Are you a dedicated dog lover? Then chances are you have noticed some pretty strange behavior from your best friend that is absolutely unexplainable. Or is it? We’ll probably never understand everything about any individual dog’s behavior, but there are many theories that explain some of the strange things dogs do. If you love your dog, you’ll want to check out our countdown of 12 reasons why your dog exhibits some pretty strange behavior.
Stick their heads out of an open car window
Our first strange dog behavior starts with why dogs like to stick their heads out of an open car window while the car is moving . There are two reasons for this. The first is that dogs don’t like confined spaces. But that’s not the main reason. Dogs like to stick their heads out of moving cars to take in the endless world of smells. Because dogs navigate the world with their noses, they love taking in all the aromas that come from being on the open road. When they are in a moving car with a rolled down window, they can pick up so many scents. It’s like a sample of the entire world, and they just can’t get enough.
Sniff each other back
Getting back to a dog’s sense of smell, it is about 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than human’s are. There is more to it than that. There is a part of their nose that allows them to ignore the smell of feces. This is called the Jacobson’s organ, which also lets them smell the special glands in another dog’s rear end. This is more important than you may think. Besides having a keen sense of smell, dogs also have glands in their rear end that release chemicals that tell a lot about their body to other dogs. Dogs sniffing each other’s butts is like humans shaking hands. This is why a dog may also sniff your crotch, but don’t be alarmed. It’s just part of their strange behavior, which brings us to number three on our countdown of explaining strange dog behavior.
Follow you into the bathroom
When you need your private time to do your business, you probably don’t want your dog around. But think about it this way. Don’t you take them on a walk to do their business in public? Your dog may just be returning the favor. But it’s actually simpler than that. Dogs have a pack mentality, so just like you take care of their needs, they will try to take care of yours. The unofficial term for dogs that follow you to the bathroom is called Velcro dogs, and they always want to be attached to your side.
Eat green grass
Dogs are smart animals with instincts that can’t always be explained. For example, what smart dog would start making a meal out of your front lawn? But they all do, and there is a perfectly logical explanation. If your dog has an upset stomach, they can’t really tell you about it. They eat grass because they know it will help them throw up whatever is bothering their digestive tract. Not a pretty picture, but nonetheless true. Take heart though. A dog eating green grass is just their way of telling you they need to go to the vet for a checkup. Dogs communicate with you in a lot of different ways, so get ready for a few more explanations on our strange dog behavior countdown.
Walk in circles before they lie down
The behavior of walking in circles before a dog lies down goes way back to when dogs were first domesticated. Long before dogs had the comfy beds that we know today, most dogs slept in the wilderness or something like it. In order to get comfortable, they would have to circle around in order to trample down the underbrush or tall grass to get a warm place to sleep. This behavior is another instinctive trait of dogs that don’t quite make sense to us, but it is still inbred in whatever dog you love. Your dog may also run in its sleep, probably thinking it’s chasing a tennis ball or a Frisbee. Animal experts don’t really know, but they believe dogs dream in the REM stage of their sleep and feel comfortable acting out whatever activity they think they are doing.
Chase their tail
You may ask yourself, why does my dog chase its tail? You wouldn’t be the only one. It starts with being a puppy. In reality, a dog raised by humans doesn’t really know that they aren’t one of the people in your family. A tail comes as a surprise because no one else has one. This is why a puppy chases its tail, because it thinks it’s a toy. An adult dog with a long tail will chase it because it is bored or just needs to expend some energy. Our advice, give your dog a hug, take them for a walk, and appreciate their strange but very explainable behavior.
Stick out their tongues and start panting
This can be explained as well. Dogs don’t have the same kinds of sweat glands that humans do. In fact, their cooling off system is very ineffective, so the way they cool off is much different. They reduce the temperature of their bodies by using their mouth and tongue to exchange the hot air in their lungs for the cooler air outside. By sticking out their tongue and panting, they use the evaporation of moisture to draw the cooler air in.
Lean on you for no reason
Your dog will lean on you because it wants your attention in a very affectionate way. Or it may be scared about something you don’t understand. If you have a large breed of dog, they may put their full body weight on you. But remember how we talked about how dogs have a strong sense of smell? Dogs also have an incredible auditory perception, a fancy word for unbelievable hearing. This is why when you take them out or even when they are at home, they will sense danger before it even happens with their ears. When a dog leans on you, take heart. They are protecting themselves and need a little support.
Jump on guests
Puppies start jumping early in life because they greet older dogs by hopping up and licking their faces. This behavior can be trained out of dogs, but generally speaking, unless you have the time to do it, the jumping up is your dog’s way of saying, “I like you” to your guests. It’s their way of showing affection to the people you invite into your home. The answer to this doggy problem is to hire a trainer or warn your guests that they will have a very warm welcome when they come to your home. Now onto why dogs like to lick your face.
Lick your face
Licking the face is part of the same behavior that goes along with dogs jumping on people in an affectionate way. This is also fairly harmless behavior because while dogs and humans have about the same amount of bacteria in their mouths, you’re not going to catch any bacteria from a dog that will affect you. They’re different strains. You’re much more likely to catch a virus from kissing another human being. Another reason why dogs like to lick your face is that they like the taste of the sweat or oil on your face. Yucky but true.
Tilt their heads as if they’re listening
This one is easy. It’s a survival instinct. Dogs pick up their ears so they can sense how far unknown danger is away from them. If they are in your house, they don’t need to use their nose because they already know the scent of everything in their home, unless you bring home a takeout order. Dogs use their ears to find the source of upsetting noises, and many dogs have floppy ears, so they tilt their head to make sure they can pinpoint where the unfamiliar sound is coming from. This is why many dogs hide from thunder, or if they are getting a scolding for chewing on a brand new pair of shoes. Talking about dogs chewing shoes, now let’s talk about some of the strange things that dogs like to eat. You’ve all seen them do it. It may even be embarrassing.
Eat other animals’ feces
This is a strange dog behavior that starts as a puppy. You see, when a mother gives birth to her puppies, they don’t know anything about using the bathroom. A mother will eat the puppies’ feces to keep their new home clean. It’s nature’s way of keeping the puppies free from disease and a mother’s way of protecting her young. Since puppies learn this behavior from birth, it’s no wonder why they continue the behavior of eating other animals’ feces. Remember, since they can’t smell poop, it’s no different to them than eating anything else.