Many dog owners will agree that their dog does some pretty strange stuff. They chase their tails, kick the ground after using the bathroom, walk in circles before lying down, sniff other dogs’ butts, and stick their head out of the car window. Many of these things are learned behaviors from their ancestors, so let’s take a look at why dogs do these weird things.
Chase their tail
This is common for all dogs to do, but puppies are more likely to do it. Some people believe that dogs do this out of boredom, or to entertain their owner. The dog may not recognize its own tail, which will prompt him to chase. Upon catching it, the dog will realize that the tail is part of them. If you have an older dog that does this constantly, it could be a sign that something isn’t right and should be taken to the vet to be checked out.
Kick the ground after using the bathroom
Dogs do this as a means of marking their territory. They have scent glands in their paws, and the kicking motion releases them. A dog’s waste also contains pheromones, which doesn’t matter to humans, but to other dogs they are able to tell a lot about the dog that left it there. They can tell the age, health, and gender of the dog. Some people believe that kicking the ground is a dog’s way of covering up their scent from potential enemies. This is a trait that has been passed down from their ancestors. If your dog does this in unknown territory for them, it could be a sign that they are showing dominance to other dogs in the area. However, your dog’s pheromones could be showing that they mean no harm.
Walk in a circle before lying down
This behavior can be traced back to their ancestors. Dogs would walk in circles before lying down as a way to flatten the grass beneath them. This would also drive out any bugs or small animals that might’ve been hiding in the grass. It is also believed that dogs did this as a way to mark their territory. If another dog saw the flattened grass, they would know that it has already been claimed. Even though most dogs have comfortable places to sleep these days, the behavior still remains.
Sniff another dog’s butt
This is the dog’s version of shaking hands. A dog’s anal glands produce a strong odor and also contain information for the dog sniffing them. This smell is unique to each dog, so it’s the best way for dogs to identify each other. 33% of a dog’s brain is designed to process smells, which is handy for the dog since their sense of smell is powerful. If you own two or more dogs, they may sniff each other’s behind as a way to calm them. If one dog is stressed, it’s a way for him to calm down because of the familiar scent.
Stick head out of car window
Apart from feeling the breeze through their fur, dogs can gain a lot of information. Their nose is able to pick up many scents. Your dog may whine or whimper during a car ride, mainly so they can stick their head out of the window. Caution should be exercised as debris may get caught in their eyes, ears, and nose. Try to limit the amount of time and number of car rides that your dog goes along with.