Have you ever looked at your dog and thought, why are you doing that!? If so, you are not alone. Dogs have many strange habits, and some of the most common ones will be explained.
Hump / Mount
It can be perplexing to watch your dog mount and hump another person or animal, particularly if your dog is neutered or female.
If an intact male is mounting an intact female, he likely senses that she is in heat and is attempting to mate.
However, in all other instances, humping is generally associated with dominance. For instance, if two neutered male dogs are meeting for the first time, one may try to hump the other in a show of dominance. Similarly, female dogs may try to hump other male or female dogs to assert dominance in the pack hierarchy.
Occasionally humping can be a sign that a dog is under-socialized. For instance, some animals become overly excited in new situations and do not understand proper behavior, so humping is one outlet for the extra energy.
Has your dog ever eaten another dog’s poop? Despite how disgusting this act can be, it is quite normal. However, researchers are not entirely sure why dogs decide to dine on feces.
Some theories exist that eating feces improves a dog’s digestive system and immunity by introducing new bacteria (we prefer WINPRO Immunity!). Another theory is that dogs eat feces to “tidy up” the area because the smell of feces could attract predators. Whatever the reason, there is no need to be alarmed if you catch your dog dining on another dog’s droppings.
Zoomies describe when a dog gets a crazed look and frantically runs around the house or yard. Another common name for the zoomies is FRAP (frenetic random activity periods). Dogs most commonly get the zoomies after a bath or when a favorite human comes home. Although the exact cause of zoomies are unknown, most veterinarians believe they are simply a release of pent-up energy. The good news is that zoomies can indicate a healthy dog. Sick animals rarely have the extra energy to do parkour off the furniture!
Lick Your Face
There numerous reasons a dog might lick your face. For instance, your dog may simply be showing you affection. Humans tend to think of face-licking as “kissing,” and view this behavior positively. Dogs will quickly recognize cause and effect and realize that “kissing” results in extra attention!
Another reason a dog might lick your face is to gather information. Dogs use their mouths to explore the world around them. When you come home from a long day at work your dog may lick your face to determine where you have been (and if you left behind any crumbs from lunch!).
Your dog may also lick your face for grooming purposes. In the wild, dogs commonly lick one another to both groom and bond. Chances are that your dog sees you as a pack member and simply wants to give you a bath.
Finally, your dog may be licking your face as a sign of respect or submissiveness. In packs, submissive dogs lick the faces of dominant dogs as a way to say,
I respect you. If your dog licks your face during a time he or she would otherwise be in trouble, submissiveness is a likely reason for this behavior.
Like many of the behaviors on this list, there is no definitive answer as to why the activity occurs. There are many theories as to why a dog eats grass. One explanation is that dogs simply like the taste or texture of the greenery. Another theory is that dogs recognize they receive attention when grass-eating (even if the attention is negative) and engage in this behavior to garner the attention of a favorite person.
Evolutionary biologists have suggested that grass eating is rooted in history. Before dogs were given deworming treatments regularly, dogs may have eaten grass to clear their digestive systems of harmful parasites. Dogs also seem to inherently recognize that eating grass will cause them to vomit, which can be helpful when they have an upset stomach.
Why do dogs chew on shoes when there are many other (less expensive) items in the home that could be chewed on instead? There are two reasons: shoes are commonly made from leather or rawhide (two enticing smells to dogs), and they also smell strongly of you. Since dogs generally chew to overcome anxiety, shoes are a nice treat because they taste and smell like favorite flavors and people!
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