Dogs are always hilarious…they all have their little quirks and characteristics that make them unique. There are a few things that really puzzle me about my dog’s behavior. Like, why does she lick me after a shower? Why does that dog awkwardly stare at me while pooping?
So many of life’s strangest canine questions answered here!
Licking After a Shower
This one is curious and can be somewhat obnoxious, but it is pretty innocent. Most dogs do this for a couple of reasons. The first, and most explainable is that this is how dogs attempt to dry themselves, so they are most likely thinking they are helping you out. Another reason could be that they like the water. I know mine likes to also lick our shower after she’s done grooming me. Lastly, licking is a sign of care. Many people find that their dog will lick a cut or other injury so it is similar with water. They are just concerned you are soaking wet!
Staring At Me While He Poops
One of the more awkward scenarios you may face with your best friend…the uncomfortable pooping eye contact. Why? It’s embarrassing enough you’re in the middle of a sidewalk on the busiest street in town. It’s like he’s mocking me…
It is actually a sign of vulnerability and your dog is looking to you as a pack leader. In the wild, wolves or other wild dogs must be prepared to fight or flight no matter what they are doing…and that includes using the potty. When they look to you while pooing, it is to establish a connection of safety. The instinct is so that if you give the cue, they can get out of there quickly.
On the other hand, some dogs will try to be as private as possible when doing a number two…this is to avoid any dangerous attention that may come about.
Probably the cutest thing you could ever watch, the head tilt actually does serve a purpose. Of course, it is a form of trying to listen better. Sometimes, it is in recognition of certain pitches or words (for example “Do you want to go for a walk?” Cue: head tilt). However, they sometimes do it to better understand where a sound is coming from.
At work, I like to make weird buzzing or kissing noises and watch all of the head tilts that happen. It is even more adorable when they wag their tails after I laugh…it’s like sharing an inside joke with them!
Circling Before Pooing
I promise, I am not obsessed with watching dogs poop. It’s just a big part of my job and I have to observe more than I’d like.
You’ve probably noticed your dog sniffing for what seems forever, circling around in a tight circle, then finally settling into the awkward poop stare. Why do they circle? Can’t they just run out and squat? Actually, some do. More often than not, though, dogs point in a certain direction: North.
Scientists are not sure why they do this, whether it’s a subconscious decision or what. But it’s becoming more apparent that dogs like to point north while they defecate to line up with the Earth’s magnetic field. They are now looking into more things regarding animal’s dependence on the magnetic field.
Chase the Vacuum
Ah, the vacuum. The noisy monster that eats the scraps left for later from the floor.
Like things that you can desensitize your dogs to, the vacuum is another one. It is understandable why the vacuum is terrifying; it’s loud, tall, and from their view, it probably looks like you are in an epic battle. So no wonder they go berserk while you are just trying to tidy.
With a little bit of training and work, you can help cure your dog’s fear of the vacuum. There are some great tools online to help you learn this desensitization skill.
Circling Around Their Bed
A lot of times with smaller dogs you will see them dig, bury, and scratch their bed around before they finally settle down. Other dogs just turn and turn for what seems like forever before they lie down. Does making yourself dizzy help with sleep? Maybe I should try that!
This seemingly silly behavior actually is once again something that reflects back to ancient times with wolves and wild dogs. Before the cushy life, most prehistoric canines lived in dens or tall grasses. They had to flatten their beds out and create them themselves. Scientists believe that the circling motion helped squish down tall grass and alleviate any snakes or bugs that may be lurking beneath. It also helped show other animals that the territory was claimed.
So in summary, this wild-natured behavior of safety has trickled down into even the cushiest of dog lives today.
You’ve probably seen a dog go out and lay down in the yard and start nibbling at the grass. On a few occasions, I’ve seen dogs go out solely for the purpose of eating grass. Gross! It is a common understanding that they do this in order to aid with digestion, and this is partially true.
Dogs are scavengers by nature; they enjoy hunting for things to eat. Whether that means provided for them in a bowl, or that tasty sandwich you just left unattended on the counter. For this reason, grass is no different. Plants do not make up a large portion of a dog’s diet, but they do occasionally need the extra boost in diet. Grass just seems to be the most accessible.
Veterinarians believe that grass may cause dogs to throw up because of the tickling sensation it causes in their throat while eating. Disgusting for us, relieving for them.
In small doses, eating grass is okay and actually encouraged! If you see a sudden increase in grass-eating, maybe take a trip to the vet to make sure that there is not an underlying issue for your dog’s behavior. If they just seem to eat a lot of grass or plants, try adding some freshly cooked veggies such as spinach, carrots, or peas to your dog’s diet to give them a boost.
There ya have it…some of the strange things that dogs do and possible answers as to why. The crazy things they do is why we love them so much!