Understanding our pets can be a complex job. As dog owners, we want to make sure to provide them with the best care and that our best friends are as happy as they can be. To make that happen, we need to fully understand their needs and learn to decode their odd dog behaviors to know what they are trying to tell us.
Odd dog behaviors
Dogs can’t talk but they can be very communicative and assertive through their actions. Even though some of them may seem odd to us, they are regular dogs’ behaviors. Remember dogs are domesticated animals but they still have a pack’s instinct. Some of these odd dog behaviors may be:
1. Poop rolling
This is one of the most uncomfortable behaviors for us owners, but it’s completely normal for dogs. They do it out of instinct, and there are different theories about its reasons: they may be trying to blend in with other dogs, marking the territory, or trying to take that special scent with them to let other dogs know where they can find food and treats. Be patient and clean them up gently. Another awkward poop-related behavior is dogs eating their own poop. In those cases, you should rule out first health problems like parasites, malabsorption syndrome, diabetes, etc, and then start considering some behavioral issues like anxiety, attention-seeking, or isolation.
2. Barking at night
Think of barking as your dog’s voice. If he needs something, he will bark to let you know. Barking at night can indicate he is feeling anxious, bored, hungry, or scared. And even though taking care of your dog in the middle of the night can be annoying or exhausting, remember it won’t happen regularly.
3. Eating grass
Dogs are very instinctive and intelligent animals, therefore if your dog is eating grass, don’t panic: they can do it to induce vomit if feeling sick, or to add fiber to their diet. Make sure your dog has all his nutritional needs covered through food and supplements.
If this behavior goes on for a long time, you should get an appointment with your vet.
4. Excessive licking
Licking is an essential part of your dog’s routine. Through paws and fur licking, your dog is grooming himself. Besides, they redirect their emotions through paw licking, so it can be a clear sign of anxiety. However, in some cases, excessive licking can be an indicator of parasites or allergies and you should consult with the vet. If your pup is constantly licking you, it can be a sign of love and affection, but he also might be bored. Get his favorite toy and try to spend more time playing with him. Win-win.
5. Staring at you
As a dog owner, I know this may be a little creepy (especially at night), but its explanation is pretty simple. Dogs communicate with us through their eyes, so if they stare at you for a long time, they are probably trying to tell you something.
First of all, make a mental checklist of his needs, such as water, food, walks, playtime, and make sure they are all covered. If he still stares, he is probably just adoring you: dogs tend to stare at their owners to express affection. How amazing is that?! Besides, it is a plus for your health. Mutual gazing between dogs and humans releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes you and your dog happier.
Even though some of these odd dog behaviors may be unpleasant or worrying for us humans, it is super important to respect them: we should love our dogs for who they are and not try to change them. After all, your dog loves you unconditionally, no matter what. Doesn’t he deserve the same treatment? 😊