Hi Finley here,
Now that the humans are all at home more, you may have noticed some strange behaviors from your dogs. You know, there are things that humans do that we dogs think are a little weird too! For example, I don’t get why my human takes a shower every day…. Baths are the worst!
Before you get confused, here are the reasons why dogs do what they do:
Walking in Circles
While this behavior may seem funny to most humans, there is actually a very good reason why dogs do this. It goes back many years to the time before my fellow canines had the comfy dog beds that we have today. Back when all dogs slept outdoors, turning around in circles a few times helped to clear things like sharp objects from the area making it a much more comfortable spot to lie down and take a nap. Now that you know this, it doesn’t seem quite so weird, does it?
Chasing the Tail
Well, first of all, it is kind of fun! Think about it, if you had a long, fluffy, snake-like appendage behind you, you might want to chase it too! Sometimes we get bored and it’s there so we chase it. Another reason might be the hunter instinct in most dogs. From the time we’re puppies, we like to chase things. Not all dogs are tail-chasers though and if you see that your dog is chasing his tail when he doesn’t normally do that, he may have a flea or tick problem so you might want to check to make sure.
Because we like you! Yes, that’s basically why we lick; we like to show our affection. As puppies, our moms licked us to help clean us, so it’s something we’ve experienced our whole lives. For some of us canines, licking can be a sensory thing too. You know, the way you humans like to touch things.
Our ancestors did this many years ago as a way to “talk” to each other. It’s still kind of the same today. When we howl, it helps other dogs know we’re here and that’s a good feeling for us dogs. We like to network!
Sniffing Other Dogs
I realize it’s a little embarrassing for my humans when I “sniff” other dogs and when they “sniff” me, but seriously, it’s how we greet each other. I sometimes hear my human say, “You can tell a lot about a person when you shake their hand.” Well, the same is true for us dogs. A few good “sniffs” in the right area will tell us a lot about our fellow canines!
Most humans think it’s cute when a puppy (or grown dog for that matter), scoot their butt on the floor or grass, but it’s usually a sign that they’re experiencing some kind of irritation, either anal glands are blocked, there could be a tapeworm or something else. If you see your dog doing this, you may want to talk with your vet about it.
A dog’s fears might be funny to a human, but they’re serious to the dog. Fears can come from a lot of things, like those loud vacuum cleaners that scared us when we were pups or once I had a friend who took a pretty bad spill on a slippery floor; he was always afraid of slippery floors after that. It’s helpful to teach us early on that there are some things that are loud and we don’t need to be afraid of them. If your dog still struggles with a certain fear, talk to your vet about things you can do to help ease these fears for your furry friend.
I hope you found my insights to be helpful and hopefully the next time you see your dog doing any of these weird behaviors, you’ll understand them a little better.
Until Next Time,
Finley | Executive Canine Quality Control Officer