Do you sometimes find your dog staring at you or running recklessly around after a bath? These odd dog behaviors may seem strange to humans, but are actually common in canines. Since your furry pals cannot talk, they try to communicate with you through certain cues. If you learn how to read these cues properly, you’ll likely be able to understand them better.
Here are some of the odd dog behaviors that tell you how your pups are feeling.
Staring at you
When dogs stare at you, they could be asking for a treat, cuddle or other forms of attention. However, for some dogs, direct eye contact makes them uncomfortable. Some may perceive eye contact as a threat. So, first start with brief eye contact with your dog to make sure that he is comfortable. The exercise of “watch or look” teaches dogs to enjoy looking to their owners for direction and instruction. When initially teaching the exercise, dogs will intentionally look to their owners as they receive praise and/or treats. This is a great exercise to assist with training as well as increasing the bond with your dog.
Leaning on you
Whether you’re sitting on the couch or standing in the kitchen, some dogs cannot resist leaning on their owners. Many dogs do this for affection – a way for your pup to get a hug. Of course, we want to show affection to our dogs! However, we do not want them to solicit it inappropriately. If your dog is leaning and pawing for your attention, we do not want to encourage this. A simple cue of “sit” will teach your dog that he will get pets for desirable behaviors.
Cocking their heads
Head tilting is one of the most amusing behaviors in dogs. When you whistle, speak in a high-pitched voice or make funny noises, they often cock their heads. Why do they do this? Often, they are trying to figure out what you are saying or asking of them. It can also be a way to determine the location of a sound in their environment.
Chewing on objects
Dogs chew on the weirdest objects – wood, tiles, fabric, leather and even concrete. The constant chewing could mean that they are bored! Make sure to give your dog enrichment activities to keep him occupied such as puzzles or toys. As well, give your dogs exercise by playing fetch or taking a stroll. Do keep in mind that young pups may be teething. So, supply your pup with safe bones to satisfy this urge.
Circling before lying down
Many dogs walk around in circles before lying down. This is one of those odd dog behaviors that they probably picked up from their ancestors. Behaviorists believe that wolf-like dogs would walk around in circles before making their bed. During this ritual, they flatten grass, twigs and leaves to create a comfortable nesting spot.
Getting hyper after a bath
Some dogs get a little crazy after a bath. One simple explanation for this hyperactive behavior may be that your dog is glad bath time is finally over! And, he’s eager for you to dry off her coat. Or, for many dogs, a stimulating activity such as a bath can create a surge of energy. Often, when dogs experience this surge of energy, they will run excitedly in their environment. Some dogs may even rub against furniture as they are running around!
Following you everywhere
If your dog lives primarily indoors, he may frequently follow you around the house. He may look especially creepy when watching you in the bathroom! Dogs do not understand your need for privacy. It is natural for your pup or dog to want to be with you. Owners want a healthy bond with their dogs. As well, it is important to allow and encourage some independence so that your canine friend does not become “clingy” or upset if you are leave.
Kicking grass after pooping
Your dog does not hate grass when he is kicking it around in your lawn. This is his way of covering up his elimination. Since dogs have scent glands in their feet, they often mark their territory as their ancestral dogs did.
As dog owners, we’ve all experienced these scenarios. Coming home to a living room covered in toilet paper confetti, homework and utility bills torn to pieces. Worse, your dog found his way into your wallet and shredded cash to bits!
One reason for this messy behavior is that he is bored and shredding paper is fun! Beyond the tiresome cleaning and losing important documents, this behavior can be dangerous to your pup. Paper, when swallowed, can block the intestine and cause digestive issues. To redirect the paper shredding behavior, be proactive and give him a chew toy. If your pup is too young to be trusted wandering in the house, confine him to a crate or a safe area if you are unable to supervise him. Of course, training is desirable to teach your pup to leave inappropriate objects such as paper.
Want to learn more about odd dog behaviors and what they mean? Consult with our behavioral experts at Positive Paws Pet Training today.