Why Do Dogs Do That?


Why do dogs do that is an often asked question. They have an innate ability to perplex us with their quirky habits.

Some things they do make us laugh, such as chasing their tails or turning several times before lying down. Some irritate us, such as barking incessantly and some simply disgust us such as eating poop.

We often expect our dogs to act and do what we would do when after all they ARE dogs and they simply will do what dogs do however hard that is to understand sometimes.

That’s not to say that they don’t have perfectly good reasons (usually) for their 6 odd dog habits. By trying to understand some of these reasons, it will help us peacefully co-exist. Just don’t let them kiss you in the mouth!
We all love our dogs, they bring us happiness and comfort that other humans just don’t seem to be able to give. They never talk back, they love us no matter how homely we tend to be looking that day, and best of all they always let us call the shots. But even with all of their amazing qualities, sometimes our furry friends have some pretty interesting quirks. Here you will learn why your dog does some of the embarrassing things that he does.

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

Tail chasing is common in puppies as a form of play. It is less-common in older dogs. Sometimes older dogs chase their tails because they are bored and it is a way to relieve the tension. Some dogs don’t seem to realize the tail is attached to their bodies ad see it as a fun object to chase but rarely catch. Tail chasing can also be a symptom of worms, fleas or anal sac problems. In some dogs, tail chasing becomes a compulsive disorder. If tail chasing persists, consult your veterinarian to rule out a medical/psychological disorder.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

Safari Flea Comb with a Double Row of TeethNatural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats to Kill & Repel Fleas 4.3oz Bar

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

It doesn’t matter if it comes from a baby, a cat, or a wild animal, dogs love to eat poop. This is not only one of their least attractive qualities, it is also one of their most embarrassing. But as it turns out, your dog is actually a bit of a genius. For instance, take that kitty litter box that your dog cannot keep his paws off of. Cat food actually contains different forms of protein and fats than dog food, so your pup is simply trying to get some more nutrients. The same goes for wild animals and humans, we all eat differently and your dog senses that. He is just trying to get a little taste of what he is missing.  Try switching to a better quality dog food to assure he is getting all the nutrients he needs. If your dog starts eating his own feces though, that could be a sign of a problem and he should see a vet.

Orijen Acana Regionals Grasslands Dry Dog Food, 25 lb

Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Food?

Once again, what might seem silly to us is actually smart for our canines. Usually a dog will roll on its food as a way to mark it. It tells the other dogs in the area that food has been spoken for, (it may not always work, but your dog thinks it is worth a shot). If you only have one dog in your home, there are two reasons they are likely to do this:

  • There are other pets in the house they are protecting their food from. By rubbing against or rolling on the food, they are putting the scent of the food on themselves so other dogs will realize the food belongs to them.
  • Possibly they were previously in a home with other dogs and picked up the trait there from the other dogs.

Why Do Dogs Drink Out Of The Toilet?

Although it may not seen so to us, dogs perceive toilet bowl water as fresh, cold and constantly replenished. And, it’s at a convenient height for larger dogs and something they don’t have to share with their smaller four-legged brothers and sisters.

Why Do Dogs Circle Before Lying Down?

There has never been any ‘official’ evidence on this ritual, but almost all dogs do it, even wild ones. The one thing that most doggie experts agree on is that this is a trait that has been around for centuries. The two most popular reasons they could be doing this are:

  • They might be trying to stay safe. Back in the days when dogs first came on the scene the grass and vegetation was pretty high, so they would circle to pat down the grass, this way the grass would not move if the dog moved, so there was less chance of an enemy finding an unsuspecting sleeping dog.
  • It might have something to do with the wind. By nature dogs are keen on direction and they always like to know where they are. So they circle to try to find the direction of the breeze and then they lie down so that they can face the breeze. The only exception to this are the dogs that live in extremely cold weather, like sled dogs, they will actually circle to make sure they are pointing away from the cold wind when they are lying down.

Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Back?

Dogs seem to get great joy from rolling on their back, but is that the reason dogs roll on their back, for the pure pleasure of it?  There could be more to it.

You let your dog outside and they roll on their back in the grass, wiggly-scooting and trying to cover every inch of his body.

One theory is that when a dog rolls on his back in the grass, it is an inherited trait from his wold-like ancestors.  Wolfs roll in interesting smells, particularly covering their face and neck area. They then take that smell back to the pack to share the new odor.

Additionally, dogs roll on their back in grass or dirt areas to cover their own smell, in hopes of going undetected by predators.  This may also be an inherited trait from their ancestors.

Sometimes dogs roll in the grass in an attempt to get rid of the “clean smell” after a bath.  Dogs have an intense sense of smell and while you may find a perfumed bath pleasing, he could find it offensive.

Itchiness can be a reason for your dog to roll in the grass.  Although they can scratch much of their body with their paws of teeth, the back is out of reach.  Could be a normal itch like we all have but it could be something more.  Make sure your dog is on a good flea preventative.  Also, check for dry skin or a rash.  I use Jax and Daisy Shampoo and Lotion to help alleviate these problems.

Of course, the answer to ‘Why does my dog roll in the grass”, could be as simple as, it feels good!

Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Butts?

There are no words to describe the humiliation when you take your pooch to the vet and they ‘make friends’ with the canine across the room by sniffing their bootie. There is a part of you that wants to make him stop, but there is another part of you that feels like you have just stepped into some kind of doggie mating ritual. But yet again your pup is showing, in this weird and awkward of ways, that he is much smarter than you could ever imagine.

  • When they first meet, they sniff each other in order to ‘learn’ the other one’s scent – remember, dogs rely on scent more than anything else, so doing this with a dog that they like will allow them to recognize that dog in the future.
  • If they know the dog, they will sniff that dogs butt to see what kind of a mood they are in – no one wants a disgruntled playmate, and it is much easier to sniff their backside than it is to get bitten. It also gives the dog an indication where the other animal has been and what he has eaten.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

  • Nesting – Dogs have an instinctual instinct to nest, possibly from early days when nesting down into the earth helped to provide protection from predators.
  • Curiosity – Dogs have a real need to know what is happening, often on the other side of the fence. They will dig at a fence line in an attempt to get to the other side. I think they really believe the saying about the ‘grass being greener on the other side’.
  • Heat – Dirt provides a cooling environment for your dog. In the heat of the summer, you will likely find your dog digging into the earth to provide a cool bed for himself. Be sure to provide him with a shady spot to lie down and a continual supply of fresh, clean and cool water. Keep him inside dring extremely hot weather. Remember, if you are unfomfortable in the heat, he is too!

    iMounTEK Ultra Hygienic Dog Pet Water Fountain With 41

  • Boredom – Dogs require constant stimulation and if they don’t have it, they often will dig, simply to amuse themselves. Supply your dog with stimulating toys and set aside time each day to play and romp with your dog. Dogs are social animals and need your companionship and attention.

    TRIXIE Pet Products Flip Board, Level 2

So the next time you find yourself red with embarrassment wondering ‘why do dogs do that’, especially my dog? just remember there are very good reasons (at least to them).

Why Does My Dog Do That?

Dogs are unusual, perplexing and always entertaining creatures.  Often it is a mystery as to why they do the things they do.  So first we make sure there is no underlying health reasons for their actions.  Then we simply attempt to stop the more annoying or disgusting habits.  If this fails, we just accept and enjoy the dog for who he is, faults and all.  After all, on close inspection, can we really claim to be perfect?  We all have habits and annoyances, animal or human.

Stop Dogs From Eating Poop

How do you stop dogs from eating poop?  This is a question that has been asked by many dog lovers.  Does your dog’s big, sloppy kisses have an aroma similar to his farts?  Chances are, he’s a poop eater.  And, why is it that the biggest kissers seem to be the most avid poop lovers?

There are several types of dog poop eaters:

  • Dogs that eat their own poop
  • Dogs that eat other dog’s poop
  • Dogs that eat all poop

Why Do Dogs Eat Dog Poop?

  • Your dog could be gaining attention from eating poop.  If you yell at him, he may see that as attention and it reinforces the behavior.
  • Puppies may eat poop because they see their mothers doing it when she cleans them.  Sometimes this behavior is then carried on into adulthood.
  • Dogs may be imitating their owners when they see them cleaning up the poop in the yard.
  • Dogs sometimes eat the poop of other, more  dominant dogs in hopes of gaining some of that dominance themselves.
  • Dogs may either be not getting enough food or not getting enough nutrition in their food.
  • As much as we don’t understand the thought, some dogs may simply like the taste.

How To Stop Dogs From Eating Poop

*This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

Learning how to stop dogs from eating poop will help in your journey to stop the bad habit.  A little perseverance and you can once again enjoy your dog’s big, sloppy. wet kisses.  Or, not!  But, at least the kisses will smell better.

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions to Save Your Sanity

Are There Any Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions?

  Boy, that is a question I must have asked a million times! Hard to believe that our Jake, the relaxed, without a care-in-the-world dog pictured below, could have ever been anxiety-ridden. But, it is so true and we’ve got the scratched drywall, chewed woodwork and destroyed hardwood floors to prove it.

However, thanks to finding some good dog separation anxiety solutions, we are now able to start repairing all the destruction with a certain amount of confidence that he will not tear it all up again. At least not as badly. Jake is still not happy when all his family leaves at the same time. He still hangs his head, mopes and usually refuses to say goodbye. As we back out of the drive he can be heard barking his displeasure. But now when we come home, we are not met with total chaos. There is still drool in front of the door and his water and food have gone untouched. He truly is in mourning until his people come home. When that happens, watch out! He is flying about the house, grabbing toys and challenging us to chase him. And he will then drink enough water to float a boat. Life is good again. It wasn’t easy getting to this point.but so worth it. These are some things that have helped us in dealing with dog separation anxiety.

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions:

*This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

  • Make your departure as uneventful as possible. Resist the urge to hug, kiss and make over your dog in an attempt to soothe your guilt. This lets him in on the idea that something big is about to happen and he probably won’t like it. I’ve done this and it never ended well. Instead, keep everything as low key as possible. Pet him if you must but make it a quick pat and just move right out the door as if it is no big deal. You can cry in the car if the need arises (and I have.)  Overcoming dog separation anxiety requires you to be tough.
  • Leave lots of his toys about to give him something to amuse and distract.  Be cautious of any toys you choose to leave when you are not at home.  Leave nothing with small parts or made of material that can be chewed off and potentially cause your dog to choke.  A good choice I like is the Kong Extreme Dog Toy.  This toy is a hard, durable rubber.  Your dog will love to chew on it and it also has openings on each end to hide treats for your dog to shake loose and enjoy.  It comes in an assortment of sizes, shapes and strengths, to meet each dog’s needs.  Also, an old piece of your clothing can provide some comfort to him. Your scent is one of his favorite things.
  • Try crating your dog or confining him to a small room.  Allowing him the run of the house can be overwhelming.
  • Leave a piece of your unwashed clothing  with your dog.  Your familiar scent can be comforting.
  • Start out with short absences. Try 10 minutes to start, gradually increasing by 5 minutes increments. He’ll realize each time that “Hey, they do come back!”
  • Make your return as uneventful as your departure. Enter the house calmly and greet him but do not hug, make baby talk and generally display your guilt to him. After in the house for a short time, then you can play and have some fun.
  • Be sure to doggy-proof the house before you leave, for his safety and your sanity.
  • Another thing that proved to be effective to stop my dog separation anxiety is the ThunderShirt .  The shirt fits snugly on the dog’s body, creating a sense of security. The Thunder Shirt is also helpful for dogs with a fear of thunderstorms.  It worked well in helping one of my other dogs to get over her fear of the storms.

It may seem impossible at the moment but take it from someone that has been there; dog separation anxiety can get better with a little effort.  It’s worth your sanity and your dog’s happiness to try these dog separation anxiety solutions.

Dog Separation Anxiety (aka, I REALLY MISS YOU!)

There is hope for dog separation anxiety.

Dog separation anxiety can turn your home into complete chaos.  Life at Mostly Mutts is usually pretty hum-drum; same old sit, fetch, roll over, stay out of the trash. And for this I am generally thankful. It means all is well. No one is hurt, sick or in major trouble. But this was not always so.

Just a few short years ago, our black lab Jake suffered from major dog separation anxiety. We found Jake living on the streets in an inner city neighborhood. Our Vet. estimated him to be about a year old. Gangly and dirty, his paw pads were quite worn and his body sported some marks indicating he had most likely been involved in some dog fights. Whether human initiated or of his own doing, we don’t know. Because of the condition of his paw pads, we knew he was an outside dog.

Since we already had six canine residents at our house, our daughter Tina volunteered (after much coercion) to take him home. Within two hours of his taking up residence in her home, we received a call to please come get him, NOW! Jake is quite the alpha dog and as such, he deemed it to be a good idea to mark all walls, furniture and generally anything else that held still long enough. Tina has a gentle Golden Retriever named Joey and Jake knew it was important to let Joey know straight off who would be in charge. Isn’t it amazing how well urine conveys this message?

Once Jake was in our home, he never again urinated in the house, either accidentally or on purpose. He seemed quite content and sure he belonged here. All of our dogs obliged him in his alpha-ness. All was right with his world. That is until we his humans and subjects decided to leave the house without him. In comes the separation-anxiety. We took him to work with us on a daily basis but restaurants, theatres and such frowned upon his presence. And as much fun as it was to be with him, sometimes it was nice to get away for a while.


Upon arriving home from our first outing without our boy, we were greeted with much enthusiasm, wagging tail and body, and lots of slobbery kisses. But along with the good stuff, we also encountered woodwork that had been scratched and chewed, hardwood flooring that had deep gouge marks from his digging to get to the other side of the door and torn and scratched drywall. Separation-anxiety overload. What a mess! It seems our guy missed us. This behavior continued despite our efforts to control it.

We tried crating him while we were away (he escaped). We read behavior books, consulted our Vet. about medication and mostly just stayed home more and learned to live with destroyed walls and doors for a couple years. Jake is now seven years old and he has been pretty much non-destructive for several years. This mostly happened gradually as he realized we do come back. There are some dog separation anxiety tips we discovered that helped with Jake’s separation anxiety and I’ll share them with you.