10 Weird & Funny Things Your Dogs Do & What They Mean
by Jamie Tedder on Nov 20, 2023
Dogs are not the most beloved animals in the world for no reason. Beyond loyalty and companionship, dogs effortlessly entertain us with their oddball behavior—the exuberant tail wagging, shaking their legs when you rub their belly, and chasing their tails. There are also the occasional antics that make us shake our heads.
Whether they endear us with their delightful exploits or leave us bewildered with their strange behaviors, there is a rationale behind their weird behaviors. As canine companions continue to surprise us, it’s essential to brace ourselves for fits of laughter and keep your grass potty pad for dogs always ready for the occasional accidents that come hand in paw with some of their eccentricities.
The Explanation Behind the Weird Things Your Dogs Do
Dogs Eat Poop
Among the many weird things dogs do, catching them eating poop is something that can make your stomach lurch. It’s more common in puppies, but dogs may also exhibit this behavior—and there may be an instinctual reason behind it.
For puppies, this behavior is thought to mimic how their mothers lick their fur to clean them. It can also be traced back to the dog’s ancestral survival instincts—when wolves would have eaten poop if no other food was available.
Puppies usually stop eating poop around nine months. But if it persists in older dogs, it can be a sign of nutritional deficiency, parasites, or other serious diseases. Dogs that feel isolated or confined may also eat their poop as a response to the stress. It can also be their way to seek attention. Meanwhile, potty-trained dogs may also eat their poop out of fear of being punished.
Although it’s not necessarily harmful, you might want to check for any underlying issues that cause this weird behavior. The most obvious way to keep your dog from doing so is to keep their environment clean to reduce temptation—pick up the poop immediately after they are done.
Dogs Shake Their Legs During Belly Rubs
Your furry friend shaking or kicking their rear legs in response to a belly rub is a common behavior that has a scientific explanation. This peculiar conduct is attributed to a scratch reflex in their belly region, which triggers an involuntary response when stimulated, like the knee-jerk reflex in humans.
While it’s cute and funny, it’s actually your dog’s way of trying to tell you to stop, so you might not want to scratch that area for too long.
Dogs Chase Their Tails
Dogs chasing their tail is often their way of playing, fighting boredom, or simply burning off excess energy. But suppose you think their tail-chasing seems more severe and persistent than an occasional quirk, it may be worth consulting your veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues like fleas or behavioral issues like a compulsive disorder.
Dogs Spin Around Before Lying Down
While seemingly fun, your dog's bedtime routine holds a fascinating connection to their past. In the days when dogs didn't lead a pampered domesticated life, their predecessors had to rely on their instincts to create a nest. They walk in circles to tamp down the grass and drive away potential creatures lurking around like snakes. In today's domesticated setting, circling has been downplayed into an instinctive ritual before calling it a day.
Dogs Smell Other Dogs' Butts
It's a common sight to see two dogs sniffing each other's butt during a walk. It may seem weird to many dog owners, but sniffing other dogs' butts is your pet's way of saying hello. With 215 more olfactory receptors than humans, a simple butt sniff can tell your dog a lot of helpful information about the other–their gender, diet, where they have been, and whether they are happy or stressed, to name a few.
Dogs Eat Grass
Some pet owners believe that dogs eat grass to make themselves sick. Others think that it's a sign of diet deficiency. However, studies have not proven any of these longstanding beliefs. Some dogs munch on grass simply because they like how it tastes. It may also be their way to entertain themselves when bored.
Their eating grass behavior may also be linked to anxiety and other psychological causes, in much the same way as people bite their nails when anxious.
Dogs Get Zoomies
You probably didn't know the name for it, but you know the symptoms all too well–ears back, tail down, and your dog running around at lightning speed. "Zoomies," as others affectionately call it, is your dog's feel-good response to being overexcited and their way of releasing pent-up energy.
Usually, your dog exhibits it after a meal or a bath, when you let them out of the crate, or when you come home.
Dogs Scoot Their Butt Across The Floor
More often than not, this amusing behavior in dogs signals discomfort, often caused by intestinal parasites irritating their anal glands. If you observe your dog scooting or dragging their bottom across the ground, you might want to check in with your vet to address the root cause early and prevent potential complications.
Dogs Hide Things
Many dogs exhibit a penchant for hiding their toys and other items, primarily driven by their possessive instincts. They often relocate their valued items from one place to another as a protective measure, safeguarding them from anyone who may steal them.
Although this habit isn't necessarily wrong, it can become problematic when dogs hide things they shouldn't have. Some others may even go as far as digging the ground to bury their possessions, taking their protective tendencies to a more determined level.
Dogs Carry Their Food From One Place to Another
Dogs may display possessive tendencies not only with toys but also with their food. It's not unusual for them to carry their food, occasionally moving their entire bowl from one place to another before eating. This behavior is more prevalent in multi-dog households where dogs may carry their food away to keep it to themselves.
With their weird and funny behavior, dogs have an exceptional way of keeping us entertained and constantly on our toes. While it's critical to remain vigilant for signs of underlying health issues, knowing that most of these strange behaviors are harmless is reassuring.
But don't be fooled into thinking your furry friend is unaware of their cuteness. Dogs are socially intelligent beings and may just be exploiting their charm to elicit a response from you--approval, attention, affection, and, most likely, treats.
Embracing the unpredictability of your dogs fosters a deeper understanding of their personalities and ultimately reinforces the joy of being a fur parent.