What Do Dog Behaviors Mean?

Dogs do some really strange things. We find them strange and it makes us wonder why they do the things that they do.

Dog behavior is interesting and also a bit strange to us but not to them…

In the world of a dog, of course, these actions and behaviors are perfectly normal and also essential for them to actually survive as it confirms to them that they are getting exactly what they need, day to day in terms of satisfying their mindset and keeping any possible causes of anxiety at a minimum.

In this article, we will explore some of the things our dogs do to give us a better understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing it.

This way you will be at least armed with some useful information the next time someone says to you “Why does my dog do that?”

Why Do Dogs Walk in Circles Before Lying Down?

We have all seen our dogs do this and it stems back to their ancestral past. In times gone by, dogs would need to do this to trample down grasses and also rid areas of insects or snakes that could obviously be life-threatening.

No dog wants to sit or lay down in an area they are unsure of and this way they were making sure that everything was perfectly safe for them to be at rest.

It is also a territorial behavior. It marks its spot and has a unique scent that also makes them feel safe and calm. In much the same way as we like to make our homes feel and smell safe for us.

The behavior is hard-wired into a dog’s brain and is part of their mental DNA and it is all linked to the fight, flee and freeze mindset.

So, even if like me, you give your dog the best and most comfy collection of beds and blankets to make them feel at home, you will still see them roughing up the blankets, turning around and around and making everything right for them.

How Do Dogs Sweat?

As humans, we have sweat pores all over our bodies. Dog’s don’t have this.

We have lots of eccrine glands that release sweat and this cools our bodies when we get hot.

Dogs are very different.

They only sweat on their paws and noses and this can help them in terms of traction and it can also lay down a scent.

What Do Dog Behaviors Mean?

Dogs prefer to pant as this is a very effective way for them to cool themselves.

This is a very important thing to remember when taking your dog out on a long walk during hot weather or indeed taking them out in a car.

The heat affects them differently and you must make sure you are mindful of this.

We can take off clothes if it’s hot but a dog can’t. Please be mindful and always make sure you have water and shade available for your dog and if you are at home, make sure you can always be around to help your dog cool down in terms of water play or a cool tiled floor for them to lie on in hot and sunny summer weather.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

This is a particularly unpleasant trait that our dogs do. In fact, you could argue that it is probably the one that turns our stomachs more than anything else that our dogs do.

The correct name is Coprophagia and there are several reasons that a dog will do this

At the extreme, it can be because of an underlying health condition but perfectly healthy dogs do this as well.

Some experts feel that it could be throwback behavior that our dogs did way back when they were much more used to scavenging for their daily food.

It can be happening because of boredom too.

Also,  it can occur when a dog feels deprived of certain dietary needs and much like a pregnant woman, they can actually crave certain foods.

Another theory is that it can be down to learned behavior from their mothers when they were pups.

Dogs will lick the genitals of a puppy to stimulate them to poop and also dogs don’t like to poop where they sleep or rest and it can be as simple as keeping their living areas clean and what comes out needs to be tidied up quickly.

Going back to your concerns, if you have any kind of real concern that it could be an underlying health condition then please take your dog to the vets. It could be a simple fix that requires extra nutrients to your dog’s diet and then the whole poop eating can be a thing of the past.

Why Do Dogs Race Around After A Bath?

Popular to our needs and things we like our dogs to smell of, shampoo is not a big favorite for dogs.

Dog’s really do not like baths, showers or a shampoo and set. Regardless of what other bloggers, dog trainers, dog groomers will try to make you believe, washing a dog is a “Human Need” and not a canine “want”

That said, we DO wash our dogs for a number of reasons and these can be varied from a rescue dog that is infested with fleas through neglect to making a dog that has just rolled in Fox poo after a walk smell nice again.

You will see a dog then run around after a bath and or roll around on the floor.

They are not trying to get completely dry, what they are doing os trying to get rid of the shampoo smell and they are really trying to get themselves to start smelling like a dog again.

Dogs like the way they smell, even at times (damp dog smell) we don’t!

TOP TIP:

If you need to clean your dog for any reason, try to use a low odor medicated shampoo that cleans but leaves no scent…like this one:


Why Do Dogs Scoot Along The Ground?

You can see this a lot on Youtube and there are some good videos that explain the reasons well like this one:

Essentially, the dog will do this as they are feeling uncomfortable.

It could be a mild irritation or indeed something much more in need of a visit to your vet.

The anal glands have become agitated and enlarged and it is causing itching and or a burning sensation and the dog is trying to soothe the irritation by this scooting action.

It may look slightly funny to the uneducated observer, but I can assure you it is not and it is no laughing matter for your dog.

A good and caring owner will get them the help they need and as I stated before, this includes your first port of call, a trip to see your vet.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Most dogs will eat grass at some point and sometimes it’s just because it tastes nice.

Freshly cut new grass can taste sweet to a dog and they are just enjoying the flavor in as much as we enjoy eating a freshly cut green salad.

However, if you observe your dog frantically eating lots of grass then that is another matter entirely.

This kind of behavior where we see a dog frantically eating and chomping down large amounts of grasses can because of them actually feeling unwell.

Eating spiky and tough to digest grass is actually a way that dogs are trying to induce vomiting as they have something in their bellies that they want to get rid of.

The grass is acting as an inducer to make them sick.

If you see your dog gently nibbling grass it really is of no issue, however, if you see them franticly doing this, then close observation is needed and again, a trip to the vet or at least a call to them to get advice is definitely the best course of action.

Why Are Many Dogs Afraid Of Storms?

What Do Dog Behaviors Mean?

Thunder and lightning flashes can be scary for dogs and especially sound-sensitive dogs can find these times especially difficult.

As we already know, dogs are very smart and have abilities way beyond us mere humans and one of those abilities is to actually be able to sense a drop in barometric air pressure.

This drop in pressure occurs before and during a storm. The air becomes charged with static electricity which really affects the nerve endings in your dogs fur.

It’s a bit like having goose pimples all over your body for a prolonged period of time and that can be uncomfortable for us and for a dog it is the same.

Add into that the loud claps of thunder and bright flashes of lightning, you can now begin to see and understand why dogs find these times not only mentally challenging but also physically uncomfortable as well.

Why Are Dogs Scared Of Thunder?

Tolerance Is Tantamount

These are just a few of the unusual things that our dogs do and you could argue that they most likely look at us and think the same.

Taking a long hot soak in the bath, playing a video game or reading a book must all look very odd to a dog when they are looking at us!

Dogs don’t judge us and we should never judge them either. I have said before on here in numerous articles that it is vital for us as decent and kind dog owners and lovers that we always try to allow our dogs to be “dogs” and express themselves in ways that are natural to them and that in turn, make them feel “right” about how they should feel.

Allowing your dog to behave in a natural way without fear of reproach is a corner-stone in having a dog that trusts you, builds on a strong bond with you, and ultimately becomes a best friend to you and you to them.


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