As much as we all love our dogs, sometimes they get tied up in some pretty strange behavior. Whether you’ve got a teeny Chihuahua or a massive Greyhound, your dog does some pretty weird stuff. Worry not loyal readers, we’re here to explain what these odd habits actually mean.
1. Walking round in circles before lying down
At 32 inches tall, Boss, your eight-year-old Saint Bernard is quite a sight to behold. He’s the king of the hillside you live on. When it comes to lying down, even Boss, the stateliest of canines, looks incredibly silly spinning in circles before finally lying down. You must be wondering, why the run-around?
Dogs used to live in the wild among tall grass. Spinning around turns the grass shoots into a comfortable bed. Spinning around also removes the top layer of dirt, exposing the cooler soil underneath. This habitual turning has been stamped into a dog’s instinctual DNA and even though Boss sleeps on a plush velvet bed, he can’t help but take part in this doggie dance craze.
2. Eating each other’s poop
Your adorable poodle is the apple of your eye and the belle of the cul de sac. When your little princess trots around your neighborhood park, you’re shocked when she makes a beeline for some freshly delivered doo doo and begins chowing down. What’s going on here? Back when dogs roamed free in wild packs, predators could detect a dog’s den by the smell of their poop. The smell of puppy poop was especially distinctive so mothers would eat the poop to keep predators away. Though the reason for this remains unclear, this behavior has carried over through the years. So next time little Frou Frou gets a mouthful of doo doo, just know she’s following her deep running animal instincts and make sure to break out the doggie toothpaste.
Your prize-winning daffodils have garnered the admiration of your neighbors and even Martha Stewart is emailing you for gardening tips. Before you have a chance to reply, you walk outside to see that your 1-year-old German Shepherd has dug up the entire flower bed, leaving remnants of your beloved plants strewn about the yard. The only thing you can do is call out to the heavens and ask “Why!?”
Dogs have an instinctual drive to find cool shelter and they often dig to make a more comfortable bed for themselves. Some clever dogs dig because they want to keep their living area clean and hide their valuable bones from predators. If you find holes near the bottom of gates and fences, your dog is likely an escape artist and curious about the world that lies beyond. To save your gorgeous garden, build your dog their own digging pit and encourage them to bury their bones here.
4. Sniffing each other’s butts
When you take Max for his first trip to the dog park, you’re a little nervous but the little guy has got to run off some of that puppy energy. Right when you enter the gates, your 15 lb. puppy is met with a stampede of curious doggies all lining up to, that’s right, sniff Max’s booty. Before you run in to pick up your nervous pup, here’s what’s going on. Dogs have two glands around their anus and sacs that emit fluid. Smelling another dog’s butt is the equivalent of checking out a Facebook profile after meeting someone. The scent tells dogs all they need to know: the dog’s gender, how healthy they are, what mood they’re in and what their diet is like. So take a deep breath and let the other dogs get the low down on Max, they’ll teach your cutie how to socialize.