dog drink from toilet

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.

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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.

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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!

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  • 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.

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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.

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