13 Weird Dog Behaviors Explained (Meaning Behind)

Dogs exhibit a wide range of behaviors, some of which are straightforward, while others are difficult to explain. In this blog, we'll explain to you the real meaning behind 13 dogs strangest behaviors and explain why dogs do these behaviors. This will give you a better idea of why your pup is acting weird and if you need to be concerned.

1. Staring at You

Dog Staring at You

When dogs stare at you, they could be asking for a treat, cuddle or other forms of attention. However, for some dogs, direct eye contact makes them uncomfortable. Some may perceive eye contact as a threat. So, first start with brief eye contact with your dog to make sure that he is comfortable. The exercise of "watch or look" teaches dogs to enjoy looking to their owners for direction and instruction. When initially teaching the exercise, dogs will intentionally look to their owners as they receive praise and/or treats. This is a great exercise to assist with training as well as increasing the bond with your dog.

2. Chasing Its Tail

Dog Chasing Its Tail

Tail-chasing is often playful, especially if your dog is young. Many dogs chase their tails because they're getting to know their bodies, see it as a chew toy, or because it's a nervous habit. However, if your dog does it for long periods of time or frequently it can cause an injury or mean something more serious. Take your dog to the vet to get checked out if they're chasing their tail frequently to rule out a medical issue.

3. Dogs Sniff Butts

Dogs Sniff Butts

Even though dog butt sniffing seems like a gross behavior, this is a normal way that dogs introduce themselves and get to know each other. Dogs have anal glands that are scent markers. Each dog has their own smell that is constantly changing depending on their emotions. This ancestral behavior of sniffing butts allows dogs to know whether the dog they're sniffing is friendly, scared, anxious, and if they are male or female.

When you see your dog sniffing another dog's backend, make sure to allow this to happen (as long as both dogs are comfortable with the interaction). This is a normal behavior that helps your dog get important information about their canine friends.

4. Licks You

Dogs lick your face

While you might not always want your dog to cover you in slobbery kisses, are actually his way of showing affection. Plus, your dog has probably figured out that licking you tends to get your attention.

Of course, there are other reasons dogs lick you. Some researchers say licking is a sensory tool for dogs — similar to reaching out and touching something. Another explanation could be that canine mothers lick their puppies (and puppies lick their mothers and littermates) for grooming and social reasons. So this natural behavior continues into adulthood.

5. Yawning

Dogs Yawning

A dog yawns if he's under stress or facing threat to help ease pressure and tension. A dog can also show this behavior if he is confused, tired, or threatened. In addition, a dog can behave this way when meeting other canines.

6. Eating Poop

Dogs Eating Poop

Dogs eat feces for many reasons; it can be a normal (while distasteful to us) dog behavior. Young dogs may watch their mother clean them (who ingests feces as a result), and mimic her. Fear may even cause your dog to eat feces if he's afraid of the repercussions. Then again, your dog may just be curious. He may smell certain scents in the feces and wonder what it tastes like.

7. Eating Grass

Dogs Eating Grass

It may seem weird or even unhealthy for your dog to be eating grass, but there are some benefits to this strange dog habit. The grass is a good source of fiber. It allows dogs to have a better digestive system. It could help with health issues or an upset stomach to eat grass or some dogs may simply like the texture of the grass on their tongue and the way it tastes.

8. Chewing on Objects

Dogs Chewing on Objects

Dogs chew on the weirdest objects – wood, tiles, fabric, leather and even concrete. The constant chewing could mean that they are bored! Make sure to give your dog enrichment activities to keep him occupied such as puzzles or toys.  As well, give your dogs exercise by playing fetch or taking a stroll.  Do keep in mind that young pups may be teething.  So, supply your pup with safe bones to satisfy this urge.

9. Tilting Their Head

Dogs Tilting Their Head

It makes for a great picture when your dog tilts their head. When there is curiosity in their eyes, they look like they are trying to figure you out. This may be adorable, but there is another reason for this behavior. When you whistle, your dog may tilt its head; tilting its head amplifies its field of vision and sound pickup. They have to work around their nose and ear flaps. Tilting their head widens the field of view so they can see your facial expressions.

10. Zoomies

Dogs Zoomies

Have you ever seen a dog get a crazy, wild look in their eyes and then just take off running with a burst of energy? This is what we call the zoomies and it's a completely normal behavior for dogs.

Zoomies are actually a sign that your dog is feeling great, full of energy, and is really happy. Dogs tend to get the zoomies after bath time when they feel fresh and clean, when you get home from work and they're really excited to see you, or even right before a walk. Embrace the zoomies, since this means your dog is super joyful at that moment in time.

11. Bowing

Dogs Bowing

A dog bows by lowering his chest and head to the ground while keeping the rear body up. If your companion animal bows, he wants to play. Some dogs swing their hips and wag their tails to emphasize the need to play. This body language is popularly known as the play bow.

12. Walking in Circles Before Lying Down

Dogs Walking in Circles Before Lying Down

If you see your dog walking in circles before lying down, you should understand that he is looking for the most comfortable place to rest. Your canine buddy could also be having some discomfort which is forcing him to find the best way to lie down without hurting his body.

13. Showing Teeth and Biting

Dogs Showing Teeth and Biting

If your canine friend retracts lips to show teeth, he is aggressive or showing dominance. You should be very careful when your dog shows teeth as he can end up biting you.

If this behavior is accompanied by snarling and muzzle wrinkling, you should understand that your canine friend is very angry. It is advisable not to come close to any dog showing this behavior.

Final Words: Weird Dog Behaviors Explained

In conclusion, whether dogs are yawning, sniffing butts, eating grass, or displaying other quirky and sometimes funny actions, these behaviors have physiological and emotional reasons behind them.

When you start to learn why the behaviors are happening, it allows you to gain a better understanding of your dog and connect to them on a deeper level.