There are many things that dogs get up to which can leave owners with a smile on their faces or on the odd occasion a look of surprise and bewilderment. Dogs have their own peculiar ways and it can be amusing if not often confusing, watching them get up to their strange antics! Below are a few things that most dogs if not all of them do which can leave you wondering why they actually need to do them!
Dogs adore stinky things and take great delight in rolling in any smelly matter they come across when out on a walk before running up to their owners to share the wonderful experience with them! Naturally, owners aren't so enamoured when it comes to certain odours, like fox, badger, cow droppings or the remains of a dead seagull discovered on a beach!
So why do dogs love these horrid odours so much? The answer is simple really, they are using the smells to disguise their own smell, something they would have to do if they were out hunting food for themselves. If their prey can't smell them, then a dog hunting for their supper stands a better chance of catching it! So really this behaviour is a "throw back" to the days when dogs had to hunt for their own food.
Dogs use their back legs to scratch at the ground after they've done their business and they do this as a way of marking the fact they have – it's their way of leaving a visual marker to any other dogs that might come along. It is also an olfactory sensory marker that most dogs leave when they have peed or after they pooped. The other thing is that a dog's paws when they scratch the dirt, leave a fresh smell and this draws a line which are very clear directions that take another dog's nose right to the spot where your dog has done their business. In short, it's your dog's little home-made map!
Many people have pondered why their dogs go round in circles before deciding which way they want to lie down. If the truth be known, nobody really knows why dogs do this, it could be they are testing out their beds to see where it's the most comfortable, it might even be they are looking for the "safest" direction to lie down in. Some people think it could be because dogs want to establish which position gives them the best view of the room. Other people who study a dog's behaviour believe it could be that a dog wants to check out what's around them because when they are asleep, they are at their most vulnerable. The one thing that everyone agrees on is that it can be great fun watching your dog go round in circles every time they go to bed!
Dogs love it when you scratch their tummies, they roll over with a big smile on their faces as you scratch away. Your dog then starts to pump a back leg like it's going out of fashion. But why do they do this? The answer is that dogs do this instinctively, it's an irrepressible reaction where the nerves take over and these nerves are telling the dog's brain there are fleas around! The funny thing about the scenario is your dog knows it's you scratching them but they cannot control their leg from going ten to the dozen, chasing those illusive fleas. Vets use this reflex action when they do any neurological tests on dogs!
Dogs like to hump their toys because it makes them feel good and it's a perfectly natural, normal behaviour seen in many adolescent young males. However, if the behaviour is over the top, you might need to take your pet to see the vet to make sure nothing is wrong although this would be highly unlikely. Neutered dogs tend to do it less but there's no guarantee they won't continue humping a favourite toy. Some people believe that when one male dog mounts another male dog, it is a way of showing their dominance too!
It's really strange how a lot of dogs don't like the postman, but why do they pick on them so much? The reason is your dog is protecting your home from a stranger who comes to your door and they bark, growl and become aggressive. Naturally, the postman only wants to put letters through your door and when they have, they turn round and move on to the next house. However, your dog believes they have successfully frightened this intruder and chased them away – which after all is part of their job!
The problem is that over time, this behaviour against the postman can get worse, so it's really important to introduce your postman to your dog early on because if they are allowed to bark and become aggressive every time the postman comes to your door, you have to remember your dog learns things through repetition which makes the situation for the postman even worse!
From eating grass to wagging their tails, dogs do all sorts of things that can mystify their owners. However, when you know why they often do some of the strangest things, you start to understand how your dogs sees the world around them. A dog has very strong instincts some of which are throw backs to their wilder ancestral ties which can be highly amusing when seen in the domestic dog!