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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Of the Many Weird Dog Behaviors, Do You Have a Favorite?

A black and white border collie on the grass

For the most part, dogs are incredibly charming. They snuggle with us, make us laugh, and keep us company when we’re lonely. In short, owning a dog is great for human health. However, dogs can display some truly questionable antics that aren’t always easy to explain.

To help you sort things out, we’ve compiled a list of some weird dog behaviors and what might be driving them.

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There’s an abundance of photographic evidence of weird dog behaviors online. Although we can’t possibly touch on all of them, we hope the following will help dog owners feel a sense of community knowing others are also dealing with the same strange behaviors.

Starting at the Backside

While many dogs appear to be somewhat obsessed with the rear-end, consider the following:

  • A wagging tail positioned to the right or left can convey positive or negative emotions, respectively. Research suggests this has to do with the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
  • Dogs who chase their tails are often doing so because of an inherited hunting/survival instinct. They see something moving out of the corner of their eye, and it’s zoom-city within seconds. However, if your dog’s tail-chasing behavior seems excessive, they may benefit from additional training and socialization.
  • Sniffing another dog’s butt is one of many weird dog behaviors that are also cringe-worthy. However, canine noses are thousands of times more sensitive than ours. When dogs put their snouts in this area, they can detect all sorts of information, such as gender, age, fertility, mood, and more.
  • Poop-eating is fairly common among dogs. This behavior could be instinctual (cleaning up so predators can’t find them) or it could be that dogs just enjoy the taste. They may also partake in this unsavory snack to fill nutritional gaps in their diet.

Other Weird Dog Behaviors

  • Walking or running in circles before lying down may be an instinctual behavior from their wild ancestors who had to flatten grass and other plant growth to make a bed.
  • Instead of a display of sexuality, humping can be a form of play. Most often it is used as a stress-reliever when play becomes too intense or exciting.
  • Deep sleep is a common canine behavior. Dogs often show signs of dreaming, such as rapid eye movement, twitching, barking, whimpering, and foot/leg movement.
  • Phobias and anxiety aren’t uncommon in dogs. Whether it’s crowds, thunderstorms, fireworks, or the vacuum, dogs can certainly be wary of loud, unpredictable noises. Some dogs can also suffer from severe separation anxiety and cannot be left alone. This is hard on both pets and their owners, and it may require significant intervention from an animal behaviorist.

Please let us know if our staff can answer any additional questions you might have about weird dog behaviors. At the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic, we’re always here for you and your pet!