15 Odd Dog Behaviors Explained – Smart Dog Mom

Everyone knows that dogs are so cute and adorable, but what about those awkward moments you experience with your pet? If you’re anything like me, then I can tell you that there are many times where your dog will do something weird or embarrassing in public.

15 Awkward Dog Behaviors and What They Mean

weird dog behaviors and what they mean

This list is dedicated to explaining some of the more common and some more unusual feelings we have with our beloved pets.

1. Destroying things

Dogs that destroy things aren’t doing so because they’re bad – they’re usually just bored or trying to get your attention and it can be very difficult to understand why a dog is destroying something unless you know their motivations and triggers.

Some dogs have nervous or traumatic pasts, and chewing can help them cope with stress in a way. Others have learned that it’s a good way to get your attention when they’re unsupervised or bored. If you’re having issues with your dog destroying furniture, shoes, or other items, there are many solutions to try.

For chewers and diggers, it’s best to get a puzzle toy like the Kong that will keep them occupied. For dogs that are anxious, take them for extra walks and play with them at home.

Note that anxiety can also be a reason why a dog might bark uncontrollably during storms or other loud noises – if this is the case, give your dog more exercise and try to reduce their stress by keeping them busy.

2. Eating grass

Dogs have a natural instinct to eat grass, which is high in fiber and can help with digestion. However, sometimes dogs eat grass because they’re bored or it’s the only thing available to them, If your dog eats grass frequently.

It’s best to keep a close eye on him and see if he appears to have a stomach upset, but otherwise, it’s usually safe to let your dog get away with a grass snack.

3. Blinking at their owners

Dogs have limited facial control, so when they’re feeling affectionate or nervous, they may blink repeatedly at their owners.

This can also be a sign that your dog is stressed and needs to be reassured, so if you notice this behavior, try talking to your dog or petting him gently to see if he feels better; if your dog’s blinking behavior persists, it’s best to contact a vet or animal behaviorist for advice.

4.  Chasing Cars

Chasing Cars: Another common behavior among dogs is chasing cars. Regardless of their size, some dogs just love to chase them and bark at them as they pass by, which often appears to be a behavior that has no practical purpose.

If you find your dog chasing cars around, it is a good idea to try and get it interested in something else that could serve as an outlet of its energy.

5. Digging Holes

Digging holes is a natural dog instinct. When they start digging it helps the dog release pent-up energy, it’s their way of occupying themselves, and it’s also a way of relieving stress, boredom, and anxiety.

Dogs that have not been provided with adequate outlets to channel their energy will dig in anticipation of getting to play or chew. If you don’t provide your dog with enough things to do, they will create their own.

The only thing you can do to stop your pup from this embarrassing habit is to make them feel good about another activity like fetching a ball and praise them when they get the ball back to you.

6. Spinning in Circles

While this behavior is often seen as comical and harmless, it can also be a sign of anxiety or other problems. Prior to sleeping, dogs circle in their beds or around blankets to ensure they are comfortable (for nesting) or to work up their courage before going out.

However, if a dog is spinning in circles with no apparent buildup or bedding, this could be an indication that they’re feeling anxious or overly excited.

7. Tail Chasing

Just like with people, a dog will sometimes get very frustrated and start to follow its tail in circles. This is usually a sign that your dog is annoyed, bored, anxious, or distracted, but it’s nothing drastic or distressing.

As long as the dog is happy and healthy it’s fine to let your dog spend time doing this, just make sure it doesn’t bite its tail so much that it leaves a mark, otherwise you can redirect his attention with a chew toy or a stick in the yard.

8. Sniffing Everything in Sight

Another perfectly normal dog behavior is sniffing anything and everything. As humans, our sense of smell isn’t anywhere near as strong as a dog’s sense of smell.

A great example of this is when we walk into a house or apartment and notice that there’s a certain smell but can’t seem to pinpoint where it’s coming from. That’s because dogs can smell every single thing, not just one specific scent.

As long as your dog is healthy and happy, it’s completely fine to let it sniff everything in sight.

9. Eating Dirt

There is absolutely nothing wrong with what your dog is doing. All dogs eat dirt, and it’s completely harmless, however, some die-hard dog owners may feel the need to discourage their pup from it.

Regardless of what you think, dogs have been eating dirt for longer than you and I have shared the planet together.

Eating dirt provides some benefits to your dog, like relieving constipation, intestinal parasites, and other problems.

Dogs are actually more attracted to the soil that is rich with organic matter rather than sterile soil that has been treated to prevent growth.

10. Throwing up

Although this behavior may be a bit unsettling mainly because of the smell, throwing up is a normal process for an animal. When dogs throw up, there are many reasons that contribute to the behavior.

Dogs vomit for various reasons depending on the age, breed, and condition of their health.

For instance, older dogs may throw up more because they have more trouble digesting food while younger dogs may throw up because of some kinds of food that they’ve eaten.

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the dog’s eating habits and what types of foods seem to trigger the behavior.

It’s also important to note that dogs may vomit because of internal parasites, or may have megaesophagus, which makes it difficult for them to swallow food properly.

11. Drooling

Drooling is a common symptom for dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds. Some dogs drool more than others do, but the most common reason for drooling is that they are either very thirsty or have a dental problem such as gingivitis or tooth decay.

While they may look cute while they drool, you should be aware that this behavior can sometimes pose a health risk to your pet.

12.  Dog Whining and whimpering

Whining and whimpering Dogs whine and whimper to communicate many different emotions with their owners.

This can be an indication that they’re hungry, need attention, or just want to play, however, it is important to note that some whining is a sign of nervousness and stress.

It’s important for dogs to develop a good relationship with their owners and to get all the exercise they need to avoid this behavior.

13. Tilting their head

Tilting their head to one side when listening to you Dogs are able to process a lot of information through their ears so it’s important that you’re clear and concise when talking with them as they can become confused easily.

This is particularly important when training a dog as there needs to be a clear message on what they should be doing otherwise they will get confused and frustrated, leading to problem behavior.

14. Biting the leash

Dogs must learn to walk on a leash, and this is something that a lot of them struggle with. Especially if they’re young or have never learned how to walk by themselves before.

If you find that your dog is trying to bite the leash it may be time for them to get a refresher course in how to walk on a leash.

To prevent your dog from biting the leash ask your veterinarian for advice as there are many different options available which can be very successful in preventing biting.

15.  Rolling in Gross Things

Dogs and cats both enjoy rolling in things that are stinky, disgusting, or just icky and every dog will do this to an extent it’s a sign of the dog having a natural instinct to roll around in things they find interesting.

It’s also a great way for them to mark their territory or store some of their scents.

Learned the above-mentioned weird behaviors so far? Let us know in the comment about some awkward behaviors from your dog? We’d love to hear. Thank you for reading.

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Dog trainer, Author & Life coach at SmartDogMom.com

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