Odd dog behaviors can be both endearing and infuriating.

A huge part of the fun in owning a dog is experiencing the full spectrum of their goofy canine conduct. Yes, it’s true – dogs are weird! They do stuff that just defies human logic. But why?

If you’ve ever wondered what’s really behind some of the strangest dog behaviors, the Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have a few explanations to help make sense of it all.

Why, Oh, Why?

Many pet owners are pleased as punch by their dog’s exemplary behavior. But that doesn’t mean cringe-worthy moments have entirely passed them by. Indeed, even the canine model citizens of the world have to answer to their base instincts.

Wherever you sit on the spectrum, we’d be willing to bet that you’re among other dog owners, well-versed in the world of butt-sniffing.

Speaking of Rear-Ends

Since we mentioned butt-sniffing, let’s dive right in to the epitome of canine behaviors. Because dogs have such an intense sense of smell, they go straight for the treasure trove that is another dog’s backside. There they can learn about the other animal’s gender, diet, lifestyle, overall health, level of stress or anxiety, and more. In other words, another dog’s bum is the source of all the interesting facts.

On a Roll

Now that that’s out of the way, what’s the deal with humping? Probably one of the most embarrassing dog behaviors, humping is a way for dogs to deal with stimulation overload or anxiety. It’s not necessarily sexual in nature, but it can definitely make pet owners (and other people) uncomfortable.

When they get overly excited about something, do your best to ignore any humping. Giving the behavior attention can reinforce it. Instead, offer something else to see or do to distract and redirect them, like a Kong or chew toy.

Stealing & Hoarding

Some dog breeds are more prone to taking and hiding things, but this behavior can surface in any individual. Some dogs will steal an object or personal belonging, like a sock, because they simply perceive it as a toy and want to play. Although this can result in chewing and ripping up the “toy”, they are just being playful.

Other stealing can be explained by a dog’s need for your attention. They take something from you in order to start a chase. Be warned: Most dogs know exactly the items they aren’t supposed to have in their mouths, and likely enjoy sparking a hot pursuit with themselves in the lead.

If your dog is a known stealer, it’s important to be careful about what you leave out. This includes medication, dangerous foods, and more.

Not Appetizing

Of the many other odd dog behaviors, eating something gross ranks pretty high on the list. Whether it’s another animal’s feces (or their own), rodents, or whatever else they can find, this is a fairly normal habit. That being said, however, it’s best to steer them away from certain things that can make them sick.

Dogs eat grass for various reasons. If they have an upset stomach, grass can jumpstart vomiting. Otherwise, some pups just like the texture and flavor and find it fun to munch on. It can also add some roughage to a diet lacking in that department.

Lovable Dog Behaviors

Not all dog behaviors are unsavory. What about chasing their own tails, sleeping all curled up, or when you get their scratch reflex going? There are loads of other wonderful traits belonging just to dogs, and the Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital love them even more for them!

If you are experiencing unmanageable behavior at home, consider learning more about our training program! Sometimes dogs just need some guidance and structure in order to learn desirable behaviors – it can also be a great bonding activity for you and your pet!