to their wild ancestors, who rolled in smelly stuff to mask their scent during hunting. Today, it’s less about survival and more about making a statement – and forcing you into an impromptu bath time session.


dog walking looking cute for atttention

7. Barking at Nothing: Ghosts or Just the Wind?

Is your dog barking at a ghost, or are they just hearing the neighbour's cat? Dogs have incredibly sensitive hearing. They might be responding to sounds you can’t detect. Or, they could be barking out of boredom, anxiety, or just to say, “Hey, I’m here!” It's their way of joining the conversation – uninvited, but always enthusiastic.

If you are are having issues with continuous barking or demand barking.

Reach out to a Dog Trainer today.


8. The Zoomies: Furry Tornadoes

The zoomies are that thing where your usually placid dog suddenly gets a burst of energy and runs around like a wind up bunny so that if you didnt know any better you might think they had been mainling double-doubles from Tim Hortons. This burst of energy, known as FRAPs (Frenetic Random Activity Periods), is basically a way for dogs to release pent-up energy. It’s weird, wild, and can look like a whirlwind of fun.

While the zoomies are a natural and normal behavior, it can be quite chaotic and it's important to teach your dog to be able to find their own calm. Incorporating "PLACE" work into your post-walk routine would be highly beneficial. Practicing PLACE, where your pup learns to settle on a designated spot, helps them transition a heightened state of arousal to a calm state. PLACE work not only promotes good behaviour but also provides mental stimulation and reinforces the importance of self-control.


9. Sniffing Butts: The Canine Handshake

The butt sniff – it’s the doggy equivalent of a handshake or checking someone’s Instagram profile. The thing about dogs is they have an incredible sense of smell, and they can learn a lot about each other through a quick sniff of the rear, no matter how gross you may find it. It's simply their way of saying, “Hello, nice to meet you. I know everything about you now.” So, no need to deter them if they aren’t upsetting the other pup.


10. Eating Grass: A Side Salad With Their Kibble

Why do dogs eat grass? It’s a bit of a mystery. It might be to induce vomiting, to help with digestion, or maybe they just like the taste. It's like their version of a salad – a little roughage to balance out the kibble.


11. Shadow Chasing: The Eternal Pursuit

Some dogs chase shadows like they’re trying to catch a ghost. It can be playful, but sometimes it’s a sign of anxiety or a compulsive behaviour. It’s like they’re trying to solve the mystery of the moving darkness – a canine Sherlock Holmes.


12. The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Socks

Ever notice how your socks seem to disappear into thin air? Look no further than your four-legged friend. Dogs often see socks as comforting, chewy treasures, perhaps carrying their owner’s scent. It’s like their version of a security blanket, only much more annoying when you’re trying to find a matching pair.


13. Sleeping in Bizarre Positions: Canine Contortionists

Does your dog sleep in positions that defy the laws of comfort? Legs up in the air, twisted like a pretzel, or squished in the tiniest corner? These odd sleeping positions can be remnants of their wild instincts for protection and warmth. Plus, it’s just their way of keeping life interesting – and giving you great content for your Instagram.


14. The Selective Hearing Phenomenon

Does your dog have selective hearing? One minute they come running at the faintest rustle of a treat bag, the next they’re completely deaf to your calls. This selective hearing isn’t just stubbornness; it's often a sign they’re more motivated by another stimuli rather than our voices. It’s their way of saying, “I have priorities, and right now, it’s not you.” To build your relevancy with your dog and work up to that reliable recall that everyone wants, it's important to get a solid dog training plan down and practice it regularly.


15. Watching TV: The Canine Couch Potato

Some dogs seem captivated by what’s on TV, following movements and even barking at animals on the screen. This can be a mix of curiosity and their ability to perceive certain images and sounds. It’s like they’re binge-watching their version of a Netflix series, but probably with more squirrels and less drama.


16. Leaning on You: Canine Closeness

Ever had your dog lean on you like you’re the leaning tower of Pisa? This behaviour is a sign of affection, trust, and seeking comfort or security. It’s their way of showing love and also subtly ensuring you can’t go anywhere without them noticing.


As you can see, although you might think you are spending your life with a peculiar puppy, some of the stranger behaviours our canine companions display are actually perfectly normal for them in various situations, and now you know what they are doing what they do, you can sit back and enjoy them, or more importantly, get them the help they need when they need it, instead of being constantly perplexed. That is sure to make for a happier pup, and a happier you, too!

If you need help getting your dog's energy out, consider reaching out to a dog walker Toronto to get some regular exercise scheduled in.


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