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Odd Dog Behaviours and What They Mean

A passionate dog lover and writer—I think that phrase very much sums up who I am and my purpose in life.

Does your pet scramble around in circles or chase its tail constantly? Adorable as these behaviours are, they are signs that our furkids need more attention than we realise. It's not mere 'kawaii' to see our charges behave oddly - the oddity may be s sign that your pet needs help or the vet.

10 Odd Dog Behaviours and what They Mean

1. Tail Chasing

This is fairly common, especially among young puppies trying to get to know their bodies. They think of their teals as chew toys. The dog often succeeds but needs to be stopped when the tail chasing becomes excessive.

I had close to 20 dogs as a young girl, one of them being Rosco the Jack Russell Terrier. Being a Jack Russell made him highly inquisitive, and he couldn't resist biting his tail. The vet found nothing wrong with Rosco, which was simply seeking attention.

Sadly, the tail-chasing did turn out to be somewhat foreboding. Rosco did turn out to have lumps in his tail, which debilitated him considerably., and he had to receive treatment for glaucoma.

2. Spinning

Dogs often do this before they lay down to rest, to ensure the area's warmth. The behaviour is cute and charming but can be ashamed of medical issues or anxiety if it is excessive. Constant top-like Behavior warrants a trip to the vet.

My West Highland, Cloudy, is a regular 'deejay'-she has made spinning a habit. She would turn around before sleeping to make sure that her sleeping spot is warm and cosy. As long as her spinning is not too frequent, we're happy to let her have her spot at the turntable.

3. Running or Kicking After Pooping

You may be familiar with this if your pet gives the grass around it a good one-two after it pees or poops. No, it's not venting but doing quite the opposite. it may be expressing some relief that it has eased the burden in its gut. There is no science-based explanation for the behaviour, but dogs that behave this way and nothing much to worry about.

I can feel a shudder from the grass around Cloudy after she poops. It probably knows that an assault is on the way. We let her have her stretch- that little kick isn't of much concern.

4. Eating Poop

Coprophagia, or eating poop, is strange behaviour to many of us. We have all been taught how gross poop is. Dogs, however, may see it differently. Poop is essentially what they have eaten, so swallowing it may be an attempt to regain nutrients that they have lost. If your pet is exhibiting this behaviour, do seek the advice of a vet.

5. Roling Around in Whatever Is Gross

Rolling around in gross mud or even poop may be an attempt by your pet to mark territory by leaving it sent behind. Again, dogs don't realize that have a different sense of what smells pleasant or unpleasant, so they indulge in behaviours which may seem strange to us.

6. Digging Holes

Your garden is your pride and joy.
You leave the home for a little while only to find it full of holes when you return. While you may tell your hair out, your pet finds it perfectly natural, especially if he belongs to rat-finding breeds such '
as West Highland Terriers or Huskies.

Nonetheless, the behaviour has to be reined in, and understanding it would be a good start to doing that.
They may dig when they hear moles or other rodents underground, or if they wish to create an escape route from the yard for some reason (perhaps there is something in the yard that scares them.)

As a young girl, I had a pair of Samoyeds named Romeo and Juliet. Juliet, in particular,

7. Eating Dirt

Dogs may eat dirt occasionally to explore their surroundings. The Behavior becomes a concern when it is frequent, because it may be a sign of Pica.

Pica is a compulsion to eat anything but food and can develop for a variety of reasons, such as vitamin deficiency or lack of digestive enzymes. If your pet eats anything but food too often, please bring it to the vet.

8. Paw or Floor Licking

Again, this can be regular behaviour but may be a sign that your pet needs medical attention if it is frequent.

Paw licking could be a sign of an injury or allergy. There how many reasons for licking, so check in with your vet if it happens too often.

Managing Odd Dog Behaviours

These behaviours are adorable but can raise alarms if they occur repeatedly. Do consult a vet should your pet exhibit them too regularly.

Rules and boundaries help to keep any unwanted behaviour at bay. The 'no' command, accompanied by a reward when obeyed, is the simplest way of getting a dog to control its odd behaviour.

Should your pet get the Zoomies, do give it an area where it can run around after it has a shower. It will soon associate the area with one where it can let loose and run around. Consistency is the key,- keep reinforcing what is wanted and responding with a negative stimulus when it is not.

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The next time your pet behaves oddly, don't just be charmed by its behaviour- observe its frequency. Too much charm may not be positive.


1. Why is My Dog Doing That? 9 Weird Dog Behaviours and What They Could Mean Vital Essentials

2. Laura Cross 10 Strange Dog Behaviours Explained Vet Street


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

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