Dog Care 101: Tip #166 – Doggy Behavior Decoded Pt. 2

Last week, Best Bully Sticks commemorated Memorial Day in our Dog Care 101 segment, but this week we’re back to the weird stuff! If you didn’t tune in two weeks ago, BBS Healthy Dog Blog talked about some strange doggy behaviors: where they come from and what they mean. This week we’ll continue with the funny dog behaviors and we’ll talk about actions like eating grass, sleep running, crazy tails and more!

1. Eating Grass: Chowing down on the green stuff could mean a couple of things for your dog. One of the reasons is a throwback to your dogs primal urges, all the way back to when his ancestors were wild. Dogs were once scavengers and would eat just about anything to fill their tummies including berries and other vegetation. So when your dog happens to go looking for an immediate answer to his growling stomach, grass might just be the first option.

You’ve probably also heard it said that dogs eat grass to help them throw up; to alleviate a hurting stomach. Usually grass only causes this reflux action when swallowed in gulps. The grass can cause a ticking sensation in the throat and stomach lining and help the dog vomit. This is usually sought out by a dog when they do have an upset or gassy stomach. The most important thing to remember when your dog eats grass is that is isn’t harmful in any way.  The only reason to be alarmed is if your dog really starts ramping up his grass consumption.

2. Sniffing Dogs or People: It’s something you’ve seen hundreds of times, dogs sniffing other dogs or people. What’s that all about? It seems really strange to us humans to get that close to a creature’s bum, but there are two coinciding reasons why dogs behave this way. One, a dog’s sense of smell is the biggest way they “see” the world. In other words, a dog’s sense of smell is their way of inputting important information about another animals. The place where dogs find that information just happens to be anther dog’s behind. That’s reason #2. Dogs have glands in their anus that store fluid which tells another dog everything they need to know about them; their gender, health, diet and even mood.

3. Running or Barking During Sleep: Have you ever heard your dog whimper or move his legs as if running, only to find that he’s lying down and sleeping? If you’ve ever thought your dog is dreaming, you’re absolutely correct. It’s been found that dogs have a REM sleep cycle very closely related to humans and if your dog barks or runs in his sleep, it’s most likely that your dog is having a great dream about playing or a great run!

4. Tails: Chasing & Wagging: Around & around he goes! Where he’ll stop, nobody knows! The truth is, there are a number of speculations about why your dog goes round and round chasing his tail. The most important thing to remember about tail chasing is that (as long as it’s occasional) your dog is most likely just acting out of boredom and playfulness.

For tail wagging there is a more definite answer, however a wag of a dog’s tail doesn’t necessarily mean the conventional “I’m happy to see you!” Yes, tail wagging can mean that, but it can also mean your dog is being aggressive or dominant. You have to remember that dogs are pack animals and their tails are like flags of communication. Knowing exactly what your dog and other dogs body language looks like is important to the way your react to them.

5. Humping: It’s not the most flattering topic, but neither have many of the topics we’ve covered in these two odd dog behavior segments. So why not tackle this one, too? Obviously, humping is a sexual action, but once a dog is spayed or neutered, why does this continue? And why does it happen for both genders? Humping can be a dominance behavior and occurs when dogs are trying to prove who’s the Alpha. Humping can also happen when dogs aren’t socialized properly or can also be a compulsive behavior and should be stopped as soon as dogs start acting out. 

6. Barking: This one is pretty simple, but it shouldn’t go unnoticed. Your dog is always trying to communicate with you and if you’re an observant dog mom or dad, you can usually figure it out. Barking can come from a place of anxiety where barking acts as a self-soothing technique and could be accompanied with whining. Barking could be a way to tell you something is wrong or that he wants you to pay attention to him. Barking can simply come out of excitement during play or when guest come over. Barking can also come out of boredom if your dog has excess energy and needs to release it some how. However, excessive barking may be a behavior your dog might need to be broken of by positive reinforcement conditioning.

We at Best Bully Sticks hope this two-part series will help you understand your four-legged friend a little better! Leave us a comment below to let us know the craziest thing your dog has ever done!


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