Crazy Dog Habits Explained

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Ruby Sasha Alosbanos

You dote on them. Give them their needs (and wants). Opened your home and heart to them. And love them like a family member. But your furry weirdos are prone to do things that can be mind-boggling sometimes. Are your dogs just nutty? Or is there some explanation behind the peculiar things they do?

Turns out there is! Read on to understand your four-legged friend better.

Butt Sniffing

Humans wouldn’t be caught dead doing this to their friends, much less to people they’ve just met. But why is sniffing butts completely okay in the canine world? Dogs use their superpower — their hypersensitive sense of smell — to gather information. 

They have 220 million olfactory receptors compared to human’s “measly” 5 million. Thus, their sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than humans. In addition, a dog’s rear end has anal glands, which hold a wealth of chemicals. So butt sniffing is just their way of getting to know the other dog — their diet, temperament, health, gender, emotional state, and so much more — without going through the many conversations and small talks we humans go through. 

Sleep Running

Looking at your dog running, barking, or whining in its sleep is very amusing. And it’s a perfectly normal dog behavior. It’s no less bizarre than humans talking or walking in their sleep. Dogs, like humans, have dreams. So, depending on their dreams, they will sometimes act out whatever they dreamed about.

However, you must ensure your canine friend is dreaming and not having a seizure. When dogs twitch rigidly in their sleep, and you have difficulty waking them up, there’s a good chance they could be having a seizure. In this case, a visit to the vet is in order.

Howling at the Moon

Do dogs have a love-hate relationship with the moon? Or does it see the moon as a giant tennis ball way out of reach? The answer lies in your canine friend’s evolutionary beginnings.

According to Robert Busch, a top wolf expert, it’s not the moon that wolves howl at. They do it with heads pointed up, giving the appearance that they’re facing the moon, to project sound better. They do this to communicate with each other even across long distances.

And even though your furry friend has come a long way since their origin as members of the wolf pack, they are doing it for the same reason as their wolf relatives. Old habits are sometimes hard to shake off. 

Tail Chasing

Seeing your dog chase its tail can be a source of laughter for the family. Your dog looks crazy doing it, and most of the time, nothing is alarming about this behavior, especially if the dog is still a puppy. Puppies ooze with energy, and they have to expend it through play. Also, they may not know that the tail is part of their body. To them, it’s just another toy that they have to chase. Usually, they’ll outgrow this habit when they’re older.

Some breeds, like terriers and German Shepherd, are more prone to chase their tails even in adulthood. In some cases, it could be their way of getting your attention if this behavior elicits a reaction from you and the whole family. 

However, in rare instances when the dog is hell-bent on chasing its tail and biting it, you must schedule an appointment with your vet, as this could be a case of worm infestation or other medical issues.

Eating Their Poop

While you can’t imagine humans doing this, many dogs consider this perfectly normal. This behavior could come from dogs’ evolutionary beginnings as scavengers. Thus, their idea of what’s edible is far from ours. In addition, food can be scarce during their ancestors’ scavenging days, so they eat poop to survive. 

But you still need to be on the lookout for some serious underlying issue that causes this behavior. This is especially true for dogs who’ve never eaten their poop before but suddenly take on the habit. It’s best to visit the vet in such an instance to rule out medical problems like parasites, malabsorption, nutrient deficiency, diabetes, thyroid problems, and drug side effects.

Humping Other Dogs

While humping can draw some giggles among bystanders, it’s probably one of the most embarrassing things your dog can do in public. Humping is sexual, especially if the dog that does this is young, unneutered, or unspayed. 

Humping is also a common play behavior, even in older dogs, and this usually happens when your canine friend gets overly excited. It becomes a problem when dogs take this to the extreme. It’s a sign of dominance and could cause fights between dogs. 

You must train your furry friend to stop humping in such a situation. Training can be done by asserting your position as leader of the pack, giving a stern command, and giving a reward as a positive reinforcement when your dog obeys you.

Although you live in the same house, your furry friends may live in a completely different world in terms of how they perceive and interact with the world around them. Understanding their eccentricities is an excellent step in strengthening your bond further. 

Written by:

Ruby Sasha Alosbanos
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I love to travel and immerse myself in different cultures. I have written Lifestyle and Travel pieces for travel and tours sites, e-commerce platforms, and offline businesses over the years. In addition, my Biology degree and training in Practical Nursing helps me write Healthcare and Sciences articles.
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