20 strangest dog behaviors and the meaning behind

Photo by Ruby Schmank / Unsplash

We all love our dogs because they are such blessings for our soul, but sometimes we can't explain their strangest behaviors like "Why do dogs sniff each other's butts", or "Why do dogs drag their butts on the floor?", and not to forget about humping.

I've selected the most common weird behaviors that dogs have and explained why they're acting like this sometimes to better know our beloved furry friends.

Why do dogs act weird sometimes?

Table of contents:

  1. Why do dogs drag their butts on the floor?
  2. Why do dogs sleep on your clothes?
  3. Why do dogs sniff each other's butts?
  4. Why do dogs stare at you intensely?
  5. Why do dogs kick when you scratch their belly?
  6. Why do dogs walk in circles before lying down?
  7. Why do dogs hump?
  8. Why do dogs kick their feet after pooping?
  9. Why do dogs twitch in their sleep?
  10. Why do dogs lick you?
  11. Why do dogs sit on your feet?
  12. Why do dogs roll on their back in the grass and wiggle?
  13. Why do dogs pee frequently?
  14. Why do dogs sleep curled up?
  15. Why do dogs chew furniture?
  16. Why do dogs bring random things to you?
  17. Why do dogs howl?
  18. Why do dogs dig?
  19. Why do dogs eat grass?
  20. Why do dogs eat poop?

1. Why do dogs drag their butts on the floor?

dog scooting

Dragging or scooting the butt on the ground, is usually a symptom that something is bothering your dog, such as an infection, inflammation, or parasites. Anal sac disorders are the most common cause of this inflammation. Anal sacs can be seen on both sides of a dog's back end.

Recommendation: visit your vet.

2. Why do dogs sleep on your clothes?

dog sleeping on clothes

If you happen to find your dog sleeping on your clothes or in your bed, it means he loves you. Your clothing and bed are scented with your aroma, and dogs are always drawn to you. That's why your furry friend prefers sleeping on something that smells like you.

3. Why do dogs sniff each other's butts?

dog sniffing butt

Two dogs can instantly detect if they've met before due to their unique smell. This sniffing butts when dogs meet is a way of greeting, like when we are shaking hands. The scent emerging from the anal region is a one-of-a-kind method of canine identification.

Interesting fact: The way dogs sniff one other's backsides can tell who is the dominant dog and help establish a canine friendship. The submissive dog waits his turn while the dominant dog sniffs.

4. Why do dogs stare at you intensely?

dog staring
Photo by Vitor Fontes / Unsplash

Dogs will gaze at their owners in the same way that people gaze into the eyes of someone they like. Mutual staring between humans and dogs stimulates the formation of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. This substance helps in building bonds and increases feelings of love and trust.

Dogs also stare to see what is going to happen next. Another purpose is to get what they desire by manipulating their owners. Begging at the dinner table is typical behavior.

5. Why do dogs kick when you scratch their belly?

dog kick when scratching belly

This action is a scratch reflex, which is an instinctive reaction. When you scratch a dog's tummy, you stimulate the nerves that attach to their spinal cord beneath the skin. These nerves tell your dog's leg muscles to kick in order to get rid of an irritation. But dogs do really love tummy scratching.

6. Why do dogs walk in circles before lying down?

dog walking in circle before sleep
Photo by Sarah G. / Unsplash

Dogs frequently circle their beds or wherever they've decided to slumber before falling asleep. This strange dog behavior can be traced back to ancient times when dogs had to make their own "beds".

While domesticated dogs have evolved to live with humans and are easily trainable, some of their wild predecessors' primal instincts have been perpetuated.

7. Why do dogs hump?

When dogs hump, they aren't usually imitating sexual activity, despite appearances. A dog's hump is more likely to be triggered by nonsexual stimulation. It's just a technique for the dog to relieve stress or burn off energy. In a similar manner, some dogs often hump in order to attract attention or because they are bored. Male and female dogs, both hump.

Humping can be a sign of a medical condition in some cases. Humping, for example, can indicate infection, discomfort, or, in male dogs, prostate issues. That's why is recommended to keep in touch with your vet.

It's also accurate that humping can be a sexual, pleasure-seeking behavior in some situations. Humping is more likely to be sexually motivated in younger dogs that have not been sterilized or neutered.

8. Why do dogs kick their feet after pooping?

Pooping is a way for our dogs to communicate with other dogs that the territory they recently pooped on is theirs. By kicking up dirt afterward, they're combining the smell of the toilet with the pheromones produced by their foot glands to create a powerful scent.

9. Why do dogs twitch in their sleep?

Photo by Rebecca Hobbs / Unsplash

Dogs twitch in reaction to what is really happening in their dreams while they are sleeping in the REM cycle (rapid eye movement).

According to AKC and Stanley Coren, neuropsychological researcher, you can recognize when your dog is dreaming. The first dream of an average-sized dog should begin about 20 minutes after he falls asleep. Because the dog is looking at the dream images as if they were real, his respiration will become fast and irregular, muscular twitches may occur, and his eyes may move behind closed lids.

10. Why do dogs lick you?

Dogs often lick you to express their love and affection. They may even groom you to demonstrate their concern for your well-being. Or they just like the flavor of your salty skin.

11. Why do dogs sit on your feet?

As a way of marking their territory, dogs will lay or sit on your feet. Dogs will also sit on your feet to express your affection, much as you would with a friend.

12. Why do dogs roll on their back in the grass and wiggle?

There are a variety of reasons that dogs roll in the grass:

  • They could be scratching an itch or trying to change the aroma of their own body.
  • Rolling in the grass is also a way for your dog to indicate their territory or deposit their scent.
  • They use their scent to mark an area, such as a carpet or a bed, as their own.

13. Why do dogs pee frequently?

The first reason is that dogs urinate small amounts on vertical surfaces to mark their territory. It is not only a male thing, both male and female dogs can mark with their urine. Non-neutered are more prone to mark than neutered.

If you observe that your dog is urinating more than usual then you might take your dog to the vet. Urinary tract infections, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or incontinence are all reasons for dogs to begin urinating more frequently.

With such diseases, senior dogs are dealing with.  My senior dog was urinating frequently beginning with the age of 16 (he lived 17 years). He was peeing a lot, not only because of his prostate but also because of his age.

The most common explanation for an older dog peeing frequently in the house is that they can't contain their urine as effectively as they used to. Their muscle tone has deteriorated, as has their ability to control their urine until they're outdoors.

Recommendation: It's essential to see a veterinarian as soon as possible, to do some lab tests to figure out what's wrong.

14. Why do dogs sleep curled up?

One of the most typical sleeping positions for dogs is the curled-up position. It is primarily adopted by dogs who live in the wild. Curling up in a ball shape helps dogs save heat and protect their essential organs from predators.

If your dog squeezes his paws under itself and curls up so that its head rests on his tail, it's possible that he's trying to save body heat and protect the most vulnerable parts of his body.

15. Why do dogs chew furniture?

For puppies, chewing is a normal thing. It's a method of reducing pain caused by incoming teeth. For older dogs, chewing the furniture or other objects in the house is most likely due to boredom or separation anxiety. This is a sign that your dog needs to burn off some energy with some more play, exercises, and physical activities.

16. Why do dogs bring random things to you?

If your dog brings you a present, such as a shoe or a favorite toy, it is a sign that they adore you. It also signifies that your dog is pleading for your attention, showing trust, asking you to play, or relieving some energy.

My dog, for example, used to bring me shoes every time I came home. With shoes in his mouth, he was wagging his tail, jumping, and whining around.

17. Why do dogs howl?

Dogs use a variety of vocal communication methods, including howling. Dogs howl to get people's attention, make eye contact, and advertise their existence. High-pitched sounds, such as ambulance sirens or musical instruments, cause certain dogs to howl.

18. Why do dogs dig?

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons:

  • Digging can be fun for dogs: an excellent stress reliever.
  • This tension can be caused by boredom or separation anxiety.
  • When dogs are left alone for an extended period of time with nothing to do, they typically turn to dig.
  • Dogs dig to bury toys or bones, in order to keep them protected

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. They may be burying toys or bones to keep them protected. As a nesting instinct, pregnant dogs may dig a burrow to provide a safe haven for their pups.

Why do dogs dig on the floor is another popular question. The reason stands in comfort. Practically the same reason with digging outside: dogs scratch to make a cozy nest in which to sleep.

19. Why do dogs eat grass?

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Video by Kelly L from Pexels

We've all probably seen a dog eating grass and wondered what was wrong with it. Well, it's nothing to worry about. There are many theories about why dogs eat grass:

  • When a dog isn't feeling well, it will eat grass to help them puke easily. Grass blades can tickle the dog's throat, making them vomit. This practice can help them get rid of whatever is irritating them and feel better.
  • Some dogs may like the taste in addition to using it as a purgative.
  • Instinct is another easy explanation for why dogs eat grass. It's practically a primal impulse for your dog to hunt and search for food, like his predecessors did a long time ago. Dogs used to survive by eating grass and other plants, meat and bones, and also the leftover food that was found near communities.

20. Why do dogs eat poop?

Knowing your dog eats poop is the most terrifying of all habits. You must know that eating poop habit, also named coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh) is a a quite common situation.

Eating poop, it is a normal and natural habit, in some periods of a dog's life. For the first three weeks after birth, the mama dog will lick their puppies to encourage them eliminate and clean up their poop by eating it. Therfore, puppies will consume their own excrement, poop from other dogs, and also poop from other animals. While eating their own excrement is safe, eating poop from other animals might create health concerns if the excrement contains parasites, viruses, or poisons. This tendency will usually fade before the pooch reaches the age of nine months.

Dogs start eating their own poop in a variety of situations as a result of environmental stress or behavioral cues, such as:

  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Enforced captivity
  • Attention-seeking
  • The smell like their mothers
  • Inadequate association with real food

That's all folks. Love and paws until the next article! 🐾

Bianca Muche

Bianca Muche