Does your dog's unusual behaviors have you mystified? Have you ever wondered why your dog displays mannerisms you find odd? Although some canine habits are hard to comprehend, often there is a reason behind a dog's puzzling behaviors. Here are a few quirks you may have noticed, along with some reasoning behind them.
1. Tail Chasing
Some pet owners find this behavior amusing and cute, while others want to know why their dog chases their tail.
Tail chasing may simply be an outlet for frustration or boredom. Do you generally work long hours and leave your dog alone most of the day? If your dog is lonely or left with nothing to do, this may explain the tail-chasing routine. Before you leave the house, leave the television or radio playing softly for company.
Also, be sure your dog gets plenty of exercise on a daily basis. You should also provide your pet with safe dog toys for amusement.
If the above measures do not curtail the tail-chasing habit, a medical reason may be to blame for this behavior. Perhaps your dog chases their tail because they are uncomfortable due to a skin irritation, abrasion, or cyst. A parasitic infection could be another reason, so you should check with the veterinarian to rule out any medical cause.
2. Rolling in the Grass (or Snow)
Does Rover roll in the grass or snow? If you've noticed your dog rolling around outside on grass, dirt, or snow, you're probably wondering why.
For one thing, your dog may be itchy. This itchiness could be due to minor skin irritations or allergies. Rubbing against grass may relieve an itch, while rolling in the snow simply feels cool and comforting. Also, if your dog has long fur and sheds a lot, grass rolling may be a way of getting rid of excess clumps of hair.
An older, vulnerable, or weak dog may be rolling in the grass to disguise its scent from potential predators. If none of these aspects seem to be fitting for your dog's particular situation, there is a more simple explanation.
Perhaps your dog enjoys rolling in the grass or snow to ward off stress and wind down from a busy day. Think of how you feel after a long day at work. You may take a relaxing shower to unwind. Rover may be rolling in the grass to unwind and relax, too.
3. Eating Poop
Although humans see it as repulsive, eating fecal matter is a common habit of many canines. If your dog eats poop, you'll want to discourage this habit, but you should also understand why your pet does this. Scientifically, your dog may be predisposed to this behavior, as an innate habit inherited from canine ancestors. In the wild, canines ate fresh feces as a means of survival and to ward off starvation.
Another explanation is that your dog may be deficient of key nutrients in their diet. The best way to determine if this is the case is to consult with your dog's veterinarian. The vet may prescribe a vitamin supplement or recommend a different diet. The vet may also examine your pet or take a stool sample to rule out medical issues, such as worms or parasites.
To discourage your dog from eating poop, keep your yard clean. Clean up any dog feces as soon as possible. You might also consider behavioral modification training (with a professional trainer) if nothing else seems to work.
As a final consideration, if you're concerned your dog's odd habits may be due to medical issues, see our veterinarian at once. An exam or tests may be needed to rule out any medical causes.