Why is it that no matter how weird, crazy, naughty or disgusting dogs are, we love them unconditionally? Maybe because dogs connect and communicate with us on a level that language can’t express. Dogs talk to us in many ways, but sometimes it’s hard to understand what they’re saying. While you may seek dog behaviour advice or behavioural training, there’re a lot of dog behaviours that can easily be explained.
Humans have a lot in common with canine psychology, but for many, understanding their canine pal and their unusual dog behaviour is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So you may take dog training classes or online dog behaviour courses if you want to understand your dog better, so you can boost your knowledge and strengthen your relationship with your dog by equipping yourself with the skills to better read their body language.
But the question is, when is your dog trying to tell you something, and when are they just being plain weird!? Here’s is the ultimate list of weird things dogs do, including rational, irrational and sometimes theatrical reasons why…
10 Reasons Why Your Dog Does These Weird Things
1) Judging You
Every now and then, you may find yourself in a full-blown starting contest with your dog that you’re unprepared to break. You start thinking your dog can read your mind, knows your best kept secrets, and is likely an undercover spy for the government. You need to stop making this situation about you! If your dog is staring you down, it’s because it’s either anticipating or asking for something, or it’s missing something from its daily routine, e.g. a walk, food or attention. You’ll know if your odd staring is making them uncomfortable, because their natural reaction is to lick or groom themselves as a distraction.
2) Sleeping All the Time
You may think tour dog spiritually identifies as a cat because it’s lazy AF. This might be true, and you might have the easiest dog in the entire dog kingdom. But if you’ve noticed a behavioural change in your dog’s sleeping pattern, it’s time to pay attention. Couple excessive sleeping with no desire for walks, no interest in food or drink or they drink too much, you have a pattern of symptoms that may indicate a health problem. Watch out for changes such as weight loss, especially if nothing has changed to your dog’s diet and exercise routine. Always seek veterinary advice if you’re concerned after a few days.
Another weird thing dogs do is attempt to play a constant game of hide and seek, when in fact it can be very annoying. It’s as if your dog is trying to piss you off on purpose. It knows you’ve got things to do and places to go at the exact moment it runs off and hides. Before you shout at your dog, you should know that hiding or being anti-social when they usually thrive from your affection is a sign that your dog is in pain. If you are concerned, seek a vet’s opinion.
4) Doesn’t Want to be Touched
It can hurt when your dog doesn’t want a cuddle, especially when all you want is some loving. Just remember that animal body language is a form of communication and is mostly unconscious. If your dog recoils from your touch, it could be an indication of pain and/or stress, which shouldn’t be ignored. Dogs get stressed for many reasons that can be avoided by making small changes to how your lifestyle impacts your dog. For example, try not to disrupt their routine – when they get fed, when you walk them, when they are left alone, and when they go to sleep. Try refraining from being negative, loud or aggressive around your dog because dogs are extremely sensitive to your mood. Also, providing your dog with a safe zone that is their own, such as a crate or bed corner, can help ease their discomfort, as well as ensuring you give consistent care and attention on a regular basis.
5) Eating Animal Poop
Did you know there’s a word for this? It’s called ‘Coprophagia’. So, this weird dog behaviour is common enough to have its own word. It’s a gross habit for your dog because 1) It makes their breath smell, 2) it gets caught in their coat, so you need to wash it out, and 3) it can cause bad stomach problems. You should stop your dog from eating poop when you can… There are a few theories why dogs may due this, including boredom, hunger and anxiety. Then again, there’s the possibility they simply enjoy the taste.
6) Acting Guilty
Can dogs feel guilty? Because whenever your dog is naughty behind your back and you find out, he gives you a seemingly regretful look: big sad eyes, sat still and quiet, avoiding responsibility. Your dog is acting how a human would act when showing remorse, right? The problem is, we shouldn’t associate human feelings with dogs, because they don’t operate in the same society of codes and conducts that we do. Simply, your dog is reacting to your mood when you have discovered what it’s done; maybe your dog has used your favourite carpet as a toilet, destroyed your brand-new shoes or raided the food cupboards leaving a trail of crumbs and nothing for your dinner… Whatever has happened, you’re likely mad. Your dog will likely sense this, and its natural reaction is to cower from you. Honestly, look at some dog behaviour courses to establish how to prevent the naughty behaviour rather than worrying about whether your dog feels guilty or not.
7) Head Tilting
So, it might look cute when your dog tilts his head at you, but it’s also a headache because you can’t figure out what it wants… do you have a spiritual connection with your dog? Is your dog seeing into your soul? Or is something wrong with your face? Is your dog brain damaged from that time he banged his head on the coffee table? It’s none of those things. Science will tell you that dogs head tilt to hear or see better, and other research says that they do it simply to empathise with us. We’d like to think dogs have developed the head tilt as a way of making us love them even more.
8) Barking at Nothing
You entertain the idea that your dog is possessed and nothing you do will resurrect him from insanity, so when he barks at nothing, you rarely even notice anymore. At first, you thought your house was haunted and your dog was trying to save you from a ghost, now you realise that the slightest sound will set your dog off. The thing is, you should listen to your dog when it barks at nothing because, chances are, your dog is being a super intelligent guard dog and is alerting you to a change in your surroundings. This is because dogs are more sensitive to sound frequencies, and it is their automatic reaction to bark back. In dog psychology, this is a form of communication.
This is a hard one to cope with because you wish your dog could just tell you what’s wrong. Dogs are emotional, complex and intelligent animals, and they get anxiety just like us. In fact, the human world can be very daunting when it cannot be explained to dogs, heightening their confusion and worry. If whimpering is also paired with ears pulled back and/or a low, straight and still tail, this is a sign of stress and discomfort. If you dog is whimpering but has a wagging tail, this is a sign they are a happy and excited. Shivering can be both a sign of anxiety or excitement, so you need to look at your dog’s overall body language, starting with their ears and tail, to determine what it means.
Aggressive dog behaviour is a symptom of something, it doesn’t mean you have a bad dog and it doesn’t mean it can’t be trained out of your dog. If you or others are hurt by your dog, I’d suggest seeking help from a dog behaviourist. You can learn when to intervene before biting occurs. In the instance of dog play, decide whether you dog’s behaviour is questionable or totally inappropriate, because this can there is a fine line. Also decide when it’s safe for you to intervene. Dogs give many signs of aggression before attacking, and if you can learn to spot these, you can get your dog on a lead and in a safe place before anything bad happens.
Don’t worry, we’re sure your dog’s just as weird as everyone else’s and that means that they are in fact normal dogs! The problem with trying to make sense of your dog’s weird behaviour is that you can completely fall off track, often jumping to the worst-case scenario or making the mistake of comparing them to people. Canine psychology has many stages of development, and it’s worth investing time into learning about your dog’s behaviour so that you can provide the best care and support your dog deserves. There are many online dog courses you can choose from, or else you can send your dog to a training school or simply read a book on dog behaviour and try something new for your dog today.