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15 Ways to Understand Your Dog- (Awkward Dog Behaviors)

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Dogs are nothing if not entertaining, their goofy personalities and silly antics undoubtedly make you smile but they also have several unusual behaviors that make us scratch our heads with confusion.

If you want to learn more about your dog keep reading, here are 14 strange things your dog does and what they may be trying to tell you.

Why do dogs nuzzle you?

Imagine you’re sitting down on the couch watching tv and all of a sudden; your dog gives you a nuzzle.

Nuzzling is when your dog pushes or rubs its nose, face, or head against you. More often than not, dogs place their nose or face on you when they want your attention.

Your four-legged friend probably wants to be a pet or spend some time with you.

Dogs also nuzzle to show you affection and love

Dogs have scent glands on their face and nose when they rub against you they’re leaving their scent on you this marks you as their territory which means they really like you.

Why do dogs sit on your feet or between your legs?

Image source: Pixabay

It’s normal behavior for a dog to lay down at its owner’s feet, this may be a way of showing affection just as you would choose to sit next to a friend or a loved one.

Dogs are pack animals and they find the physical contact to be comforting and relaxing in some cases; your dog may choose to sit or lie down on your feet when they are in an unfamiliar environment.

This means they are fearful or anxious so they sit on your feet or between your legs for security and backing.

They are looking at you to protect them because they feel safe with you.

High pitched bark

A dog’s bark pitches can range from low to high, lower pitches tend to mark aggression, suspicion, or cautiousness while higher pitches usually show playfulness, excitement, or eagerness.

A high-pitched bark may also indicate a dog is in pain or scared, likewise dog play growls will sound higher pitched than aggressive growling.

Playful growling

Playful growling is often accompanied by relaxed and happy body language; signs such as play bow, bouncy movements, and tail wagging. Your dog is just having fun.

Destructive dog behaviors

Image source: Flickr

Destructive dogs who exhibit destructive behaviors such as tearing up furniture or carpet are often doing so because of stress, anxiety, or boredom.

Dogs are pack animals some dogs feel extremely anxious when they are left alone without their human and they chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety.

To help prevent separation anxiety don’t encourage overly clingy behavior, instead, develop independence by teaching your puppy to be on his own even when you’re at home and remember not to make a big fuss over your dog when you are leaving the house.

Another reason for a dog’s destructive chewing is boredom especially if they have unspent energy.

Destructive chewing is a dog’s way of keeping themselves occupied; your dog probably needs more play exercise and physical activity to work off some energy.

Keep in mind that young puppies who are teething often chew on things to relieve sore gums and soothe their teeth.

Read also: 15 Signs your dog is very happy and healthy

Urine marking

Some dogs mark their territory by urinating small amounts on vertical surfaces; usually while raising a leg, dogs use their urine to mark areas they consider to be their territory and to let other dogs know that they are present.

Urine also signifies the reproductive status of the dog and their ranking; both male and female dogs can have urine marks.

Dogs who aren’t neutered or spayed are more likely to mark than those who are.

Why do dogs kick their feet after pooping?

While it may look like your dog is trying to cover up its urine and feces, it isn’t.

By scratching the ground your dog is releasing the pheromones located in the scent glands of their feet, this is the main way your dog marks its territory.

Your dog wants the other dogs to know that this is their area and while you think that your dog might be sniffing another dog’s poop they are actually sniffing the pheromones.

Another dog has been left behind from kicking the dirt.

Head pressing

If you notice your dog pressing its head against the wall or another firm object there’s a need for your immediate attention.

Head pressing is a common sign of some serious problems such as toxic poisoning or damage to the nervous system; make an appointment with a vet right away.

Why are dogs scared of thunder?

Many dogs are afraid of thunder because they do not understand what it is.

Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening; it’s a survival thing to be afraid of loud noises and the need to find shelter.

Interestingly enough, some studies suggest that dogs experience an unpleasant tingling sensation from static electricity that is generated during thunderstorms.

This is because thunderstorms literally charge the air with electricity making it easier for the static build-up to occur in the coat of your furry friend

The feeling of static electricity tingling through their fur makes your canine feel uncomfortable, this can prompt them to run around the house whimpering, looking for places to hide.

Bowing

Have you ever seen dogs playing? they chase each other, jump on each other, run in circles, and sometimes mouth at each other’s face.

At some point, you may notice that they bow for a few seconds before jumping around. While it might seem like the dog is getting ready to attack, it is actually an invitation to play bow.

when dogs place their chest on the ground with their butt in the air; this playful gesture is a clear sign that your dog is excited and is trying to initiate play with you or another animal.

Why do dogs pee when excited or submissive?

Image source: Pixabay

Many dog owners mistake submissive and exciting urination as a house training problem; when they are actually involuntary behavioral issues.

During times of high excitement such as when you return home or a friend arrives at your door, your puppy may dribble or squirt small amounts of urine this is the canine equivalent of I’m so happy and excited that I peed my pants.

This behavior is particularly common among young exuberant dogs, interestingly enough, dogs also urinate in an attempt to communicate a submissive status to a person or animal.

Dogs have many ways to show submission to a person or dog that they consider to be dominant and thus avoid a confrontation.

One way is to produce dribbles of urine, likewise, if your dog is scared, shocked, suspicious, or anxious about their surroundings or the individuals around them, they may urinate.

In response to conveying that they are not a threat to help stop submissive urination avoid making direct eye contact with your dog and approach them from the side rather than head-on.

Sit on the ground to make yourself appear smaller and less threatening; don’t punish or yell at your dog.

Doing so might scare your dog which can make them continue peeing in submission.

Situations that trigger excitement in dogs

During situations that trigger excitement peeing, avoid interacting with your pet; when your dog becomes too excited simply stand quietly and turn away from your dog. Then wait for them to settle down, and greet them after they are calm.

If your dog starts getting excited, turn away again and let them settle down; Avoid eye contact

If you ever notice your dog is avoiding eye contact with another person or dog then it often means they don’t feel comfortable in their presence.

Dogs who are fearful or afraid will often look away as though they are avoiding something; you often see this if you scold your dog or when your dog encounters a dominant or aggressive canine.

Your dog will turn their head away and avoid looking at you or whatever is upsetting them.

Why do dogs pace around?

Image source: Stocksnap

A dog who paces back and forth is one full of anxiety, dogs often use pacing as a way to relieve their stress sources of anxiety and stress could be a variety of things such as trips to the vet, being left alone at home, thunderstorms, having to pee or poop, scary loud noises, or waiting for their pack member to come home.

Why do dogs drag their butt along the floor?

Your dog dragging their bottom on the ground is also known as scooting and it is almost always a sign that something is irritating your dog.

More often than not this irritation has to do with anal sac problems and while humans can’t really relate to it dogs have anal sacs located on both sides of their rear end that contain a foul fishy-smelling liquid.

Each time a dog defecates, a small amount of the scent is emptied from the sack.

Dogs use these scents to communicate with other canines or signals to other animals, these anal sacs can become blocked, inflamed, or abscessed.

This is why dogs start scooting, it is their attempt to relieve the pain and discomfort.

Other causes of dog scooting include allergies, parasites worms, or general irritation.

Why do dogs lick their crotch?

While crotch licking seems pretty gross to us, your pooch does it for a good reason they need to keep their private areas clean from dirt and discharge.

Normally your dog will only require a few licks to tidy up the area after urination or a loose sticky elimination.

Frequent or sustained licking of the private area may indicate a health problem.

Read also: 10 critical signs your dog is begging for help

Why do dogs hump?

When dogs hump it is not necessarily a sexual activity; humping can occur when dogs are over-excited such as during play. It’s just a way for the dog to burn off excess energy.

When a pillow or stuffed animals are the objects of your dog’s affection there’s a good chance the dog has simply gotten excited and overstimulated.

Dogs also hump other dogs and people to display social status or express dominance.

Your dog wants to show your guest or another dog whose pet rules the house.

Why do dogs howl?

Image source: Public domain

Howling goes back to the dog’s ancestral roots in the wild, dogs and wolves howl to announce their presence and make contact with other dogs.

They may also howl to tell other members of their pack where they are; in some cases, howling is a form of locating others so your domesticated pooch could be howling to beckon you back home most often.

Today dogs howl when they hear sounds that they perceive as a canine calling card such as an ambulance or police sirens believe it or not; these noises are on the same frequency level as their hearing and they sound like a distant howl to dogs.

So when a dog howls at a siren they are simply responding to their fellow helpers; other reasons for howling are to express anxiety or to attract attention.

Why do dogs twitch in their sleep?

Dogs dream during the rem stage of sleep and those twitches are responses to whatever’s happening in their dreams

Why do dogs dig?

Dogs dig for several reasons, they may be burying toys or bones to keep them protected from other predators they may also dig to cool themselves off.

On a hot summer day, pregnant dogs may dig a hole as a nesting instinct to make a home for their pups but more often than not, dogs dig to alleviate boredom or just for fun.

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