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6 Bad Things Good Dogs Do (And How To Stop Them)

“Dogs do not chew and destroy your house and belongings because they are angry, jealous or spiteful,” Semel said. “They may be lonely, bored, frustrated or anxious, but they are not malicious or vindictive. Active puppies can become restless when alone for long periods. Chewing is a form of stress and energy relief.”

As much joy as our dogs bring to our lives — and there are so many joyful moments — owning a dog does come with its own set of *OMG* moments where you might get just the tiniest bit frustrated with them.

But that doesn’t mean all is lost.

To help make sense of some of the mayhem that comes with dog parenthood — like excessive barking, or that intense separation anxiety — The Dodo spoke with Shelby Semel, head trainer at Animal Haven rescue in New York City, for some insight and advice on how some dog training can fix bad behavior.

So let’s jump — appropriately jump — right in:

1. Constant Barking

According to Semel, the first step to stopping constant barking is to diagnose it. “Play detective and find out WHY the dog is barking,” Semel said. “It is important to fix the problem, not just put a band-aid on one symptom.”

There are a variety of different reasons why your pup might be barking, including:

  • Alert barking
  • Attention barking
  • Frustration barking
  • Playful/excited barking
  • Territorial barking

And figuring out which one it is — which you can do by assessing the context and circumstances around when your dog’s barking — will help you when trying to stop it.

The one thing Semel always suggests when combating barking? Exercise! “Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise — both mental and physical. An under-stimulated puppy is more likely to bark. A tired puppy is less likely to exhibit problem behavior barking.”

Keep in mind that some barking is going to happen — like playful barking — and it’s just part of living with a dog. On the other hand, if your dog is seeking your attention by barking nonstop (to the point where you’re about to get kicked out of your apartment), Semel does suggest some tips.

“Start by turning your back on your dog or getting up and leaving the room,” Semel recommended. “These are very clear-cut signals that barking is getting the OPPOSITE of what the dog wants; he’s losing out on the opportunity to receive your attention.”

Once your dog stops barking, you can mark his good behavior with a quiet “yes” before redirecting your pup’s attention to other things, like other commands or play.

“Be consistent. If your dog can sometimes get what he wants for barking (i.e., you throw the toy, or put down food/water), it will be a reliable strategy and he will keep trying!”

When it comes to other kinds of barking, like territorial or alert barking, Semel suggested trying to catch the behavior before it even starts. “Many dogs stare at the door, go stiff, ears go up, etc.,” Semel said.

When you see the pre-bark signs, distract your dog to take his attention away from the situation — and reward him when he stays silent.

2. Digging

When it comes to digging, there can be times when it’s a good thing. “You can choose to encourage the digging, which is great energy relief, on a towel in their bed by hiding some treats in it and putting it on cue!” Semel said.

By using treats and cues — cues are another word for commands — you’re controlling when and where your dog digs.

If it’s on your furniture or somewhere else destructive, you can simply catch your pup in the act and distract him. “Interrupt the unwanted digging behavior if it's your backyard or couch or somewhere inappropriate and then redirect onto another activity,” Semel advised.

3. Begging

Those "can I have a bite?" puppy dog eyes might be the cutest thing in the world, but if it gets to the point where you can't have a single meal without a full-blown guilt-fest, it might be a problem — especially when the holidays roll around and you have guests at the table who might not love the attention.

The best way to stop your pup begging for food like he’s a furry Oliver Twist? IGNORING!

“Ignore ignore ignore!” Semel said. “Turn your body away from the dog.”

Semel also mentioned that problem begging usually will get worse before it gets better — so try your hardest to not give in when those big puppy eyes and whimpers start to intensify.

“Try not to get into this habit in the first place by not feeding your dog from the table or even paying attention to them at the table,” Semel recommended.

Another way to be proactive, according to Semel, is to teach "place" and encourage them to eat their own bone or play with an interactive toy there during mealtimes.

4. Chewing

While chewing is one of the more destructive dog behaviors, it’s also totally normal — especially for puppies.

“If you have a puppy, expect chewing,” Semel said. “Provide him with his own toys and teach him to use them or he will destructively chew anything available, such as your furniture, carpet, clothing or shoes.”

This especially happens during your puppy’s teething phase, and should stop over time.

But when your dog is chewing well after teething, it might be for a different reason.

“Dogs do not chew and destroy your house and belongings because they are angry, jealous or spiteful,” Semel said. “They may be lonely, bored, frustrated or anxious, but they are not malicious or vindictive. Active puppies can become restless when alone for long periods. Chewing is a form of stress and energy relief.”

To help stop this, make sure your dog is getting in the right amount of both mental and physical stimulation — and ensure you have enough toys and bones for him to chew on.

To help save your house while you’re training your dog not to chew inappropriately, make sure he doesn’t have unsupervised free time until you can trust him. “Give him a containment area — or crate — of his own where he can enjoy himself and relax when you are not home or are unable to supervise him,” Semel suggested.

5. Jumping

When it comes to jumping, it’s important to nip this bad behavior during puppyhood, because that’s when they’re most likely to do it — and when you’re most likely to love it and accidentally enforce it.

“If we give them the attention they desire then we are accidentally rewarding the puppy for jumping up,” Semel said. “Eventually, most of us decide we no longer like our puppy jumping up to say hello — usually when the puppy gets bigger and more rambunctious. What used to be cute is now rude and even dangerous if the puppy is jumping up on children or the elderly."

“Our inconsistency perpetuates the problem,” Semel said. “Some of the time we tolerate the jumping and ignore it. Other times we reward the behavior by exchanging enthusiastic greetings.”

What this means is in order to truly stop jumping from happening, you need to stick to the plan consistently — same as with any dog behavior correction.

Semel suggests turning your back on your dog when he jumps up, or taking a step backwards. “Provide them with an alternate behavior — try to get them to ‘sit.’”

“Reward them with a calm hello when they are sitting or at least have all four paws on the floor,” she said.

6. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety isn’t just troublesome — it’s also sad. Of course you hate the feeling of knowing your pup is filled with stress and anxiety when you’re away, but it’s also unrealistic to think you’ll never leave your home without your dog.

To help work on this, Semel suggests first tiring your pup out before you leave — it’ll help drain some of that energy.

Next, you’ll want to help your dog develop an association between being alone and good things — like yummy treats and bones.

“Every time you leave the house, you can offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with high-value food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish,” Semel recommended. “This should be the ONLY time your dog gets this. When you get home, what is left is picked up and taken away.”

Semel also suggests not greeting your pup for at least five minutes when you get home, making sure he’s calm before you say hello — and making sure your own hello isn’t overly excited (no matter how happy you secretly are to see him).

Of course, being a dog parent comes with some typical parenting issues — but stopping bad dog behavior doesn’t have to be unpleasant. These tips should help, but if your dog still doesn’t seem to be improving, contact a dog behaviorist for individualized advice.

5 Things Dogs Chase and Why

26-12-2014 · Why do some dogs freak out over someone on a skateboard and others don’t? Listed below are five, more or less, common items dogs tend to chase and why. 1. Smaller Animals. This can be attributed to a high prey drive. There are many, many breeds that were specifically designed to flush out small animals such as rabbits, gophers, otters, etc ...

26-12-2014

Usually chocked up to a high prey drive, most dogs will chase after something; a tennis ball, a Frisbee, or a stick. What makes a dog think they can catch something bigger, like a motorcycle?

Why do some dogs freak out over someone on a skateboard and others don’t? Listed below are five, more or less, common items dogs tend to chase and why.

1. Smaller Animals

This can be attributed to a high prey drive. There are many, many breeds that were specifically designed to flush out small animals such as rabbits, gophers, otters, etc. DNA runs deep in these breeds and most of them can’t help but chasing that squirrel, frog, chicken or even the family cat. Sometimes it’s the thrill of the chase, once the dog has captured its prey, they can let it go. More often though, a dog is so in tuned with the hunt that they need to finish what they start, to the very end.

2. Cars/Bicycles/Motorcycles

The thrill of the chase and the speed of the prey; two probable reasons some car chasers lie in wait for the roar of an engine. This incredibly dangerous past time has resulted in injuries of both driver and dog. Usually a dog who chases cars will give up the chase as soon as the car stops. In the case of motorcycle or human power-driven transport (bicycle, skateboard, in-line skating etc.) it is more likely the dog will continue the chase with biting and nipping once the vehicle has stopped. This behavior needs to be dealt with as soon as possible before any injury takes place. Contact a professional trainer for advice on how to curb the behavior.

3. Tails

Owners who watch dogs chase their tails, giggle and laugh. While it does seem rather silly, the reason behind it is anything but. Dogs often chase their tails out of boredom or anxiety. In the case of boredom, the incredibly intelligent dog needs constant mental stimulation. Give the dog a job, teach him to fetch the morning paper or herd the cat. Get him involved in competitive sports, something to keep him active and alert. The tail won’t be so appealing if there is something else occupying his thoughts. If it is an anxious dog, talk to the vet about available options to ease the dog’s nerves.

4. People

There are several reasons a dog will chase someone. A territorial chase may happen when someone unfamiliar comes to the door, or walks past the dog’s territory. The dog may give chase, nipping at the heels of the intruder. There is also the play chase. Dogs take turns chasing each other in a pack. It is primal good fun. Running after someone and catching them, is self-rewarding. A stranger walking past your house, however, may not find being the target of a running, snarling dog so amusing.

5. Laser Beams

Some dogs could care less about obtaining that little bouncing beam of light. Others become obsessed with it. The laser dot that zips and zooms around the floor and up walls stimulates a dog’s prey drive and they will follow after the elusive orb. There is no fulfillment at the end of the chase, however. Most objects that are chased are eventually caught. Studies have shown that some animals that pursue laser specks may become obsessed, to the point of anxiety.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs do that? You know, that thing your dog does? Here we tackle some of the more common, often perplexing, dog behaviour traits and strange habits.

Why do dogs do that thing they do? You know, that weird thing. That funny thing they do with their head, nose, feet, eyes, ears, tail.

Actually, for lots of dog owners, wondering why their dogs do some of the things they do is a great learning opportunity not just to understand the basis of their own dog's quirks and foibles, but to understand more about canine behaviour in general.

So we've put together a nice little list, covering some of the most common 'why do dogs...' questions we've received through the years.

If you've ever wondered why dogs wag their tail (it's actually not what you might think) or why dogs tilt their heads, read on.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Here we tackle the most frequently posed canine questions as requested by K9 Magazine readers.

Why do dogs drink out of the toilet?

According to the American Kennel Club, the most common reason why dogs drink water from the toilet is: “that the water in the toilet bowl is often fresher and cooler than the water in your dog’s water bowl."

Dogs have some pretty gross habits and drinking out of the toilet is one of them. To us humans, toilet water is gross and full of germs but to dogs, toilet water can sometimes be more refreshing if it's cooler and once they've done it once, hey, they're dogs - they pick up habits quickly.

The toilet gets flushed a lot of times in a day. The constant flushing oxygenates the water and the porcelain bowl keeps the water cool.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs pant?

Sophia Catalano, DVM of PetMD explains: "Panting is a normal behaviour for happy and active dogs. It helps dogs cool themselves down because they can’t sweat as humans do."

Panting allows a dog to rapidly inhale, humidify, then exhale the air, which increases the evaporation of water from your dog’s nose and lungs. The evaporation of water cools the body from the inside out.

Although panting can be a normal behaviour for a dog, it can also signal an underlying medical issue. When in doubt, call your Vet.

Did you know: Dogs pant through their paw pads and nose to help them regulate their temperature in a bid to keep cool. Find out how to help your dog beat the heat & stay safe

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs eat poop?

In our very own guide to explaining why dogs eat poop, the key takeaway that explains this (disgusting) behaviour is that dogs inherited the behaviour from wolves and, simply. because some dogs are really greedy.

Dogs have always been scavengers. They'll eat roadkill as readily as their suppers. Household rubbish, pond muck and dead sparrows on the lawn are no less appetising to certain dogs.

A dog's digestive process tends to kick into action the moment they sniff something with a pungent smell and, as we all know, dung certainly does smell.

Poop-Eating Tip: Veterinarians sometimes recommend adding garlic or canned pumpkin to a dung-eating dog's food. Assuming that it's his own dung that he's attracted do, these ingredients may give it a taste he dislikes - although it's hard to imagine that anything could make it taste worse than it already does. This isn't a perfect solution, but it does work for some dogs.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why does my dog lick me?

Dr Emily Blackwell, lecturer in companion animal behaviour and welfare at the University of Bristol: "The foremost functions: dogs lick you to say hello and gain attention. It’s essentially a social behaviour that comes from their evolutionary history. It’s a greeting and can be taken as a compliment.”

However, the reason dogs instinctively carry out this behaviour is less sickeningly cute and more just a bit sickening.

“Puppies generally learned to lick their mother to greet her and also encourage her to get food. The mother will then regurgitate material for the pup to eat."

Why do dogs eat grass?

Vets Now: "Many dogs eat grass simply because they enjoy the interesting taste and texture of grass. Other theories include fulfilling their natural omnivore instinct and relieving boredom."

"Eating grass is a common behaviour in dogs and in many cases, a dog eating grass isn’t a major cause for concern. In truth, there is no single reason why dogs eat grass."

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs shake or tremble?

Fetch by WebMD: "Dogs shake and tremble for all kinds of reasons -- excitement, pain, old age, even nausea."

"Shaking, shivering and trembling may be symptoms of something serious -- like poisoning, kidney disease, or injury."

"So, if your dog suddenly starts trembling or shivering, it's important to take note of other symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, or limping. Then talk to your vet right away."

Pure Wow: "A solid sign of a canine ear infection is a constant head shake. The habit can develop slowly (a few shakes here and there) and progress until your pup shakes her head frequently to ease the discomfort."

Why do dogs howl?

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): "Howling is one of many forms of vocal communication used by dogs."

"Dogs howl to attract attention, to make contact with others and to announce their presence. Some dogs also howl in response to high-pitched sounds, such as emergency vehicle sirens or musical instruments."

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs wag their tails?

Not all dog tail wags mean what you might think.

The tail position is an important indicator of social standing as well as the dog's current mental state.

And there’s often little difference between a happy and excited wag and a nervous wag of a dog that’s about to snap.

The main reason a dog wags its tail is to communicate. Whether it's with other dogs, people, squirrels, the dog is using their tail as a way of indicating what they are feeling at a given moment.

Dogs can't talk, but they communicate their feelings and intentions through body language. The dog's favourite way of doing this, with humans and other dogs, is via their tail.

Why do dogs sleep so much?

Kayla Fratt, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant: "It’s normal for dogs to spend about 50% of their day asleep. Another 30% of the day is spent “resting,” while dogs are active by just about 20% of the day."

"Most dogs will sleep whenever there isn’t anything better to do. Sleeping is generally the best way to spend long, tedious hours."

Understanding dog sleeping patterns is useful because sleep is as vital to a dog's health as it is to other mammals.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs have whiskers?

Professor Emeritus Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc., FRSC of the University of British Columbia: "The reason that dogs have whiskers is that their whiskers help them to "see" things that lie under their noses or come close to touching their head."

"They do this by detecting very faint vibrations caused by changes in air currents and thus they act much like a personal set of radar detectors."

Why do dogs dig?

The Humane Society of the United States: "If your dog is leaving craters all over your yard, it's important to know your dog isn't doing it out of spite or a desire to destroy your landscaping; more likely they're seeking entertainment, attention, comfort, escape, prey or protection."

Why do dogs lick their paws?

Veterinary medicine worker Jenna Stregowski, RVT: "It's normal for dogs to lick their paws occasionally, but excessive paw-licking may be a sign of a health problem."

"If you think your dog's paw-licking is abnormal, the first step is to determine if there is a health problem with the paws. Dogs often lick their paws excessively if they are itchy, irritated, or painful."

K9 Magazine: "Some dogs tend to obsessively lick as a result of a behavioural pattern. Conditions such as separation anxiety, canine compulsive disorder (CCD) or simple boredom or stress can be the primary causes of feet chewing in dogs too."

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs circle around before peeing or pooping?

Chris Nichols of Yahoo News: "Turns out it's because they're trying to align with the Earth's magnetic field, according to new research by in the Czech Republic and Germany, Frontiers in Zoology.

"Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions."

Why do dogs chase their tails?

Cesar Millan, a Mexican-American dog behaviourist: "Oftentimes, dogs will chase their tails because they are a bit bored; it’s a way for them to have fun and expend some energy."

"This is especially true for puppies, who may not even realize that their tail is actually a part of their body, but see it as a toy. Generally, as the dog age, this kind of play dies down."

If he is receiving positive attention from you by engaging in the act of chasing his tail, it may cause him to do it whenever he wants you to take notice and play with him.

If you notice your dog really going after her tail a lot and trying to nip at it and chew on it, you may want to schedule a trip to the vet. Sometimes dogs will chase their tails because they are being bothered by worms or fleas or experiencing some other kind of medical issue.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Why do dogs pee on car tires?

Patty Oelze of Wag!: "Dogs prefer to pee on things that are vertical, like poles, fire hydrants and tire wheels. When dogs pee on a vertical object, they’re putting their mark at nose level, which is much better than the ground."

"Leaving their mark this way communicates many things, but also how big the dog is. A vertical object will also hold a scent longer than the ground. A pee puddle in the grass will fade faster than a vertical object, like a tire."

Why do dogs love humans?

Ever stopped to wonder, does my dog really love me? You don’t have to be a behavioural scientist to see that there is something special about dogs. In fact, an excess of scientific training may obscure the facts lying in plain sight.

Can I get worms from my dog

Lying, for example, at my feet as I’m typing now; or later on the sofa beside me as I'm watching TV, writes Clive D. L. Wynne, a behavioural scientist at Arizona State University.

As I explain in my book ‘Dog is Love: The Science of Why and How Your Dog Loves You’, I spent a decade studying dogs before I realised that a simple truth about our canine companions – something that I had known as a child playing with my dog Benji, but which had become obscured by confusing scientific studies – explains their astonishing uniqueness. Dogs love humans because we've given them something that absolutely, perfectly suits their unique animal characteristics.

Read in full: Why do dogs love humans?

Why do dogs bark?

Unless you're the proud owner of a Basenji (the non-barking dog breed) there is every chance that once in a while your dog lets rip with a bark or barking session and you have no idea what they're trying to communicate to you, why do dogs bark?

Have they heard something you didn't? Do they need to go out?

Or are there aliens landing which we need to know about? Well wonder no more, we explain the common reasons behind 10 different dog barks...

Read in full: Why do dogs bark?

Why do dogs tilt their heads?

In our ongoing series on dog body language and, quite frankly, because our dogs just do some things that make us ask why? We take a look at the curious case of why dogs cock or tilt their heads to one side.

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

Come on, hands in the air, who hasn't laughed and giggled when observing their dog hear a strange noise and responded with a clockwise head tilt in their efforts to work out what's going on.

I'll bet there are even some of us who've gone out of our way to actually MAKE the noise that prompts the dog to cock its head. It's amusing to us. But why do they do it, why do dogs tilt their heads?

Read in full: Why do dogs tilt their heads?

Why do dogs chew their feet?

For many dog owners who've wondered why do dogs chew their feet, the query is born of frustration rather than mere curiosity. If you've witnessed your own dog chewing its feet it can be quite upsetting in cases where your dog is clearly healthy in all other ways but simply will not stop biting its own toes. So why do they do it?

Why Do Dogs Do That Thing They Do? (FAQs For Dog Owners)

When it comes to dogs chewing their feet, this is not all too uncommon a problem, but one that does require intervention and understanding.

Let's examine the various causes that lead dogs to chew their own feet and give you some solutions to try to help you identify the route cause of why your dog is chewing his feet and ways to help you help them to stop.

Read in full: Why do dogs chew their feet?

Do you have any 'why do dogs...' questions for us?

Hit the comments form below, we'll be happy to tackle your dog questions.

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  • What to do if your dog hates other dogs?

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    Editor’s Note: Twenty years ago, people freely used the term “aggressive dog” to describe what, today, we would call a “dog with aggressive behaviors.” The problem with the term “aggressive dog” is that very few dogs are aggressive all the time – and if they are, they are unlikely to be in anyone’s home. Most dogs who display aggression in some situations are loving and loved dogs in other circumstances; calling them “aggressive dogs” overlooks the fact that they are terrific dogs most of the time. Throughout this article, we may use the older, more familiar term, and we will add the modern term that more accurately describes a dog who sometimes displays aggressive behaviors. 

    Going for a walk with your dog may be one of your favorite ways to exercise and relax, but your pleasant outing can quickly turn into a stressful one if your dog reacts badly to other dogs and you happen to encounter one running loose. If the other dog is threatening or if you have an aggressive dog (a dog with aggressive behaviors), a dog fight could ensue, and the situation can become downright dangerous.

    Like most owners of antisocial dogs, Thea McCue of Austin, Texas, is well aware of how quickly an outdoor activity with her dog can stop being fun. Wurley, her 14-month-old Lab mix, is a happy, energetic dog who loves to swim and go running on the hike-bike trails around their home. But when he’s on-leash, he barks at other dogs, growls, and even lunges.

    Because Wurley is 22 inches tall and weighs 60 pounds, he can be hard to handle, says McCue. “When he pounced on one little 10-pound puppy, it was embarrassing for me and scary for the puppy and the puppy’s owner!” Indeed, introducing a puppy to a dog-aggressive dog may be one of the scariest experiences a dog owner can have!

    Why Are Some Dogs So Hostile Toward Other Dogs?

    If, like Wurley, your dog is reactive to other dogs, you are far from alone. Tense encounters between dogs are not unusual, as dogs who don’t get along with other dogs now seem close to outnumbering those who do. In fact, dog-on-dog aggression is one of the most common behavior problems that owners, breeders, trainers, shelter staff, and rescue volunteers must deal with. So what to do with an aggressive dog (a dog who is aggressive toward other dogs)?

    The major reason why dogs become aggressive toward other dogs, says Dr. Ian Dunbar, founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), is that during their puppyhood, dogs are often deprived of adequate socialization with other good-natured dogs. As a result, many pups grow up with poor social skills, unable to “read” other dogs and exchange subtle communication signals with them.

    Regular contact with playmates is necessary for dogs to develop social confidence. The popularity of puppy classes can be traced to Dunbar’s pioneering efforts to provide puppies with a way to experience this vital contact with one another. If puppies miss out on these positive socialization experiences, they are more at risk of developing fear-based provocative behaviors. Because dogs who show aggressive tendencies tend to be kept more isolated than their socially savvy counterparts, their anti-social behavior tends to intensify as they get older.

    How to Train an Aggressive Dog

    Fortunately, there is a way out of this dilemma. If your dog attacks other dogs, or just really doesn’t like other dogs, the good news is that new dog training techniques are being developed that can help you change your dog’s association and aggressive response to other dogs. Like McCue, who opted to take Wurley to “Growl” classes, you may find these training remedies can improve your dog’s manners so that you can feel comfortable handling him in public again.

    Although the techniques themselves may be new, Jean Donaldson, author of Culture Clash and founder/principal instructor for the Academy for Dog Trainers, says that they are solidly grounded in behavioral science theory and the “laws of learning.” Though different trainers design their own classes differently, in general, “Growl” classes are geared to teach dogs to associate other dogs with positive things, and to teach dogs that good behavior in the presence of other dogs will be rewarded.

    The first method commonly used in dog aggression training classes involves simple classical conditioning—the dog learns that the presence of another dog predicts a food treat, much as Pavlov’s dogs learned to associate the sound of a bell with dinner coming.

    Operant conditioning is also used to teach the dog that his own actions can earn positive reinforcement in the form of treats, praise, and play. Both types of conditioning attempt to change the underlying emotional that leads to aggression in dogs, rather than just suppressing the outward symptoms with punishment.

    Outdated Ways of Socializing Dogs

    This approach is a departure from the past; only a few years ago, most trainers recommended “correcting” (punishing) lunging and barking with a swift, hard leash “pop” (yank). Although this forceful method can interrupt an aggressive outburst, it seldom produces any lasting improvement—and it does nothing to change the way the dog will “feel” or react the next time he sees another dog.

    In fact, this sort of punishment often exacerbates the problem by sending the wrong message to the dog; he learns that proximity to other dogs brings about punishment from the owner! This can stress him more and cause him to behave even more aggressively. Teaching him to anticipate scolding whenever another dog is nearby is not how to calm an aggressive dog (a dog who displays aggression at other dogs).

    Punishment results in additional negative side effects. A dog who has been punished, just like a person who has been physically or verbally rebuked, usually experiences physiological stress reactions that make it harder for him to calm down. Also, when a dog growls at other dogs or shows signs of unease and is punished, the dog may simply learn to suppress his growling and visual signals of discomfort; the result can be a dog who suddenly strikes out with no warning.

    These are some of the reasons that behavior professionals like Dunbar and Donaldson now believe that it is absolutely necessary to eliminate all punishment and reprimands when dealing with a dog who is aggressive to other dogs

    Training an Aggressive Dog: 4 Components of an Effective Program

    In the most effective aggression-retraining programs, unpleasant or punishing training methods (“aversives”) are strictly avoided. Among other things, trainers who work with aggressive dogs (dogs with challenging aggressive behaviors) will often use a “Say Please” program. The basic premise is that the dog responds to an obedience cue in order to earn freedoms and privileges. These include meals, treats, toys, play, games, walks, and even attention and petting. The goal is to teach the dog to offer polite behaviors in order to obtain good things in his life.

    Meanwhile, the first step in specifically dealing with the dog’s aggression might merely be rewarding the dog for any behavior that does not involve fighting or aggression. His behavior is then modified through a planned program of:

    • shaping (reinforcing each small action the dog makes toward the desired goal);
    • desensitization (presenting other dogs at sufficient distance so that an aggressive reaction is not elicited, then gradually decreasing the distance);
    • counter-conditioning (pairing the presence of other dogs with pleasant things);
    • training the dog to offer behaviors on cue that are incompatible with aggression. 

    An example of the latter would be short-circuiting a dog from lunging by having him instead do an incompatible behavior (such as a “sit-stay”) while watching the handler. Eventually, the dog can even be trained to offer this behavior automatically upon sighting another dog. (“If I turn and look at my handler when I see a dog, I’ll get a sardine—yum!”)

    Another cornerstone technique, originally developed by behavior counselor William Campbell, is commonly known as the “Jolly Routine.” An owner is taught to use her own mood to influence her dog’s mood—when your dog is tense, instead of scolding, laugh and giggle him out of it.

    This same technique can work on fearful dogs. Make a list of items, words, and expressions that hold happy meanings for your dog and use them to help elicit mood changes. “The best ‘double punch’ is to jolly, and then deliver food treats,” says Donaldson. “The bonus to this technique is that it also stops the owner from delivering that tense, warning tone: ‘Be ni-ice!’ ”

    How to Socialize an Aggressive Dog

    The “Open Bar” is one exercise that might be considered an offshoot of the jolly routine, and it, too, makes use of classical conditioning. Here’s how it works:

    For a set period of time (weeks or months, as needed), whenever another dog appears, like clockwork you offer your own dog sweet baby talk or cheery “jolly talk” and a special favorite food never given at any other time. The “bar opening” is contingent only on the presence of other dogs; therefore the bar opens no matter how  appropriately or inappropriately your own dog behaves. Likewise, the “bar” closes the moment the other dogs leave – you stop the happy talk and stop feeding the treats.

    Skeptics may ask whether giving treats to a dog whose behavior is still far from angelic does not actually reward undesirable behavior. But behavior professionals explain that the classical conditioning effect–creating a strong positive association with other dogs–is so powerful that it overrides any possible reinforcement of undesirable behavior that may initially occur. The unwanted behavior soon fades in intensity.

    Another advantage of the Open Bar technique is that it can be incorporated into training protocols that are easy to set up, such as “street passes.” Street passes are also a means of using distance and repetition to desensitize your dog to other dogs. The final goal is for your dog to be able to walk by a new dog and do well on the first pass.

    All you need to set up a training session using street passes is the help of a buddy and her dog. Position yourself about 50 yards from a place where you can hold your dog on leash, or tie him securely to a lamp post or tree. Ideally, this should be on a street, about 50 yards from a corner, so your friend can pass through an area of your dog’s vision and then disappear.

    Your friend and her dog should wait out of sight until you are in position and ready with your treats. At that point she should appear with her dog, strolling across an area within your dog’s sight. As soon as she and her dog appear, open the bar and start sweet-talking your dog as you give him treats. The moment that your buddy and her dog disappear from sight, the bar closes and you stop the treats and attention.

    If your dog “goes off” (goes over threshold) when your friend appears with her dog, you are too close. Increase the distance and try again, until your dog can stay reasonably calm and take treats when your friend appears with her dog. Counter-conditioning works best if you can keep your dog below threshold, and very gradually decrease distance as you are successful.

    Similar sessions can be set up in quiet parks or out-of-the-way places:

    With your dog on leash, stand several feet off a path (or farther, if necessary to keep him below threshold), as your friend walks by with her dog, also on leash. Both dogs should have an appetite (don’t work on this right after your dog has been fed!) and you and your friend need to have really yummy treats in hand to help keep your dogs’ attention on you and to reward them for good behavior.

    Have your friend walk by with her dog. If your dog is able to maintain a sit without lunging or barking, repeat multiple times. (If your dog is over threshold, increase the distance between you and your friend and try again.) As training progresses, you will gradually reduce the distance necessary for your dog to react calmly with what Donaldson calls an “Oh, you again” response when the familiar dog passes by. Repeat the same process as new dogs are introduced into the equation.

    Growl Classes

    Naturally, the more dogs that your dog can interact with, the better chance he will improve his behavior. If the dog has bite inhibition (when he does bite another dog, the bites are not hard enough to break the skin of his victim), Donaldson believes the ideal solution is a play group of “bulletproof dogs” who are friendly, confident, and experienced enough to interact well with him. Unfortunately, this kind of play group is not easy for most owners to replicate on an as-needed basis.

    Donaldson says the second-best thing is a well-run “growly dog class” just for aggressive dogs (dogs with aggressive behaviors). One way these classes differ from regular training classes is that everyone in them is in the same boat, and therefore willing to work together to overcome their dogs’ behavior challenges.

    One of the most comprehensive programs is offered by the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California. Training director Trish King says MHS’s “Difficult Dog” class size is limited to eight dogs and progress proceeds in baby steps.

    “The first class is very controlled,” she describes. “We’ve prepared a small fenced area (using show ring gating) for each dog and the first couple of weeks we throw towels over the fences to prevent the dogs from making eye contact. By week three, the coverings have been removed. By the fourth week we have a few dogs in muzzles wandering around each other. The goal is to have the dogs remain under control when another dog runs up to them!”

    King says that proper equipment is part of the formula for success. Dogs are acclimated to wearing Gentle Leaders (head halters) for on-leash work and muzzles for off-leash work. Since muzzles can interfere with the dogs’ ability to pant, care must be taken not to let dogs become overheated while using them. No pinch collars or choke chains are allowed.

    “We’ve found that most people have already tried to use corrective collars, and they haven’t worked,” says King, “probably because of the lack of timing on the owners’ part, as well as the fact that these collars can set the dog up for identifying other dogs as a threat; they see an oncoming dog, while they feel the pain of the collar jerk, and they hear their owner yelling at them.”

    Changing this common scenario begins with teaching owners to keep the leash short but loose. Instead of punishing corrections, MHS instructors use a variety of exercises to train dogs to avoid conflicts.

    “We teach dogs to follow their owners, not to pull on leash, to watch the owner, sit, down, stay, and so on,” says King. “We also teach the owners how to massage their dogs, and how to stay calm and in control at all times. More than anything else, the class is to help owners control and manage their dogs.”

    Changing the Dog Handler’s Behavior to Manage Aggression

    Across the continent in Toronto, Canada, Cheryl Smith, who developed some of the concepts used at MHS, also believes that working with owners and dogs as a team is one of the most important components of her Growl Classes. One of the first things that Smith teaches owners is how to take a deep breath and relax about everything. Owners who remain calm are better able to pay attention to their dog’s body language and to observe what triggers aggression.

    Without special coaching, owners are likely to do exactly the opposite, thus making the problems worse.

    For example, if you anticipate or respond to your dog’s aggressive behavior by tightening up on his leash, you will reinforce his perception that he should be leery of other dogs. If you get upset when he lunges and barks, your emotions will fuel his tension and aggression. If you continue to punish and reprimand your dog after he has started to settle down, you will only confuse him and make him more stressed, because punishment that comes more than a couple of seconds after a behavior is too late – your dog will think he is being punished for being quiet!

    In contrast, the right approach utilizes prevention and early intervention. The dog must be prevented from repeating the problem behavior because every time that he does so successfully it will become more entrenched! Interventions may include moving to break eye contact, using a body block to prevent physical contact or to redirect forward movement, walking away quickly with the dog, giving a cue such as “Gentle” (open the mouth and relax the jaw) or “Off” (back away), and offering treats to defuse or interrupt tension interactions. 

    Dogs Learn at Their Own Pace

    Of course, there will be some dogs who don’t respond adequately to any dog-aggression training program. These may require a referral to a certified veterinary behaviorist who can prescribe appropriate behavior medications as part of the treatment arsenal. If you have an aggressive dog (a dog with aggressive behaviors), you have a responsibility to ensure his safety and that of others by taking appropriate measures, including the use of a muzzle when indicated.

    But no matter how serious your dog’s problem may be, Jean Donaldson advises keeping it in perspective:

    “In any discussion of aggression, it bears remembering that the bar we hold up for dogs is one we would consider ridiculous for any other animal, including ourselves. We want no species-normal aggressive behavior directed at any other human or canine at any time, of even the most ritualized sort, over the entire life of the animal? It’s like me saying to you, ‘Hey, get yourself a therapist who will fix you so that for the rest of your life, you never once lose your temper, say something you later regret to a loved one, swear at another driver in traffic, or yell at anyone, including your dog.’ It’s a tall order!”

    In other words, keep your expectations realistic. Then, if you stick with the program, the odds are you will end up pleased with the results, like Thea McCue. After completing their Growl Class course with trainer Susan Smith, owner of Raising Canine in Austin, she and Wurley are once more able to hit the hike and bike trails together again. Describing Wurley’s progress thus far, McCue says, “he warms up to other dogs much faster and rarely reacts to dogs while we’re running.” Although there remains room for improvement, Wurley’s days of pouncing on puppies are over!

    Why Does My Dog... Automatically Like Some Dogs and Hate Others
  • What are some weird things dogs do?

    Humping You’ve probably heard of dogs humping people’s legs or other dogs, but did you know that some like to hump other things as well? ...Utter destruction Maybe you come home from work to discover that your dog has ripped up the carpet in your bedroom. ...Butt dragging Did she seriously just slide her stinky dog butt across your new rug? ... More items...
    Things dogs do - Cesar's Way
Why Dogs Do The Things They Do

18-06-2015 · Why Dogs Do The Things They Do. All dog owners want to know why dogs do the things they do. But many times the answer lies within the human behavior, not the dog’s. This is especially apparent when discussing the difference between temperament and behavior. The difference between “temperament” and “behavior” can be defined in terms of the dog’s natural state versus learned …

18-06-2015

All dog owners want to know why dogs do the things they do. But many times the answer lies within the human behavior, not the dog’s. This is especially apparent when discussing the difference between temperament and behavior.

The difference between “temperament” and “behavior” can be defined in terms of the dog’s natural state versus learned behaviors. Yet, while these two terms have different definitions, they are not completely independent of one another.

Temperament = natural state
Behavior = action based on temperament

Sit, stay, down: learned behavior

A dog is capable of learning many things, both from mimicking other dogs and also by learning the commands it is taught by its owner. But a dog may be very well trained and still be unbalanced, just as a balanced dog may not be trained.

The communication and connection we have with our dogs through exercise, discipline, and affection is the foundation for maintaining a balanced dog. I am more concerned about a dog’s overall balance in order to prevent or correct problem behaviors than I am with the dog’s ability to answer basic commands, like sit, stay, come, down, and heel. So in order to correct their bad behaviors, you must first understand the dog’s temperament.

Temperament = state of mind

Your dog’s temperament is dictated by whether or not they are balanced. This has a lot to do with whether or not you are balanced yourself. Are you a calm-assertive pack leader? Are you projecting nervous or anxious energy?

A dog’s temperament can change based on the moment and situation, and then their behavior will change as well. This is about leadership and energy. A dog who is nervous may not listen to the commands you give; because his temperament changed, his behavior (listening to commands) changed along with it.

So in order to keep your dog’s temperament and behavior balanced, you must first keep your own energy in check. And by fulfilling your dog, his temperament will remain in a balanced state and, as a result, his behavior will too.

Have you noticed how your behavior affects your dog? How did you realize it?

10 Science-Based Benefits of Having a Dog

Dogs make us happier, healthier, and help us cope with a crisis—and can even help you get a date. Read on for 10 science-backed benefits of having a dog. 1. …

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Dog Behaviors - 10 Things Your Dog Does and What It Means

However, every now and then you must have been left wondering why is your dog performing certain actions and what is it that they are trying to say. Do not worry, you are not alone, every dog owner at some point of time is not able to figure out the reason behind their certain behaviors. And, this is exactly what we shall now help you discover – certain dog behaviors and what do they mean ...

Adopting a puppy certainly brings lots of happiness. The little things they do, they way they always walk behind you, look lovingly into your eyes, and their cute little yawns certainly melt your heart. However, every now and then you must have been left wondering why is your dog performing certain actions and what is it that they are trying to say. Do not worry, you are not alone, every dog owner at some point of time is not able to figure out the reason behind their certain behaviors. And, this is exactly what we shall now help you discover – certain dog behaviors and what do they mean.

Dog Behaviors, Things Your Dog Does and What It Means

Top 10 Dog Behaviors & What They Mean:

10. Brings you things

Did your furry friend bring you his favorite slobber-covered ball or his squeaky toy with its stuffing all coming out? If you just threw it away thinking your pup just wanted to play fetch, you need to think again. Perhaps you just missed understanding what your pooch was trying to convey. Chances are he is just bringing you these things as a gift. It shows he really loves you because he is bringing you those things that he needs and loves.

See also; A list of things you must teach your dog before a year old.

9. When he yawns

An otherwise simple yawn could mean so many different things. As you first must have thought and which could be the case is that your dog is tired. However, if your little friend yawned in front of unfamiliar people it may mean he is afraid or stressed. If he is yawning in front of you or other people he knows, then check if anyone else in the room yawned, as they may mirror the action. Yes, yawning is contagious for your furry friends too.

8. Harms your furniture

Everyone, of course, dislikes this action but you need to understand that there is a deeper meaning attached. If your puppy is nervous or untrained and is chewing on your furniture then this could be a sign of separation anxiety. If this is not the case, then it may mean they are bored and you need to make sure they get enough exercise and have a whole lot of fun.

See also; Your Dog’s 10 Most Obnoxious Habits And How To Fix Them.

7. One paw up in the air

Most people believe that when their pooch has one of their paws up in the air it means they are worried but this actually just reflects their concentration. If they have their head down and one paw up they probably are going to pounce on something.

6. Leaning against your legs

If he does it suddenly, when you are just moving around, then this could mean he is trying to reassure himself and feel safer. However, in a general situation, it means he wants some love and attention and just wants to be near you.

5. Climbs on your bed

If your furry baby just climbs on your bed and gets himself comfortable it may show that he is trying to claim it to be his own zone, but it means a lot more. It also shows he wants to be really close to you, all cuddled and loved. Surely you will never mind doing that.

4. Suddenly sits on your feet

Now, this could mean different things depending on the personality of your pooch. He might do this just to be really close to you, to feel comfortable after he has been away from you for long, show that you are his in front of other animals or people, or just can be reflective of his dominant personality. If you understand your pet well you will be able to figure out which interpretation fits the situation best.

This depends much on how exactly your dog is staring at you. If she is looking into your eyes with a normal expression it is one of the best ways she can show you her affection. If she stares at you without blinking when you are leaving home it shows a little separation anxiety and also the fact that she trusts you will come back.

2. Tongue flicking

Tongue flicking is when your dog extends her tongue straight out of her mouth and immediately retracts it. This signifies discomfort with some unwanted contact or some unfamiliar person that is making your pooch anxious. If your dog is very submissive then this could be her way of appeasing an even more dominant presence.

1. Hunches over

If you ever notice your furry baby hunching and trying to make himself as small as he can then it is very easy to understand that he is really, really scared. Chances are dogs that do this have been abused. So, if you notice your pet displaying such a sign ever, you need to be gentle with him and give him more affection and love.

See also; 10 Dog Breeds That Have Most Adorable Puppies.

Being aware of these different dog behaviors or signs and their meaning will certainly help you be a better dog parent. So, make sure you watch out for them and always react the way the situation demands.

50 Types Of Dog Behavior And What They Mean To You

07-06-2018 · Maybe he hears a new noise or smells something interesting. Either way, he is ready to play detective. Animal Channel. Source: Animal Channel. 9) Loose floppy tongue. If her tongue is hanging out, she is feeling chill. This dog behavior is a sign nothing is wrong in …

07-06-2018

Have you ever been around your dog and wondered what they are thinking or feeling? Surely you have caught your canine doing something bizarre that has made you question yourself. Here are 50 types of dog behavior explained in human terms for your benefit.

One of the most adorable things your dog does is give you those big puppy dog eyes. Though most people melt and reward this cuteness with a treat, this is your dog’s way of saying he loves and trusts you. (I’m sure he will appreciate the tasty morsel too!)

2) Awaiting your approval

If you find Fido looking at you before he is about to do something, this means he respects and desires your opinion. He understands you are in charge and does not like to upset you.

3) Squinting or blinking of the eyes

This means your pet wants attention and is ready to spend quality time with you. If you notice this dog behavior, check yourself. Have you been too busy to show her some love today? If so, make some time. It’s good for both of you!
You will notice even low maintenance dogs have a need for your attention. Here again, intense staring is not her way of being creepy. This dog behavior means she just wants your affection.

5) Tongue out studying you

If you caught the opposite sex doing this to you, you might call the police. When a dog does this, it’s a sign they are relaxed, happy and mellow. This is usually their expression after getting the attention they crave!
Who doesn’t want to be the focus of a loved one’s attention? If you have a dog and he is making intense eye contact with you, he is focused on you and you alone. He is very alert to your expressions and what you want from him.

7) Open mouth with relaxed tail but high ears

If you catch your dog like this, it means she is neutral, relaxed and secure in her surroundings. If you are wondering when the best time to approach a strange dog is, it is when they are doing these things.

8) Straight pointed tail and forward ears

In this situation, your best friend is curious about something within his environment. Maybe he hears a new noise or smells something interesting. Either way, he is ready to play detective.
If her tongue is hanging out, she is feeling chill. This dog behavior is a sign nothing is wrong in her world and everything is O.K.

10) Baring teeth, ears back and snarling

This one is obvious; however, it never hurts to remind people what an angry, aggressive dog looks like. If you encounter this, your dog is feeling threatened and giving warning to the enemy. Do not approach a dog in this state. Even if he is angry at something else, you run the risk of being bitten.
It’s play time! If your dog starts with a low bark and it gets higher toward the end, he cannot contain his excitement and he wants to play a game with you!
Have you ever noticed dogs howl at the most annoying times? Usually when a dog hears a high-pitched sound, like a siren or train whistle, they howl back. It is unclear if this is because they are annoyed, or it is causing their ears discomfort.
If a dog is doing a low growl, she’s anxious and fearful. Any scared animal is unpredictable. Do not surprise her when her nerves are getting the best of her.
If your dog is sleeping with all his limbs sticking up in the air (resembling a dead bug) he is submissive and vulnerable. Not all dogs sleep like this, but if yours does he is a laid back independent pup that feels secure in his surroundings.
Dogs don’t usually sleep on their sides for long, but it is a typical napping position for them. Dogs who do this often have strong familial bonds and a lot of trust in their “pack.” She is probably a carefree happy dog.
When a dog is sprawled out and laying on his belly, he is probably an energetic animal that has finally crashed. Most often puppies sleep like this, it allows them to pop back up and resume play time when they awake!
When a dog is passed out completely, laying on her back with her limbs drooping across her body, there is a good chance she is overheating. This dog behavior is the best way for her to lay to cool off. If both paws are draped across her chest, she is saying “leave me alone.” Dogs need their beauty sleep too!
A dog sleeping on his belly with his paws either underneath him or out to his sides is not getting good quality sleep. In this position dogs can’t reach REM sleep because their muscles cannot fully relax. Gentle, shy dogs usually sleep like this.
When a dog’s paws are underneath her and her tail is wrapped around to her face, she is probably cold. This position allows her to keep as much heat in as possible. If you were to visit a wolf den (not recommended!) you would see them sleeping like this. If the dog is not cold, she could be apprehensive.
It’s so cute when you see two dogs sleeping back to back! It’s even sweeter when they sleep back to back with their owners! A dog will only do this with one of his “pack” members that he 100% trusts.

21) Wave your paws in the air like you just don’t care

If your dog is either standing or sitting and has both paws raised, she cares! This dog behavior means she is probably trying her best to concentrate.
If your dog brings you a gift, whether it’s a dead animal or your shoe, they are trying to make you happy. If your reaction is “ew” but you smile, I doubt he will be offended.
When a dog wants to snuggle up after a big meal, she is very comfortable with you.
Some people allow their pet to lick their faces while others get grossed out if they even lick their hands. Either way, when a dog licks you he is being submissive. This dog behavior means he is easing some of his stress and showing you love.

25) Going crazy when you get home

“Finally, you’re here! I missed you all day!” If he could talk this is what he’d be saying or shouting rather. The wilder they get when you walk through the door the more excited to see you they are.

26) Helping himself to you bed

Ever come home to find your dog laying in your empty bed? This is a sign she wants to feel close to you when you were not there. Your bed has your scent, and well, it is rather comfortable.
Leaning against you is a cry for attention. He is probably feeling neglected and wants some extra love.
This must be the cutest thing any dog can do. Dogs do not know how cute they are being when they do this, they are trying to hear better. When they tilt their head, they are adjusting their outer ear, so they can better focus on where a noise is coming from. This dog behavior means she is being curious!
We are going from the cute head tilt to the disgusting butt sniff. Why do they do this? A dog sniffing a butt is the equivalent of a human shaking a hand. They are saying, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you.” They are also trying to get to know the other dog or person they are sniffing.
You may laugh at your pup for chasing something he will likely not catch. More so, if he does catch it, it is going to be painful! Puppies do this because they do not realize the thing they are chasing is already theirs. Other dogs do this when they are in a confined space or feeling bored. Check you dog for fleas or have his anal glands checked if he does this regularly, it could be a sign of a problem.
If your dog starts running around like a wild animal after she gets a bath, she probably hates being wet and is trying to dry off. She also may be relieved it’s over!

32) Staying right by your side

Most of us find this dog habit annoying and an invasion of your personal space. You must remember your four-legged family member is innately a pack animal, and desires to be close to his “pack.” That’s you!
If you ever come home to a couch that has been completely ransacked, your pup has separation anxiety. Most dogs get over this eventually, but in the meantime, take the time to walk him and get some of his energy out before you leave him alone.

34) Low front, mouth wide open and wagging tail

If this happens when you two are playing, it means he is truly having fun and enjoying himself. This dog behavior means he is bowing to you as a thank you!
Likewise, when your dog makes like a rocking horse and moves from front to back, she is enjoying the current activity and wants it to continue.
Your dog knows when you are upset, and he most likely wants to comfort you. They have their own ways of doing so, but if you are upset and he is sitting near you watching you, licking you or resting his head on you he is letting you know he is there for you. Dogs can read our body language and they don’t like it when we are upset!
Every dog owner has wondered why dogs do this and if it is normal. The good news is, it is normal. The bad news is they are lacking a specific nutrient in their diet, trying to improve their digestion or maybe trying to treat intestinal worms (worst case scenario). If it is a hot day, they may just be dehydrated.
This one is very repulsive, but don’t worry he will survive! Dogs do this to keep their “territory” clean. They may eat their own, or other dog’s feces because they don’t want to poop where they eat. Mother dogs eat their puppies poo to keep them clean. Just because they won’t get sick does not mean you must let them do this!
This one is funny until they are doing it on the carpet! If you see your dog dragging his behind across the ground, he may just have a dirty butt he is trying to clean. This could be an indication of worms or an anal gland problem so keep an eye on him.

40) Hanging out a car window

This one is very common. She is taking in her surroundings and enjoying the plethora of new scents.
Another cringe worthy dog habit: humping someone or something. Take comfort knowing there is nothing sexual about it, dogs do this to show dominance.
When your dog joins you and your significant other in bed and tries to take up all the space, he trying to feel like part of the pack. I promise he is not trying to be annoying intentionally!
By sitting on your feet, she is essentially marking her territory. She may be acting out of insecurity and trying to reinforce that you are there for her.
This is a common behavior of a previously abused or attacked dog. By hunching over he is making himself small and unnoticeable. This dog behavior means you should make sure you are patient and gentle with him.
She needs to be comforted if her tail is wagging super quickly with a short range of motion. She is feeling anxious and slight discomfort.

46) Fast tail wide range of motion

On the flip side, if her tail is going crazy but has a farther range of motion she probably wants to exercise and has lots of energy to burn!
This is a sign of boredom. Save your yard by making sure your dog gets daily exercise in the forms of fetch or walks!
If a dog’s ears are pointed forward, she is focused on something right in front of her. She could be feeling a range of emotions; curiosity, fear, excitement or something else entirely.
Sometimes when a pooch sees something the interests him, he will raise a paw. This dog behavior means he may also be hungry or in the mood to play.
Dogs yawn for the same reason people do. She may be bored, tired or she may have “caught” the yawn from you.

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We will never 100% know what our furry friends are thinking, but hopefully, now you are a bit closer to understanding the subtle and not so subtle clues they give you.

Source: Animal Channel

25 Incredible Things You Never Knew Dogs Could Do — Best Life

17-07-2019 · From UV vision to the seer-like ability to predict earthquakes, most dogs have inherent skills that, truthfully, are more like magical powers. So, sure, you might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks. But given these 25 incredible things they can do, …

17-07-2019

Everyone knows that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Beyond the standard repertoire—sit, stay, shake, fetch, roll over—it's natural to assume Rover is kind of limited to being little more than a very furry, very cuddly best friend. Well, such an assumption is woefully incorrect.

As it turns out it, your dog is basically a bona fide superhero. From UV vision to the seer-like ability to predict earthquakes, most dogs have inherent skills that, truthfully, are more like magical powers. So, sure, you might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks. But given these 25 incredible things they can do, you won't have to.

small dogs live longer than big dogs things you never knew dogs could do
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It's no secret that dogs have an amazing innate sense of smell. But did you know they can use their sniffer to detect cancer cells? That's right: Dogs can be trained to "identify people that are affected with certain cancers, such as breast cancer and some skin cancers," according to Samantha Devine, a veterinarian and lifestyle expert at Money Done Right.

In fact, a 2019 study published in the Experimental Biology journal revealed that dogs can use their highly evolved sense of smell to sniff out cancer in blood samples with an astonishing 97-percent accuracy rate. It's essential to note, however, that dogs aren't born with this skill. They have to undergo special training.

dogs noses are a lot more sensitive than humans things you never knew dogs could do
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Not only can they detect certain cancers, but dogs can also be trained to keep tabs on the insulin levels of their owners; they possess a practically supernatural ability to detect certain biochemical changes that occur within a person's body. "Dogs can also smell biochemical changes that indicate a diabetic person has low blood sugar, and can be trained to identify people about to have a seizure from low blood sugar," Devine says.

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Though experts still don't know the exact moment that a dog can sense pregnancy, the American Kennel Club (AKC) says that dogs, thanks to their acute senses, are relatively quick to pick up on major changes in your body and emotions. And, more likely than not, after they sense that you're pregnant, they'll become extra protective and more likely to bark at any potential threat (read: fellow strangers in the park).

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Ever notice that your pooch starts acting weird before a big thunderstorm touches down? Well, according to Li-ran Bukovza, the founder of Puppy Tip, a dog training and behavior advice website, that's because your dog can sense storm clouds moving in before you see them.

"There are several possible explanations for this, the most likely being that dogs have a stronger sense of smell and hearing, which makes them more sensitive to changes in the atmosphere," Bukovza says.

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"Dogs are able to detect when earthquakes, tornadoes, lightning storms, and other hazardous weather are about to come through the area before humans notice any changes in their surroundings," Bukovza notes.

There's no universally accepted theory as to why dogs can sense earthquakes, but the AKC hypothesizes that it's due to dogs' inherent ability to detect P-waves—or the faster, weaker seismic waves that occur before an earthquake really gets going.

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Aside from using their noses to sniff out scents, dogs also use their cutest body part as a watch. As Alexandra Horowitz, founder of Barnard College's Dog Cognition Lab, told NPR, dogs use their sense of smell to tell what time it is.

"Smells in a room change as the day goes on," she said. "If we were able to visualize the movement of air through the day, what we're really visualizing is the movement of odor through the day… The dog, I think, can smell that through the movement of that air through the room."

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According to Devine, your canine pal can not only measure lengths of time, they can also tell the difference between quantities of objects. "Studies, like a 2013 one published in the Learning and Motivation, have been done on dogs telling the difference between the length of two identical sounds, and the dogs were able to be trained to trigger each of the sounds," says Devine. "Your pooch can also tell the difference in quantities, with them being able to be trained to pick the larger quantity of an item."

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Contrary to popular belief, dogs see more than 50 shades of gray. In fact, they can see many of the same colors humans can. "Dogs can actually see color," says Devine. "But it tends to be in shades of blue and yellow because they lack the red and green cones, which are color receptors in the retina." This might also explain why, as any dog owner can attest, pups like yellow toys more than red ones.

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Though dogs can't see the full spectrum of color that humans can, Devine points out one way in which their vision is superior: They have the ability to see UV light and radiation, meaning they can see shades beyond what the naked human eye can see.

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Next time you feel frustrated at your dog's indecisiveness about choosing where to go to the bathroom, know that they're not trying to vex you—they're trying to make sure they pick the perfect spot. According to 2013 findings published in Frontiers in Zoology, under "calm magnetic field conditions," dogs chose to "excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis," rather than bother with the east-west axis.

little girl hugging dog in winter things you never knew dogs could do
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According to Steffi Trott, the owner and head dog trainer at SpiritDog Training in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it's fairly easy to train your dog to remember specific places. You just have to bust out the doggie treats.

"Dogs are really good at learning the names of places and then going there when told," she says. "Try it with your own dog: Put a treat into your kitchen, then take your dog to the hallway and tell them to, 'Get your treat from the kitchen!' Repeat it a couple of times, then move to the next room. Your dog will be very motivated to listen and learn; they know there are treats waiting at the end of the game!"

dog smelling owner things you never knew dogs could do
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Leave your dog alone in the house all day, and they'll be able to use their nose to figure out what you've been up to. "Dogs' noses are extremely sensitive," says Trott. "Not only can they recognize us by scent alone, but they can also tell whether we are sick, what and when we last ate, and even where we have been during the day (from the smell of our shoes and clothing)."

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Trott points out that canines are adept at figuring out how to catch a scrap of food in nearly every situation. "Show [your dog] a delicious treat, then hide it under a plastic cup," she says. "Dogs come up with a variety of solutions for this game, such as knocking the cup over with their nose, using their paw to push it away, or even lifting it up with their mouth."

Woman Rolling Up Yoga Mat things you never knew dogs could do
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"Every dog can unroll a towel or yoga mat," says Trott. Don't believe it? "Take a mat and have it lying flat on the ground. Now put a treat at one end and flip the mat over once, as if rolling it up. Put another treat there, then roll it once more. Keep going until the whole mat is rolled up. Now your dog can unroll it. He will earn a treat for every turn the mat takes as it unrolls. This is a great party trick."

dog and toddler things you never knew dogs could do
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There's no way your dog can best you in a game of chess (or checkers), but they can probably outwit your two-year-old. According to a 2009 study presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention in Toronto, researchers discovered that dogs could understand around 165 words, including signs, signals, and gestures. Do you know any toddlers with a vocabulary that large?

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Unlike their humans, dogs have the ability to see in the dark due to wider pupils and eyes that are equipped with light-sensitive cells called rods that help them see more adeptly in low light. "But a dog's secret weapon in his ability to see in the dark is the part of the canine eye called the tapetum lucidum," according to the AKC . "The tapetum acts as a mirror within the eye, reflecting back the light that enters it, and giving the retina another opportunity to register the light."

study finds dog owners are happier than cat owner things you never knew dogs could do
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Next time you're sad, look down. Is your furry pal next to you? Ten bucks says they are—because, as revealed in a 2018 study published in Learning & Behavior, dogs can sense human emotion. Researchers showed dogs a range of human emotions—including anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and disgust—and catalogued their reactions. For some, they cocked their head to the side. For others, they exhibited signs of increased anxiety. Regardless, the end result was clear: Canines can pick up on your feelings.

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Matt Wilson, a neuroscientist who studies memory and learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told PetMD that dogs, just like humans, dream during shuteye. However, unlike human REM, dogs probably visualize fewer psychadelic supernatural occurrences and more everyday happenstance.

"The dream experiences can be traced back to real experiences," Wilson said. "It's memory that's being used to synthesize the content of the dreams."

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You'll never admit it—and we'll never share it if you do, of course—but, if you're a human to multiple pets, you probably have a favorite, right? Well, you might want to but the kibosh on such feelings. According to a 2017 study published in Current Biology, dogs are more than capable of sniffing out inequitable treatment. (Fascinatingly, the researchers suggest such behavior can be traced back to to "the evolution of cooperation in dogs and wolves.")

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According to 2017 study published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Spot is spot-on at identifying those who might be on Santa's "naughty list." The researchers found that dogs sized up those who "refused to help their owners" in a negative light. On the other hand, dogs were much friendlier with people who they believed to be kind or gentle. (Yes, a dog's scale of moral relativity is not dissimilar to a human's.)

Newfoundland things you never knew dogs could do
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Newfoundlands, a breed of dog hailing from Canada, are equipped to survive the elements of their particular home region. As Dogtime points out, Newfoundlands are born with webbed feet and water-resistant coats to better help them hunt for fish—and play in the water—all day long.

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Yes, dogs curl up in a ball to keep warm, but they also assume this sleeping position as a form of self-protection. "When dogs sleep in the wild, especially where it's cold, they'll dig a nest and curl up into it," Dr. Margaret Gruen, DVM, a clinician at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Behavior Service, told VetStreet. "It also protects their most vulnerable organs in the abdomen from would-be predators." In other words, if you see your pooch sleeping in a sprawled-out position, that just means that they feel safe and secure in their environment.

Portrait of an adult Spanish Greyhound dog things you never knew dogs could do
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With top sprinting speed of 65 to 75 miles per hour, the cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet, without question. But the greyhound—which, according to a BBC Earth video investigation, runs in the same exact style as a cheetah—is no slouch, either: It can hit speeds of nearly 45 miles per hour.

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Researchers have long concluded that a bloodhound's nose consists of approximately 230 million olfactory cells, or "scent receptors," which is about 40 times that of a human. According to PBS, because of this, bloodhounds can often trace scents that date back as far as 300 years ago.

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Whether or not you believe in the supernatural is beside the point: Some folks suggest that dogs are preternaturally attuned to it.

"There have been countless stories of dogs reacting strangely in certain settings, only for their owners to later learn of supernatural activity there," says Bukovza. "If you ever take your dog to a supposedly haunted house, you may notice [them] cowering, barking aggressively at something you can't see, or refusing to enter certain rooms. It's believed that because of their superior senses, dogs have a stronger connection and ability to see or feel the presence of the supernatural than humans." Okay, then! And for a look at some wacky supernatural events that are 100-percent real, read about these 30 Urban Legends That Are Totally True.

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9 Shocking Things Dogs Do In Their Sleep

22-12-2019 · Here are the 9 shocking things dogs do in their sleep that stress out new dog owners.

22-12-2019

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So, you got a new four-legged family member and you’ve noticed some weird things going on while your new canine friend is sleeping. Do not be alarmed.

Although these things can be an indicator that your dog is in pain or is having some other health issues in some situations, be assured that the probability is that everything is okay. Normal to the experienced dog owners and dogs themselves (unaware of the situation), some things your dog does while sleeping are just downright strange.

Here are the 9 shocking things dogs do in their sleep that stress out new dog owners.

1. Shiver

However it may sound strange, brainwave patterns of sleeping dogs and people are pretty much the same.

Dogs pass through the same series of sleep cycles as humans.

They also have vivid dreams occurring during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage, which, according to some experts, may vary from the size of your pet.

Allegedly, the frequency of REM cycles occur depends upon the size of your dog: small dogs may have dreams every 10 minutes but large dogs have fewer dreams that last longer. This is when your dog’s legs start twitching and his eyes darting around behind closed lids.

Relax, everything’s fine. All mammals dream and when they enter REM sleep, a section of the brain stem kicks in to partially paralyze their muscles. Thankfully, this prevents them from physically acting out their dreams. Shivering is no cause for alarm.

2. Cry

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Crying also occurs during the REM sleep, the deepest stage of sleep.

However this stage may be deep, it’s the one in which you pet becomes active.

It’s important to remember not to wake your dog up when they cry in their sleep, no matter how tempting it may be or how worried and sad you may be.

REM sleep is an indication of healthy brain growth, and it will occur less and less as your pup grows older. Nightmares are a beneficial thing actually, because they serve to help us avoid dangerous situations during the day and help us get rid of our fears, at least partially. Dogs are no strangers to this.

3. Bark

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This one may be the most annoying one for the dog owner.

Your beloved pet is just dreaming, and sure, it may be a bad dream but it also may be a good one.

Not all barks are bad; remember that that’s the way canines communicate, among other ways.

Sure, your pup may be dreaming about defending from a vicious predator but it also may be dreaming of nice things like play time with other dogs, chasing birds and greeting you at the mere glimpse of your silhouette down the street. Like in most cases, just let your dog dream, the barking (although annoying) will stop shortly.

4. Twitch

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During sleep, dogs go through three stages: NREM (non-rapid eye movement); REM (rapid eye movement); and SWS (short-wave sleep).

Like in the SWS stage of sleep, when dogs breathe heavily, the REM stage also has particular movements to it. In this stage your four-legged friends act on their dreams by twitching or moving all four paws.

Dogs that stretch out when they sleep are more relaxed than those who sleep all curled up, so they are more prone to twitching in their sleep.

Twitching in their sleep can be funny and cute to the owner, but also stressful if the owner doesn’t know what’s going on. Your lovely family member is probably dreaming of running freely and having fun, so there’s no need for worry. It has been noticed that young puppies and senior dogs tend to move more in their sleep and to dream more than adult dogs, for reasons yet unknown.

5. Growl

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This occurrence is not as annoying as barking, because it’s not as loud, but it’s not the most pleasant of all “dog dreams” side effects.

Dogs mostly dream about their favorite activities.

Although most people understandably associate a growling dog with an aggressive dog, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Sure, growling can be an “unmistakable warning sign” that tells other beings to “back off,” but canine specimens can also growl when they’re frightened or defensive and they also often engage in play-growling.

Do not be afraid that your pooch has an alter-ego developing in their sleep. Everything’s a-okay.

6. Shake

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Shaking takes a bit more serious note. There are many possible reasons of your beloved canine shaking in their sleep.

These reasons can range from completely normal dream state to a serious, life threatening condition.

If you think that your pooch has the case of the later, take him or her to the vet.

The mere sight of your beloved dog shake during his or her sleep is disturbing for the dog owner, and mostly because they are unsure of what is causing it and whether or not the dog is in pain. The safest way to find out of course is to get a checkup.

There are several health conditions that cause a dog to shake during sleep: the non-alarming Rapid Eye Movement (REM), and the health-regarding Epileptic Seizures and Ballistocardiogenic Tremor.

7. Muscle Spasms

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Muscle spasms during sleep are not pleasant for dogs as they’re not pleasant for humans.

When it comes to our four-legged friends, they happen because of bad dreams, and they are totally normal.

However, if they get really bad, you should consult your vet.

You should also take a moment to think did you feed your dog anything new lately, and has he or she been eating before bedtime? If the answers are “yes,” then take the food into consideration as a reason for the muscle spasms. It’s maybe what they’re eating that is causing the nightmares. If it can happen to humans, it can happen to dogs, but check with the vet to be on the safe side.

8. Kicking

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Kicking is a side-effect of your dog’s dreams.

During a dream, the brain cuts the connection to the parts that control movements in order to stop the dreamer from physically acting out the dreams, and thus quite possibly, keeping the body safe.

But of course, that disconnection isn’t perfect. It’s the same things with dogs as it is with humans.

You probably noticed that your very own legs twitch as you start to dream. Dogs also have the same mechanism, so a kick or two are not alarming, despite the fact that they may seem strange and shocking to the watchful human eye.

However, if the movements get excessive and a lot more aggressive than before, maybe your dog’s disconnect mechanism is faltering or maybe he’s just getting more deep sleep and dreaming more. If your pet is getting hurt in the process, consult a vet.

9. Sleep Run

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The most shocking and unusual of all doggy things regarding sleep, sleep running is the most normal one of them all.

It is important for the owner to restrain himself or herself from waking the dog up, because it can cause a slight chaotic moment in the pet’s brain.

Sleep running is a perfectly normal thing dogs do while in the REM stage of sleep.

Your dog is running freely in the safety of his or her own mind, and there is no need to be alarmed. It’s just the case of the above mentioned “disconnection.” Owners who have more experience with dogs love this sort of thing so typical for dogs, because it’s usually a really funny, cute experience. Of course, try not to laugh so loudly, so your beloved pooch won’t get an unpleasant, distressing wake-up call.

Why Dogs Do Things They Know are Wrong

08-10-2019 · Why does my dog _____ when they know it’s wrong? No matter what you fill in the blank with, the short answer to this question is that they don’t. Dogs don’t understand concepts of right and wrong but it’s easy to see why we could think they do. The notion that dogs understand wrongdoing stems from two basic reasons. One is that we assume the training we give our dogs is assimilated by them as a set of …

08-10-2019

If you look at the search phrases most often used to learn about dogs and their behavior, the following could serve as a template for many of them:

Why does my dog ________ when they know it’s wrong?

No matter what you fill in the blank with, the short answer to this question is that they don’t. Dogs don’t understand concepts of right and wrong but it’s easy to see why we could think they do.

The notion that dogs understand wrongdoing stems from two basic reasons. One is that we assume the training we give our dogs is assimilated by them as a set of understandable rules:

  • Don’t pee in the house.
  • Don’t chew on my shoes.
  • Don’t take food from my plate.

The second reason is that as human beings we are programmed to see and read faces. Facial recognition is part of our neural architecture and is one of the reasons why we see faces on toast, in clouds, and in colonies of mold. No matter the object, human, fungi, or canine, we automatically assign human emotions when to these faces, even if we are looking at a piece of toast.

Dogs don’t Understand Rules

Most dogs are perfectly happy with toileting inside the house. If we want them to do their business outside, then when have to train them to do it. Successful training, hopefully utilizing observation, management, and reward, end up with a dog that toilets outside not because it understands it as a rule, but because we have made it more rewarding to go outside than in.

If, all of a sudden our dog starts having accidents inside the house it’s not because they are willfully breaking a known rule. Something has changed in their environment that makes going indoors a necessity or more rewarding than going outdoors.

Dogs’ Facial Expressions are not a Humans’

We think because we can recognize when our dogs are happy that we can recognize other human emotional counterparts. But the fact is that the facial expressions and body language of a dog, while they may resemble those of a human have different meanings.

The biggest example I can find is the misnomer of the “guilty dog.” We’ve all seen the videos of guilty dogs splashed across the internet with the dog looking like a kid with their hand caught in a cookie jar. But the fact of the matter is that those looks have nothing to do with guilt. They are simply using their body language to communicate they are ill at ease with the scolding human, camera, and all the other environmental cues that make them uncomfortable. No matter how much their facial expressions and actions resemble ours, the concepts of guilt, wrong doing and spitefulness are just not in them.

It’s our pre programmed need to see ourselves in other things that leads us to make assumptions about our dogs that aren’t true. Remember that when it comes to dog behavior we are not teaching rules, we’re giving better options.

Read the latest articles:

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - Discover What They Mean!

Another strange thing that dogs tend to do is: go crazy after a bath, roll around, lick themselves excessively, etc. Not only does this defeat an owners attempt at cleaning a dog , but it can also cause confusion and turn the cleaning process into an incredibly unenjoyable experience for everyone involved.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do
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Our dogs are faithful and intelligent animals. And even though they sometimes do things we don't quite understand, we love them nonetheless. Although, most people don't know that most of the weird and funny things that our dogs do are supported by reasonable explanations.

Do you want to find out the real reason your dog sometimes does weird and wonderful things? We do! That’s why here at AnimalWised we have chosen to discuss 10 strange things that dogs do and why.

You may also be interested in: 10 Weird Things that Cats Do

Have you every noticed that when you scratch your dog, especially on its belly, its back legs twitch. Many people find this to be quite funny and lovely and assume it's a signal of enjoyment from the dog. However, the reason dogs shake or kick their legs when you scratch them: is because they have a scratch reflex. This scratch reflex is reactive when the animal feels a tickle or something that causes irritation on the skin. When this happens, the dog's nerve endings send signals to its hind legs to ¨get rid of¨ the itch, they then move their legs involuntarily and spontaneously.

Many people believe that this might not in fact be great for a dog, especially after knowing that they kick their leg as a reaction to irritation. If this is really the case, we suggest moving the scratching process from their sensitive belly area to another spot. This way we can ensure they are truly comfortable.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 1. Why do dogs kick when you scratch them?

Although many people find this action somewhat humorous, the truth is, in reality, an itchy tail isn't funny or enjoyable for dog. If a dog bites its tail, it means that something is bothering it, such as: parasites. In addition, if a dog is biting its tail excessively, it can lead to self-harm and worsen the primary cause. If your dog is biting its tail obsessively, we suggest taking consulting your veterinarian as soon as possible.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 2. Why do dogs bite their tail?

Another strange thing that dogs tend to do is: go crazy after a bath, roll around, lick themselves excessively, etc. Not only does this defeat an owners attempt at cleaning a dog, but it can also cause confusion and turn the cleaning process into an incredibly unenjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Most importantly, dogs do not like the smell of shampoo. Therefore, after a bath, a dog will try everything it can to try eliminate the smell. Another reason some dogs do this is because they feel that when they are clean they are easier to ¨spot¨, and they would rather feel somewhat camouflaged.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 3. Why do my dogs go crazy after a bath?

There are two main reason why a dog bites its tail:

  1. Boredom: They are bored and are looking for a way to entertain themselves. This is incredibly common in puppies, who sometimes don't even understand that the tail is in fact attached to its own body.
  2. Obsessive compulsive disorder: This second reason is more alarming and needs to be attended to. If a dog excessively chases their tail due to such a disorder they can severely hurt themselves. This condition may be caused by genetics or stress. Either way, if you notice that your dog is chasing and biting its tail excessively, we recommend going to a vet as soon as possible.
10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 4. Why do dogs chase their tail?

It is very common to see that your dog might scratch the ground repeatedly after defecating. This scratching usually happens around the stool itself. There are two reasons that dogs do this. The first reason that may explain why a dog scratches the ground after pooping, is hygiene. By kicking dirt onto the poop, they attempt to cover up their mess. The second reason dogs have this habit, although somewhat strange, is to spread their smell through their legs which are full of odoriferous glands. This is done with the objective of marking their territory and making it clear that they have been there.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 5. Why do dogs scratch the floor after they poop?

This is one of the most common behaviors in dogs. Dogs roll around the ground because its nice and pleasurable for them. For example, you might notice that if it is very hot, a dog might roll on the ground to cool itself down. Rolling around on different textured materials also simulates a type of massage for dogs and can also alleviate any present itching. Another reason why dogs roll on the ground is to get the attention of their owners, therefore, if you think this might be the reason, give your dog some love and affection!

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 6. Why does my dog like to roll around in the ground?

We must not forget that dogs are instinctual. Dogs in the wild turn around before lying down to check the perimeters for any dangers. This action is now habitual in dogs, despite where they were born or come from. Another reason dogs carry out this action is to mark the space where they are sleeping, stamping down on any ¨twigs¨ or uncomfortable floor matter. In some serious cases, dogs may perform this task excessively as a symptom of excessive compulsive disorder. In this case, we suggest consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 7. Why do dogs turn around before lying down?

Even if it seems strange to any human who sees action taking place, it is one of the most normal behaviors apparent in dogs. But why do they do this? Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, so when they approach and smell each others bums, its to gather information about each other.

But, what kind of information do dogs acquire by doing this? More than you could even imagine, including: diet, gender, emotional state and more!

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 8. Why do dogs smell each others butts?

The howling of dogs can be fascinating, or very annoying, depending on how long it lasts. Are you wondering why dogs howl? Well, there are several reasons why dogs so this. Some dogs howl or bark to warn that danger is near. Other times, dogs howl in celebration as their owners return home, as a demonstration of happiness.

However, beyond these above mentioned reason, some dogs often howl as a way to demonstrate physical pain. Therefore, you must be aware of when and how a dog howls, if you believe it is because of an ailment of sorts, we recommend going to your vet as soon as possible. In some cases, dogs may even howl as a symptom of separation anxiety. This howling will most likely begin as soon as you leave the door.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 9. Why do dogs howl?

Have you ever seen your dog dragging its butt across the ground? This is most likely a sign that your dog is suffering from intestinal parasites. These parasites generate discomfort and fill the anal glands, causing an itching sensation. If you notice that your dog is dragging its butt along the ground we suggest consulting your vet. A professional can determine the exact cause of this action and treat it accordingly. This symptom, although funny at times, can be very serious and therefore should not be overlooked.

10 Weird Things Dogs Do - 10. Why do dogs drag their butts across the floor?
Why Is My Dog Doing That? 9 Weird Dog Behaviors and What ...

We all love our furry friends, but there’s no denying they can be pretty weird. Maybe they have a thing for digging, like to roll in

dog with odd behavior

We all love our furry friends, but there’s no denying they can be pretty weird. Maybe they have a thing for digging, like to roll in smelly things, or insist on making a nest of any nearby blanket. You may wonder, why does my dog bury his head in me? Maybe they attack the vacuum or demand to be tucked in with your bathrobe. While some of their strange behaviors might just have no explanation, we can shed some light on others that are more easily explainable. Here are some weird things dogs do explained…

1. Chasing Its Tail

Tail-chasing is often playful, especially if your dog is young. Many dogs chase their tails because they’re getting to know their bodies, see it as a chew toy, or because it’s a nervous habit. However, if your dog does it for long periods of time or frequently it can cause an injury or mean something more serious. Take your dog to the vet to get checked out if they’re chasing their tail frequently to rule out a medical issue.

2. Spinning in Circles

This behavior may seem funny and can sometimes be harmless, but can also be a sign of medical issues, anxiety, or other problems. It’s normal for dogs to circle in their beds or around blankets before sleeping to ensure they’re comfortable (nesting), or spin in circles before going to the bathroom. Visit the vet if your dog spins frequently, particularly if it’s elderly—spinning could mean a memory, hearing, vision, or neurological issue—or if your dog spins in stressful situations, it signals anxiety.

3. Running Around After Pooping

Running five months old staffordshire bull terrier young female

The jury’s still out on this one, but there are a few theories. Your dog might be marking its territory, as dogs have scent glands in their paws (this also explains kicking after pooping, which many dog owners assume is covering up the mess).

Or, they might just feel free and relieved so they get the dog zoomies. We might not ever know, but puppy zoomies are nothing to worry about.

4. Eating Poop

The question has long puzzled dog owners everywhere—why do dogs eat poop? Because it seems so gross to us, we can’t possibly understand why our dog friends would want to do it. It could be a learned behavior, but also a sign that they’re lacking nutrients.

Traditional kibble often doesn’t contain easily digestible ingredients and dogs may not be able to fully absorb the nutrients in their food. So, if they’re eating their poop, it can be an attempt to regain those nutrients.

Read more or watch our video with expert nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton to learn about why your dog might be eating poop and how to prevent it.

5. Rolling in Gross Things

It’s happened to a lot of us—enjoying a nice walk with our dogs until we happen upon a pile of something disgusting and they just have to roll in it. What makes a dog want to roll in garbage, poop, or dead animals?

Well, like running around after pooping—and a lot of funny dog stuff—there are a lot of theories, but none of them are certain. Dogs could be doing it to mask their scent or because what smells terrible to us might smell different (and good) to them.

6. Digging Holes

Portrait of funny and dirty husky in a hole

You spend a lot of time maintaining your lawn, only to go outside and find your dog halfway into a crater they’ve been digging. Why is my dog digging holes all of a sudden? It might be frustrating for you, but for them, it’s perfectly natural. They might simply be following their instincts or denning, a behavior common in breeds such as Huskies.

Digging holes can also result from wanting to escape the yard or something they fear, hearing moles or bugs under the ground (if your dog is digging holes in random parts of your yard, this might be the case), wanting to cool off in hot weather, or wanting to stash away food or treats. Read other common reasons dogs dig here.

In some cases, dogs might be missing key minerals in their diet and may be seeking it from the soil, which brings us to…

7. Eating Dirt

It’s common for dogs to eat dirt every once in a while—it’s a way of exploring their surroundings, especially if they’re digging holes. In rare cases, it could mean your dog is anemic or has pica, an eating disorder in which animals are compelled to eat things that aren’t food (such as paper, grass, or even rocks).

Pica can develop for many reasons, from boredom to thyroid conditions to nutritional imbalances. Boredom causes dogs to seek an outlet for excess energy, and nutritional imbalances can result from a lack of digestive enzymes, difficulties with digestion, or a diet that doesn’t include enough essential nutrients. If you notice your dog compulsively eating dirt (or anything else that isn’t their food), talk to your vet to determine whether there’s an underlying health issue.

8. Licking or Biting Paws

dog licking paws

Like many behaviors, licking paws can be normal. Nonstop licking or chewing on paws to the point of red spots, though, is cause for concern. These behaviors result from a wide variety of causes—they could mean boredom, anxiety, dry skin, pain or arthritis, or allergies. Licking dry skin is a dog’s attempt at reliving the dryness. Allergies or an injury could be causing discomfort or itchy skin, causing dogs to react by licking.

Since there are so many potential causes of compulsive licking or chewing, be sure to check with your vet once you notice it.

9. Licking Tile Floors or Scratching Carpet

If your dog does this, they could be trying to pick up crumbs you happened to drop, but licking tile floors can signal anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, or a deficiency of vitamins or minerals in your dog’s diet. Licking floor tiles made of clay, in particular, could signal that specific nutrients are lacking in your dog’s diet, as the tiles may smell like the minerals they’re missing. Make sure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need and talk to your vet if the licking becomes a regular issue.

If you’re wondering, why do dogs scratch the carpet? Scratching the carpet may be a sign of boredom or anxiety. If your dog is excited, they may be scratching the carpet to relieve some of that pent up energy. Try to find a creative way for your dog to stay busy such as playing brain games or make a homemade muffin tin puzzle feeder toy with some Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Treats inside.

Give Your Dog the Right Nutrients

Many of these behaviors are caused by nutrient deficiencies, so reevaluating your dog’s diet or adding supplements or healthy treats that are high in protein are good ways to prevent some of these issues. And, it’s never a bad idea to talk to your vet if your dog is doing something a little too weird for your liking. Read more pet info here, or check out our products to help add more nutrients to your dog’s diet.

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10 Things Dogs Really Want Their Owners To Do

27-03-2015 · Dogs like to be outside at times but the best solution is to make sure they have their own space inside. 2. They do not want to be trapped in a parked car. How many times have you seen a dog suffer in a parked car? I bet, lots of times. Watch the video where the veterinarian tries it out for himself. Although the windows are opened one or two inches, the temperature rises from 97°F to 117°F ...

27-03-2015

Last Updated on December 16, 2021

A growing number of exotic destination seeking travelers are stealing away to Eastern Europe. Packed with all of the Allure of the UK, France or Italy Eastern Europe arguably offers cities rich in culture and medieval architecture with just as much grandeur as Western European destinations. Tourism is definitely starting to build in this corner of the world. Here are 25 amazing places you should visit in Eastern Europe.

1. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, the capital of Romania is a dynamic modern city with a wildly sensational history. Nicknamed “little Paris” in the early 1900’s Bucharest really plays the part with hip cafes, impressive tree lined boulevards and dramatic modern and historic architecture. Home to many attractions, the most remarkable landmark in this vibrant city is the monstrous Parliament Palace. Being equally enormous and ostentatious, it is a mind-blowing architectural feat trumped only in size by the Pentagon.

Where there are many examples of Bucharest’s cultural and architectural splendor the highlights include the Romanian Athenaeum, an elaborately domed circular building that is the cities main concert hall, Bucharest University and the National History Museum.

2. Sibiu, Romania

Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania that has a cultural magic all its own. It will have you instantly spellbound with its striking medieval charm, breathtaking views of surrounding landscapes and delicious food. It’s historical center was built into two very pedestrian levels filled with most of Sibiu’s historical sites, colorful houses and cobble stone streets.

An artsy yet traditional vibe exists in the city that appealingly permeates the litany of cafes, festivals and exhibitions that thrive there. Some great things to experience in Sibiu are the Brukenthal Museum, andthe Crama Sibiu Vechi restaurant, a great place to enjoy authentic Romanian fare and the view of the historical center from the top of the Council Tower.

3. Bratislava, Slovakia

The truly charming city of Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. Its tiny old town is packed with medieval grandeur, all over looked by the cities majestic hilltop Castle. The narrow streets are lined with restaurants and bars beckoning for you to eat, drink and appreciate the culture.

Be sure to check out the Bratislava Castle and the Slavin Memorial for the best city views. Visit at Christmas and check out the traditional Market on the main square in the center of the city. It offers genuine local holiday specialties including delicious mulled wine that shouldn’t be missed.

4. Nida, Lithuania

Exquisite Nida is the primary settlement on Lithuania’s side of the Curonian Spit. This spit is a curved sand dune in between the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by Russia and Lithuania. Nida is the tourist destination on spit. The relics of yesteryear tell a story of a bygone fishing village. Colorful wooden cottages and bright boats in the harbor add to natural beauty that dominates here.

White sand beaches are a short hike through pine forest from Nida. Parnidis Dune, the massive and most impressive dune is just South of the village. It has steps up to its lofty summit where you can enjoy sweeping views of pristine, rippling dunes. Eat at Nidos Seklycia and take a tour to explore Curonian National Park. Both of these experiences will show you everything that draws visitors to this precious place.

5. Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje is amid Europe’s most diverse and compelling capital cities. It is an eclectic blend of Christian and Islamic cultures. This blend has given birth to a spirited and colorful society. A social vibe pervades the city, locals play chess in the parks and the city comes alive at night as people flock to cafes and bars to enjoy music and conversation. Visit the Carsija neibourhood to enjoy Skopje’s best historic structures and museums. Complete with a Triumphal Arch, the Plostad Makedonija Square is dedicated to national heroes.

6. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic, is the shining star of Croatia. With its awe inspiring old town highlighted by the sparkle of the sea, Dubrovnik is arguably one of the most beautiful towns in all of Eastern Europe. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, it is loaded with spectacular architecture, boasting brilliant churches, museums and sculptures. No visit to Dubrovnik would be complete without a walk along the city wall. The view over the city and the Adriatic is breath taking from this vantage point. For a more sweeping view take a cable car from town to the top of nearby Mt, Srd.

7. Split, Croatia

Split is the second largest city in Croatia. It lies on the Eastern shores of the Adriatic centering on Diocletian’s Palace, an impressive Roman monument that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coastal mountains serve as Splits backdrop adding drama to the cities gorgeous cityscape. The palace is the heart of the city, It is a lively maze of streets filled with people, restaurants, bars and shops. A walking tour of the palace is the best way to see all of the highlights. Split has a flourishing beach scene in the summer. Visit the popular Bacvice Beach to enjoy the sea and games galore.

8. Mljet Island, Croatia

Considered one of the most beautiful Croatian Islands, Mljet is by far the greenest. The island, covered mostly in dense Mediterranean forest, sprinkled with vineyards, farms and tiny villages is the epitome of tranquility. The north half is Mljet National Park. With its pristine salt-water lakes and staggering density of vegetation, it is truly an unspoiled oasis. Visit Polace to check out the impressive Roman Palace that still remains dating from the first to the fifth century. Eat by the sea at Konoba Ankora, the best restaurants in Polace.

9. Orheiul Vechi, Moldova

Moldova’s most extraordinary and scenic vista is the Oreil Vechi Monastery. It is a cave monastery sculpted into an imposing limestone cliff making it arguably Moldova’s most haunting place. Supporting attractions include an ethnographic museum in nearby Butuncei, newly opened caves just across the valley and chilling views from the monasteries headquarters.

10. Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade is the red hot, happening capital of Serbia. Its passionate resurgence toward a better future has resulted in a chaotic mix of nouveau masterpieces and old world relics.The Kalemegden Citadel is an excellent example of this. The formidable and impressive citadel has a bloody history that is still recognizable today despite the cheerful cafes and funfairs that inhabit it. To experience more of Belgrade’s intrigue take an underground tour and explore more of the cities tumultuous past.

11. Ljubljana, Slovenia

The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a culturally rich city filled with some of the best museums, restaurants and hotels in the country. The centerpiece of this arguably beautiful city is Presernov Trg, a lovely square that is the city’s favorite place to meet. Car traffic is restricted in this area making the banks of the Ljubljana River, which runs right through the center, free for a stroll or a bike ride. Cafes set up terraces along the river creating an endless street party kind of vibe. To appreciate the baroque beauty of the city visit the Ljubljana Castle and the National and University Library. Both are examples of stunning architecture.

12. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is a city of complex character and gritty appeal. The capital was obliterated in WWII and has fought tirelessly to rebuild and replace what was lost ever since. Today the city hums with electric energy and fierce optimism. That remarkable tenacity extends to the city’s edgy art openings and booming club and music industries.

To experience some of the past in Warsaw tour the Old Town, filled with the loveliest historical buildings in the city or visit the epic Warsaw Rising Museum. For a taste of the present check out Warszawa Powisle Station Bar. Described as a kiosk of culture this hip spot is a cultural institution featuring an eclectic variety of food, drink and great music among other things.

13. Krakow, Poland

Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Legend says it was founded on a conquest of a dragon. A former Royal capital, Krakow is steeped in a long and dramatic history. The Historic Center of Krakow is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boasting Europe’s largest market square, the Old Town is comprised of historic homes, palaces and spectacular churches. A walking tour of this area is a great way to see and learn about the area. The best of Krakow includes Wawel Royal Castle and the stone Adalbert Church. The new Schindler’s Museum tells an emotional story about the Nazi occupation in Krakow. It is located in the former factory of Oscar Schindler and is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

14. Moscow, Russia

The city of Moscow, the center of Soviet mystique, is a stunning representation of Russia of yesterday and Russia of today. A truly inspiring city, Moscow is home to important Museum of Russian art and some of the best performing arts in the world. To appreciate the best of Moscow you must visit the Kremlin and Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral is the true icon of Russia and the Tretyakov Museum holds the world’s most important collection of Russian art. The world renowned Gorky Park and Bolshoi Theater are two more reasons to visit the most majestic city in Eastern Europe.

15. Riga, Latvia

Riga, the capital of Latvia is the cosmopolitan cornerstone of the Baltic. It has the biggest and most magnificent showing of Art Nouveau architecture in all of Europe. The Old Town is like something straight out of a fairy tale complete with gingerbread trim houses and nightmarish gargoyles. Highlights in Riga are the very old and equally huge Central Market, The Riga Art Nouveau Center to explain the imagination that lies beyond the stunning facades, and the imposing Riga Castle.

16. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sophia is the capital of Bulgaria. Distinguished by its special combination of European and Communist style architecture Sophia is home to many ornate Orthodox churches and Soviet looking stone civic buildings. The city boasts vast manicured parks and with such closes proximity to mighty Mt. Vitosh for skiing or a hike, it is easy to enjoy a break from the busy city streets. Some of the best things to see and experience in Sophia are The Nevski Church, the most beautiful park in Sophia, Park Borisova Gradina and Manastirska Manernitsa restaurant to sample delicious Bulgarian cuisine

17. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s two-tiered historic center is one of Europe’s most bewitching walled cities. Right out of a fairy tale with its cobbled streets and medieval architecture historic Tallinn is astonishingly well preserved. Visit the oldest Gothic town hall in North Eastern Europe, and Tallinn’s chief landmark, the Oleviste Church. The best view of Old Town is from this church’s observation deck. Check out the Gloria Wine Cellar to add to the fairy tale allure. With its flickering candles and subterranean nooks and crannies this place is way more than a wine store.

18. Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius is the beguiling Baroque beauty of Lithuania. A chaotic mix of Baroque and Gothic architecture, Vilnius is both strange and stunning at the same time. The Gate of Dawn, the cities resounding landmark is a testament to the city forging a new identity. In Vilnius, the past and present combine to offer you worldly cuisine, lively nightlife and warmth so welcoming it will captivate you. Take a walking tour of historic Vilnius to see all of the highlights. Vilnius, steeped in a tumultuous history, has endured much tragedy; visit the Museum of Genocide to appreciate the marvel that Vilnius is today.

19. Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor Bay boasts the deepest bay depths (bordering on fjord proportions) in the Mediterranean Sea. The surrounding landscape includes staggeringly steep mountains that plunge right to the water’s edge. The scene is truly spectacular. Adventure and intrigue pervade old Kotor. The old city is a maze built for protection that is so effective, even locals get lost navigating the narrow streets. Take a city tour to get your bearings and see all of the beauty that is Kotor. Highlights include St.Tryphones Cathedral and Konoba Catovic Mlini restaurant.

20. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Sarajevo has transformed from the ruin in the 1990 conflicts to become one of Eastern Europe’s sparkling jewels. Rich in cultural and religious diversity both influences bolster Sarajevo’s appeal. To appreciate Sarajevo’s culture visit Biban and enjoy epic city views and delicious local specialties. Not to be missed, The Tunnel Museum offers a look back on the hope and horrors that the hand dug tunnel inspired during the conflict

21. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a vast labyrinth of cobble stone streets, historic architecture and secret courtyards that ignites the wanderlust in everyone who visits this magical city. The city’s skyline is spectacular, boasting almost a thousand spires, domes and towers. With magnificent parks and gardens, a cosmopolitan café culture and excellent theaters and museums there is about as many reasons to make Prague your next vacation destination. Some of the best places to visit in Prague are The Prague Castle, Veletrzni Palac Museum and the Letna Beer Garden. With so much to see and do in this great city taking a tour will help you hit all of the highlights.

22. Olomouc, Czech Republic

Olomouc is the undiscovered gem of the Czech Republic. Legend has it the city was founded by Julius Cesar and the Roman influence is prolific in its culture and historic architecture. Olomouc quietly combines rich historical beauty with youthful verve to create an exciting destination that rivals Prague for allure but undoubtedly wins top prize for best value. Some of the best things to see and experience in Olomouc are Horni Namesti, Olomouc’s main square boasts two of the cities six ornate Baroque fountains, Premysl Palace and the Archdiocesan Museum.

23. Berat, Albania

Berat, “The city of a thousand windows”, is one of Albania’s most beautiful highlights. Ottoman houses stack like stairs up Mt. Tomorri to the castle. The unique mountain town exudes a friendly, laid-back vibe. Nowhere is this more evident than the town’s sunset stroll. Every night, before sunset, hundreds of locals take to the main street to walk and talk or grab a drink at a cafe. Visit the Kalasa neighborhood, beyond the castle walls. The views from the castle are the best. To learn more about art and culture in the area visit Onufri Museum or take an expert guided tour of the city.

24. Ionian Coast, Albania

Along the Ionian Coast, rugged mountains plunge into the clear blue sea. This stretch of coast in Albania is truly spectacular. Many historic sites exist in towns and cities in this area. The ancient ruins of Butrint and the Castle of Lekuresit are two of the highlights in this area. Visit Vlora to enjoy historic buildings and museums. If you long for the beach hold out for smaller villages further south. Outdoor adventures abound in this breath taking setting. Take a sea kayaking tour to appreciate the grandeur of this coastline.

25. Budapest, Hungary

Beautiful Budapest. Divided by the long, meandering Danube River it is an alluring tale of two distinctly different cities. Buda on the west bank is hills and historical sites. Pest on the East bank is flat plains pulsating with modern cafes and clubs.The list of things to see in Budapest is long. Highlights are The Great Synagogue, Memento Park and The Royal Palace. Take a night river cruise to appreciate the impressive Parliament Building and the Szechenyi Chain Bridge. Both are breathtaking lit at night.

Featured photo credit: Vasco Estermann via unsplash.com

10 Things Dogs Hate That People Do

10 Things People Do That Dogs Can't Stand Hugging. It's really cute to look at photos of people hugging dogs, but the reality is not so comfortable. Many dogs do... Getting in a Dog's Face and Personal Space. Much like hugging, dogs tend to dislike it …

I miss you Tricia Shay Photography / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

Dogs are social creatures who generally hate being left alone. Some dogs are comforted by the presence of another dog, but others only want human companionship. In extreme cases, some dogs actually fear being left alone and experience separation anxiety. 

The problem is that most dog owners have to work in order to pay for all that gourmet dog food. You also need to have a life, run errands, take vacations, etc. Of course, your dog doesn't understand all that. So, what's the solution? 

Spend as much time as possible with your dog when you are home. Take the time to bond with your dog. Set a daily routine, providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. If you travel frequently, find a trusted pet sitter with whom your dog is comfortable. If you travel constantly, consider whether or not it's fair to even have a dog (or any pet for that matter).

11 Weird Things Dogs Do (And Why)

11-04-2020 · Dogs, like the humans that love them, are not perfect. But what is it with some of the things they do? Let’s take a look down below. 11. Destroying the House. Maybe you come home from work to discover that your dog has ripped up the carpet in your bedroom. Or you wake up to find the legs of your tables and chairs scratched and chewed beyond ...

11-04-2020

We love our dogs, don’t we? They have been called “man’s best friend” for eons. We praise them for their loyalty. As much as dogs and cats seem to be adversaries, they pale in comparison to the adversarial interactions of “dog people” versus “cat people” as they loudly claim the superiority of their preferred pet, touting their benefits while railing against the drawbacks of the other.

Oh, yes, the not-so-positive quirks. That’s what the defender will call them, while the detractor will call them major flaws. For dogs, some of these quirks are just little things, while others are quite difficult to defend. Dogs, like the humans that love them, are not perfect. But what is it with some of the things they do? Let’s take a look down below.

11. Destroying the House

Destroying The House

Maybe you come home from work to discover that your dog has ripped up the carpet in your bedroom. Or you wake up to find the legs of your tables and chairs scratched and chewed beyond recognition. Or you’re watching TV when your dog suddenly leaps through your closed living room window to the front lawn. There are as many ways that dogs can engage in destructive behavior as there are reasons why. If you find that your dog is destructive, the first step toward curbing the behavior is to consult with a vet.

10. Butt Dragging

Butt Dragging

Did she seriously just slide her stinky dog butt across your new rug? What’s going on here? Is she marking territory or something? Nope. Butt dragging is usually a sign that something is medically wrong with your dog. It could be something simple, such as needing to have her anal glands expressed, or it might be something more serious. If you can’t tell anything from a visual inspection, the next stop is the vet.

9. Falling and Leg-Paddling

Falling And Leg Paddling

This one is actually probably the most serious behavior we’re going to cover, so you really need to watch out for it. If your dog suddenly falls over and starts to twitch or paddling her legs, there’s a good chance that it’s a seizure. Other signs include appearing worried or clinging to you beforehand, and walking in circles afterward. It is incredibly important that you take your dog to a vet if you suspect she had a seizure because symptoms almost always worsen without help.

8. Bathroom Audience

Bathroom Audience

Dogs don’t exactly respect boundaries. This is true whether you’re cooking in the kitchen, watching TV, or doing something significantly more personal like going to the bathroom. It can be unsettling to have your dog stare at you as you sit on the toilet (especially if you suffer from bathroom “shyness”!), but there’s nothing particularly “wrong” with the behavior. Dogs just aren’t as hung up on privacy as we are. Still, if the idea of a canine audience truly bothers you, there’s nothing wrong with closing the door or teaching your pooch to stay when you need to do something personal.

7. Eating Poop

Eating Poop

Are you getting sick just thinking about it? Yeah. So why in the world do dogs do it? Two primary reasons. First, he may be trying to keep his space clean. That’s right. Some dogs eat their feces as an act of cleanliness. This is an instinctive behavior that female dogs engage in when they’re with their young litter in order to keep the den clean. Still… blech. Second, his food might not be meeting his nutritional needs. Eating poop can be a dog’s attempt to bolster his diet. Either way, it’s not something you want to continue (nor is it healthy).

6. Reverse Sneezing

Reverse Sneezing

Of all the weird or scary things on this list, reverse sneezing takes the cake — despite the fact that it is completely and utterly harmless for your pooch in most cases. Here’s what happens. All of a sudden, your dog starts making a horrifying sound that seems like a cross between snorting and choking, and she looks like she’s trying to vomit but is also really self-conscious about it. What’s going on? It’s a “respiratory event” that can be caused either by overexcitement or as an attempt to get rid of mucus. Though it looks awful, if you just let it run its course for 30 seconds or so, your dog will go right back to normal.

5. Sleep Barking

Sleep Barking

If you’re wondering why dogs bark in their sleep, many experts believe that it’s a sign that your pup is dreaming. Hopefully, the barking won’t be so bad that it stops you from dreaming!

4. Food Herding

Food Herding

One dog owner posted online about her dog, “She will push her dog dish with the food in it around on the floor with her nose until it’s lodged between something and won’t move further. Then she starts to push soil up and over the dish with her nose as if to bury it. The problem is, there’s no soil, just the floor.” This dog is ‘herding’ her food like she would herd cattle if she were doing the job she was bred to do. She needs structured activity like an obstacle course in lieu of actual cattle herding.

3. Best Friends

Best Friends

Another user wrote, “My dog Alice Eloise is best buds with our UPS driver. Every Friday, we have a big delivery, and every Friday they play an epic game of fetch from one end of the house to the other. It makes Alice Eloise so happy! Anytime we are out and see a UPS truck, she stops in her tracks, wanting to say hello!” You can certainly chalk that last line up to the dog having been trained that The Big Brown Truck means a game of fetch is about to go down.

2. Licking

Licking

Dogs will lick on just about everything they see. Just about every dog owner knows that upon returning home from work or other long absence, a lick-fest is going to ensue. But some dogs take it to another level. Another internet comment post went something like this: “My poodle/bichon mix Luna will whine and bark at me if I don’t pick her up right when I get out of the shower and allow her to lick the water out of my hair! We now have a routine of her waiting outside the shower for me to finish, then she jumps up into my arms so she can basically drink my hair.”

1. Working Those Chores

Working Those Chores

Dogs can jazz up the standard – in other words, boring – household chores. This can inspire some quirks from the family pooch. One person has stated that her dog is petrified of one specific trash can. The other ones are fine, but keep that one away! Another dog owner reports, “My dog Riley goes completely crazy every time we take the trash out. She can be sound asleep in the other room and the second we pull the trash bag out of the trash can, she loses it and starts barking and running around in circles like it’s the most amazing thing she’s ever seen.”

7 Weird Things Dogs Do (and Why They Do Them)

15-08-2018 · They enjoy going for walks, playing fetch, and earning dog treats by responding to commands. But dogs also tend to do some strange things. Here are seven weird things dogs do, and the reasons why they do them. IMAGE: By Lil Shepherd [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

15-08-2018

Dogs are lovable, loyal and funny creatures. They enjoy going for walks, playing fetch, and earning dog treats by responding to commands. But dogs also tend to do some strange things. Here are seven weird things dogs do, and the reasons why they do them.

7 Weird Things Dogs Do (and Why They Do Them)
IMAGE: By Lil Shepherd [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

7 Weird Things Dogs Do

1. Dogs Eat Their Poop

While eating poop is more common in puppies, this can be seen in dogs of all ages. Though this dog behavior is repulsive to humans, it does serve some innate purpose for your pet. For puppies, this behavior is thought to be mimicked from the mother licking them to stimulate elimination and to clean them and usually stops around nine months. In older domestic dogs, however, eating poop can be a sign of nutritional deficiency or stress.

If your dog is eating poop, you may want to consult with the veterinarian to rule out issues such as diet, parasites, or more serious diseases. If everything checks out okay, consider potential triggers for stress in the environment. Dogs that are often isolated or spend a lot of time in confined spaces may eat their poop as a response to the stress. Some dogs also do it as attention-seeking behavior. While this weird behavior is not necessarily harmful to the dog, it is vital to ensure there is nothing more serious going on with your pet.

2. Dogs Shake Their Leg When You Rub Their Belly

Among the funny things pets do, a dog’s leg shaking or kicking along with a belly rub is high on the list. As it turns out, there is a reason this strange dog behavior happens when you hit the right spot. This region of the dog’s belly has a scratch reflex similar to a knee-jerk reflex in humans. When you rub or scratch in the trigger spot, the dog involuntarily shakes or kicks. While the action is cute and funny, it is primarily your dog’s nervous system sending signals to attempt to get you to stop, so you may not want to scratch in that spot for too long

3. Dogs Chase Their Tails

Nearly everyone has had a good chuckle at a dog chasing its tail. Puppies often run after their hindquarters because of the novelty of catching sight of their tail. Dogs may also chase their tails for attention or out of boredom, as a way to play and burn off energy while also earning laughs from you. Occasionally, chasing the tail can be a sign of a medical problem, such as fleas, or a behavioral concern, particularly a compulsive disorder. If the tail-chasing seems more serious than just a weird and occasional habit, it may be worth consulting the veterinarian.

RELATED:
How to Stop Your Dog From Being a Lunatic in Public Places

4. Dogs Lick People

While not quite as weird as eating poop, a dog’s habit of licking people is relatively strange. It can also be an unwelcome gesture for some people, which is not surprising given a dog’s oral habits. But one sweet reason that your dog may lick you is that of his affection for you. Similar to a peck on the cheek, your dog’s lick is his version of a kiss. It is also the way mothers and pups communicate early on, and that remains ingrained in the habits and instincts of your dog. Additionally, dogs like the taste of your salty skin, and licking you can reduce stress for them. So, while it may be weird for humans, it is a fairly innocuous and beneficial dog behavior.

5. Reverse Sneeze

One of the weirdest sounds your dog can make is a reverse sneeze. It can be a little concerning the first time you watch and hear your dog sneeze in this way. The dog inhales air a few times and makes a strange snorting sound. However, a reverse sneeze is not unlike a regular sneeze in that it is a dog’s way of trying to force out an irritant in the throat or nose. Occasional episodes of reverse sneezing are not harmful to your pet. However, if the reverse sneezing is excessive, or if there are issues with your dog or puppy breathing fast, you should get your pet checked out by the veterinarian.

6. Spin Around Before They Lay Down

A dog spinning in circles before they settle into sleep is odd behavior. However, it has roots in the past when dogs didn’t live a domesticated life with beds, blankets, and pillows. Long ago, the ancestors of your pet had to prepare beds for themselves. By walking in circles to tamp down the grass, the dogs of olden days would be able to create a nest for themselves. The spinning would also create a disturbance to clear out any creatures who might be lurking in the dog’s resting place. Though this deeply rooted instinct seems strange to humans with domesticated dogs, it makes sense in the historical context.

7. Dogs Sit on You

Most dog owners can recount a time that their furry pet has perched on top of them. There are many reasons why your dog may feel the sudden urge to plop into your lap. Similar to licking, this may be your dog’s way of showing you affection. Some dogs prefer to be close and making contact with you, and see this as a form of bonding with you. If the dog rests on you or attempts to be playful, he is probably just looking to hang out and cuddle. However, sitting on you can sometimes be a way of asserting dominance, either over you or another animal or human in the house. If the dog is barking or growling, this could be his intent. If it is a frequent behavior, be sure to contact the veterinarian for tips on extinguishing the behavior.

All dogs exhibit some of these weird behaviors and habits. While they occasionally can be a sign of a more significant issue, most are harmless and can be funny to witness.

~~~~~

“7 Weird Things Dogs Do and Why They Do Them”

Guest Author: Olivia Harper is the co-founder of the blog Daily Dog Stuff. She is a reserved and passionate pet parent who loves to spend time with her Sibe, who keeps her active and social. Read more of her guides and tips by visiting the blog or following her page @dailydogstuff.

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The Explanation Behind Weird Things Your Dog Does Every Day

17-03-2020 · Insider had a dog behaviorist explain why your pup does all sorts of strange behaviors, like eating poop, humping toys, zooming around, and winking.

17-03-2020

Dog running
When your dog has the "zoomies," they might just be really happy to be alive.
Shutterstock

Dogs are lovable and loyal creatures that often delight their owners with oddball antics. But have you ever wondered why dogs get the "zoomies" or seem fascinated by sniffing their own poo?

Even though some of these behaviors seem strange to humans, they can be quite normal for dogs. 

Insider consulted with dog behaviorist Nick Jones about the real explanations behind all of the seemingly strange things that dogs do. 

Here are the explanations behind 12 common dog behaviors.:

Lowchen dog outside in yard
Eating poop isn't weird to dogs.
Shutterstock

Some dogs seem to have a bit of an obsession with their own feces, often going so far as to try and eat it.

Jones explained that this behavior is actually common and usually doesn't indicate a medical problem.

"Eating feces is another revolting-sounding habit to us humans but, to dogs, it can be a natural behavior. Known as coprophagia, this behavior can range from eating only its own feces to only that of other dogs," he said. 

Even though some people seem to believe that dogs try to eat their own poop to correct a nutritional deficiency, Jones stated that there isn't a lot of evidence to suggest that's what's going on.   

"Feces-eating can develop due to a lack of supervision at toileting times and or the copying of another dog. This is an unwanted habit that can be addressed with behavioral help," he added.

dog stuffed animal
Humping could also be hormonally-driven.
iStock

To their human caretakers, a dog's desire to get frisky with a sofa leg might seem bizarre and a bit awkward.

Although it makes biological sense for your pet to try and initiate sexual contact with other dogs, their motivation for trying to seduce inanimate objects might actually be a way of grabbing your attention.

"Some dogs will carry out such behavior to gain the owner's attention — he knows it gets a big response," Jones told Insider.

If you make a big show of scolding your dog or chase them around the room when they start humping something they shouldn't, your dog might realize that humping is a great way to get you to stop what you're doing and "play."

Jones also added that humping might also be hormonally driven in some cases. As a puppy gets older or a dog goes into heat, they're more likely to engage in mounting behavior with other dogs and inanimate objects.  

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Funny Things That Dogs Do

31-05-2020 · Funny Things That Dogs Do One – Barking at nothing. . You’re just sitting there on the sofa, calmly reading a book, your dog asleep at your feet. Two – Trying to get on the sofa when there is no more room. . Several people already sitting on the sofa? That does not... Three – Getting in strange ...

31-05-2020

Gotta love our dogs, right? They all do things that are a bit strange from time to time. But that’s what makes them so endearing!

Here’s a list of just a few of the funny things dogs do:

One – Barking at nothing. You’re just sitting there on the sofa, calmly reading a book, your dog asleep at your feet. Suddenly he leaps up and begins to bark his head off. You don’t see anything and you don’t hear anything. Dogs do have superior hearing so maybe he heard something you didn’t. But it can be a bit disconcerting!

Two – Trying to get on the sofa when there is no more room. Several people already sitting on the sofa? That does not deter most dogs. In fact, some dogs seem to take it as an invitation to climb up.

Three – Getting in strange positions to sleep. Such as on their backs with their legs spread or sleeping with their heads awkwardly propped on an object.

Four – Moving their legs when you scratch them a certain way. Surely this is a reflex action but it’s still funny to watch!

Five – Barking at their own reflections. Some dogs just can’t help themselves when they catch sight of their own faces in a mirror. Poor things, they don’t know it’s them and as much as we try to reassure them, they just don’t get it.

thedrakecenter.com

11-05-2017 · 10. Dogs have wet noses because it helps to absorb scent chemicals. 11. Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest dog to ever live. Bluey lived to be 29 years 5 months old and lived from 1910 to 1939. 12. Dogs can be trained to to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products …

11-05-2017

By Gabrielle Feldman and Nicole Abrego

Do you think you know everything there is to know about canines? Think again! Check out these 23 interesting facts you may have never heard:

1. Dogs have a sense of time. It's been proven that they know the difference between a hour and five. If conditioned to, they can predict future events, such as regular walk times.

dog veterinary care in encinitas

2. Your dog is as smart as a two-year old! Ever wonder why children around this age seem to have a special bond with the family dog? It could be because they speak the same language, roughly 250 words and gestures in fact.

3. A study at UCSD claims that your dog can genuinely get jealous when they see you display affection for another creature.

4. Dachshunds were originally bred to fight badgers.

5. Stray dogs in Russia have learned how to ride the complex subway system, and get off at specific stops in search of food.

6. Your dog can smell your feelings. In fact, your dog’s sense of smell is approximately 100,000 times better than yours. So it shouldn’t be shocking that they can in fact, smell things such as fear. When a human is fearful, they perspire, and a dog is easily able to pick up on this change.

7. Newfoundlands make great lifeguards because they have water-resistant coats and webbed feet.

8. Dalmatian puppies are born completely white, they develop their spots as they get older. 

9. Petting a dog can actually benefit your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%, can help lower feelings of stress, depression, and combat loneliness.

10. Dogs have wet noses because it helps to absorb scent chemicals.

11. Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest dog to ever live. Bluey lived to be 29 years 5 months old and lived from 1910 to 1939.

12.  Dogs can be trained to to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products than healthy cells in the human body. Dogs may even be able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath.

13. Three dogs survived the historical sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Two Pomeranians and 1 Pekingese - all from First Class cabins.

14. The town of Idyllwild, California elected their first mayor in 2012, Mayor Max. But Max isn’t just any regular mayor, he’s a Golden Retriever! Although Mayor Max passed away in 2013, the town elected Mayor Max II into office and he’s been governing Idyllwild ever since. Way to go, Mayor Max!

dog vet in encinitas

15. Do you have a dog that experiences separation anxiety? Try leaving some clothing with him that you’ve worn. It’s been proven that the scent you leave behind on your clothes can help ease your dog’s separation anxiety.

16. When your dog is carefully choosing the perfect place to do his business, it is because they prefer to go poop in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field.

dog vet care in encinitas

17. All puppies are born deaf. As they get older, they can hear 4 times better than humans can.

18. Dogs don’t sweat, instead they pant to cool themselves.

19. A vast majority of strays that end up in shelters are pets who are lost simply because they don't have any identification. Additionally, Fourth of July is the busiest time for animal shelters as most pets get lost during that holiday due to being scared of loud fireworks and running away.

20. Chocolate can be very deadly to dogs due to containing the ingredient, theobromine. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and ingesting chocolate could cause a severely toxic buildup in their system which could become fatal.

vet care for dogs in encinitas

21. Maltese dogs do not shed, making them perfect pups for people with allergies.

22. 45% of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. Hopefully those pups share the blanket...

vets for dogs in encinitas

23. A dog’s nose print is unique, much like a human's fingerprints.

dog vets in encinitas

Suggested articles for you:

Have a question about your dog's health or need to schedule an appointment? Contact us here!

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care is an AAHA-accredited animal hospital located in Encinitas, CA. The Drake Center loves being a source of information for all pet owners across the country however if you have any questions regarding pet care and do not live in Encinitas, CA or surrounding cities, we encourage you to contact your local veterinarian.

petassure.com

Some dog breeds can exert up to 450 pounds per square inch. A one year old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15-year old human. The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world. France has the 2nd highest dog population. The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog.

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Anyone who loves dogs, knows there is a lot of information you need to know in order to keep them healthy and happy. There are a lot of myths and some misinformation too. Here are some interesting facts that just may surprise you. We've tossed in some fascinating trivia too!

  1. It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is similar to our vision at dusk.
  2. Dogs DO have better low-light vision than humans because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas.
  3. A German Shepherd guide dog led her blind companion through the entire 2100-mile Appalachian Trail.
  4. If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!
  5. A dog's' only sweat glands are between their paw pads.
  6. Like human babies, Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot in their skull which closes with age.
  7. The Lundehune breed has 6 toes and can close its ears.
  8. Teddy Roosevelt's dog, Pete, ripped a French Ambassador's pants off at the White House.
  9. President Lyndon Johnson had two beagles named Him and Her.
  10. Franklin Roosevelt spent ,000 for a destroyer to pick up his Scottie in the Aleutian Islands.
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  11. In Roman times, mastiffs donned light armor and were sent after mounted knights.
  12. The Russians trained dogs during WWII to run suicide missions with mines strapped to their backs.
  13. A dog's mouth exerts 150-200 pounds of pressure per square inch. Some dog breeds can exert up to 450 pounds per square inch.
  14. A one year old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15-year old human.
  15. The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world. France has the 2nd highest dog population.
  16. The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog.
  17. 87% of dog owners say their dog curls up beside them or at their feet while they watch TV
  18. Dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures.
  19. 15 people die in the U.S. every year from dog bites.
  20. In 2002, more people in the U.S. were killed by dogs than by sharks during the past 100 years.
  21. Gidget is the name of the Taco Bell dog.
  22. Newfoundlands are great swimmers because of their webbed feet.
  23. Basset Hounds cannot swim.
  24. Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
  25. Bingo is the name of the dog on the side of the Cracker Jack box.
  26. The Bible mentions dogs 14 times.
  27. Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic - a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese.
  28. The Labrador Retriever is the #1 favorite breed in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  29. Obesity is the #1 health problem among dogs.
  30. An estimated 1,000,000 dogs in the U.S. have been named as the primary beneficiaries in their owner's will.
  31. An American Animal Hospital Association. poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away.
  32. A dog's nose prints are as unique as a human's fingerprints and can be used to accurately identify them.
  33. At the end of the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life", a high-pitched dog whistle was recorded by Paul McCartney for his sheepdog.
  34. Want to learn how to save on your dog's veterinary care? Click here
  35. 70% of people sign their pet's name on greeting and holiday cards.
  36. 58% of people put pets in family and holiday portraits.
  37. There are only 350 Cisky Terriers in the world - perhaps the rarest breed.
  38. The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th century England when it is believed that many cats and dogs drowned during heavy periods of rain.
  39. Dogs have no sense of "time".
  40. Humans have kept dogs as pets for over 12,000 years.
  41. The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.
  42. The world's smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua.
  43. The St. Bernard is the world's heaviest breed.
  44. Only dogs and humans have prostates.
  45. Dogs do not have an appendix.
  46. Every dog on earth likely descended from a species known as the Tomarctus - a creature that roamed the earth over 15 million years ago.
  47. The oldest known dog breed is most likely the Saluki - originally trained by Egyptians to help them track game.
  48. In 1957, Laika became the first living being in space via an earth satellite.
  49. JFK's terrier, Charlie, fathered 4 puppies with Laika's daughter.
  50. An African wolf dog known as the Basenji is the only dog in the world that cannot bark.
  51. There are 703 breeds of purebred dogs.
Why Do Dogs Bury Things? 5 Reasons For The Behavior ...

31-03-2020 · Five reasons why dogs bury things. Instinct; Dogs burying bones may be an instinct that is leftover from before dogs were domesticated. Wild dogs would bury extra food to keep it from spoiling and so they could come back to enjoy it later. Our pets may still have this instinct and may bury or hide bones, toys or even yummy treats that they want to save for another time. Anxiety

31-03-2020

If you’ve ever seen a dog burying a bone in the yard or under a pile of blankets, you may have asked yourself, or someone else “Why do dogs bury things?” This peculiar behavior may be one that evolution hasn’t gotten rid of. Much has changed since dog were domesticated but this behavior might be one that has just lingered. There are some reasons why dog’s still bury things - we’ll explore them all and what to do to stop or modify the behavior.

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Five reasons why dogs bury things


Dogs burying bones may be an instinct that is leftover from before dogs were domesticated. Wild dogs would bury extra food to keep it from spoiling and so they could come back to enjoy it later. Our pets may still have this instinct and may bury or hide bones, toys or even yummy treats that they want to save for another time.

Anxiety

Digging, and/or burying could be the result of anxiety or chronic stress for your pup. If you’ve recently rescued your dog, changed your schedule or theirs or moved, all of these things can be stressful for a dog and make them anxious. If none of these have happened recently you’ll need to play detective and try to understand what could be stressing your dog out?

Obsession or compulsive behavior

Some dogs are prone to compulsive behaviors whereas others develop them out of stress or even boredom. If this is the case and your pup is digging and hiding things you’ll want to address the behavior. You don’t want the remote or your keys to go missing!

Playing

Burying things could just be a fun game your dog likes to play. If you’ve ruled out stress, anxiety, and compulsion your dog might just be burying things because they think its a fun game. As long as your pup seems to be having fun and stops when they’re told this behavior is fairly harmless. As long as your dog isn’t being destructive or digging up your garden you have nothing to worry about here.

Too many toys

You love your dog and want them to have all the best toys. If you give them too many toys all at once, they may feel the need to bury a few favorites for later. You can give your pet a few favorites at a time to prevent excessive burying.

two-dogs-dig-a-large-whole-in-the-backyard

How to prevent a dog from burying things


  1. If your dog is burying toys and treats, limit how many you’re giving at one time. This way, your pup will play with the toys they have and won’t be tempted to save or stockpile treats for later. While this is not a surefire way to stop the burying it should help you see less of it than if your dog has too many toys or treats.
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If you see your dog digging, you can interrupt the behavior. Telling your pup not to dig is not enough though. What you want to do is direct your dog to the kind of behavior you do want and reward it. That way you’re reinforcing the good behaviors and not giving any attention to the less desirable behavior. If your dog knows you’ll always pay attention to them when they dig, they may be starting to dig to get the attention. Call your dog away from whatever they’re digging and offer another activity. This could be using a snuffle mat, puzzle toy or something to chew on. You could even offer a brief game of tug or do a short training session if your dog likes to learn tricks or is working on some basic obedience. Keep the session short and fun and use some high-value rewards.

Give your dog enough mental and physical stimulation

A busy dog won’t have time to burry things. If your dog is getting enough mental and physical stimulation they will be less likely to engage in this behavior. The amount of mental and physical stimulation your dog needs may be different than the needs of other pups. Some dogs need more and some need less. Consider your dog’s age and breed. Some breeds like Border Collies or Australian Shepherds need to have jobs others like the Cavalier King Charles may be more content to spend the day snoozing. A few things to consider include making sure your dog is getting enough of the right kind of exercise. Some dogs do fine with a few longer leash walks where other pups need time to run and play or socialize like at a dog park. You can also do some training sessions or use puzzle toys to let your dog work its brain. If you’re running out of ideas, its smart to consult a trainer. A knowledgable trainer will have tons of fun ideas to keep your pup’s brain engaged. You could even try learning a dog sport like agility or rally or get your pup’s nose going with some scent work.

If your dog is digging up the ground or couch and burying things and you also see some negative behaviors like compulsions, aggression or resource guarding you’ll want to address this behavior with your dog’s doctor as well as a trainer or animal behaviorist. These behaviors could signal a mental or physical health issue. A vet will do an exam to check for underlying medical issues and a trainer or behaviorist can help you modify your dog’s behavior. These professionals may need to work together to help you get to the root of the issue and find a solution so your dog can live a happy healthy life!

Most digging and burying is not a big deal and can just be a result of your dog’s natural instinct or a way for them to play. However, some dogs bury things due to health or behavioral issues like an obsessive compulsion. If you’re concerned about your dog’s behavior don’t hesitate to get it checked out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

11 Things Humans Do That Dogs Hate

It is common for enthusiastic owners to push their dogs into social situations at dog parks or allow strangers to give them pets despite the dog clear signs of wanting to be left alone.

Dogs try to be our best friends, but we don't always make it easy for them. Every now and then, we all do things dogs hate. Here are some of the common human actions that push dogs away by making them upset, nervous, stressed, or confused.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Dogs might be able to deduce the meaning of a few key words (e.g., walk, treat, toy, off), but they can't understand human language. What they rely on to figure out what we mean is our body language. Unfortunately, we can easily send mixed signals if we're only paying attention to what our mouths are saying and not what our bodies are saying.

If you go to any beginner dog training class, you'll often see people saying one thing but doing another, and a confused dog trying to discern what is being asked of them. For instance, telling a dog to "stay" while leaning forward toward the dog and holding out a hand like a traffic cop is, in body language, actually inviting the dog to come toward you. But when the dog does, she gets reprimanded for breaking her stay command, which is confusing.

A great experiment is to spend a whole day not saying a word to your dog, but communicating only with your body. You'll see just how much you "talk" with your body without realizing it and learn how to use your movements and body positions to get the response you need from your dog.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

While you might love wrapping your arms around a furry canine friend, most dogs hate hugs. Rather than the camaraderie and support this action communicates among primates, it is considered an act of dominance if a dog places a foreleg or paw on the back of another dog.

Many dogs will tolerate it with grace, but some dogs will feel threatened, fearful, or angry. And keep in mind that the same dog that enjoys one person's hug might react entirely differently with another family member who tries the same thing.

If you're wondering if your dog hates your hugs, pay attention to her body language when you go in for a cuddle. Does she tense up? Lean her head away from you? Avoid eye contact? Lick her lips? Keep her mouth closed? Pull her ears back against her head? All of these are signs that a dog is uncomfortable. So next time you want to go in for a hug, use these signals to learn whether or not the dog is OK with it.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

If someone were to reach their hand toward your face, your reaction would likely be to pull your head back and lean away, and then get a little tense about the invasion of personal space. Yet most humans think that dogs like being patted on the head.

The reality is that while many dogs will put up with this if it's being done by someone they know and trust, most dogs don't enjoy it. You may notice that even the loving family dog might lean away slightly when you reach for her face to pet her. It's a personal space issue for dogs just as much as it is for us.

Interact with your dog by gently petting her back or rear, but don't pat, and definitely don't go for the dog's face. If you really want to reward your dog, give them a rub on their rear end right by the tail.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

While we humans view steady eye contact as an important sign of trustworthiness or focus, it is part of establishing dominance for many species, including dogs.

When you look a strange dog right in the eye, unblinking, you might be smiling and trying to warm up to them. However, the dog is probably reading it as an act of dominance or even aggression. They might display a submissive response — looking away, doing a little wiggle for pets, rolling over onto their backs — or they might start backing up and barking. Either way, for most dogs, a stranger looking it right in the eye while approaching is not a comfortable situation.

If you want to say hello to a new dog in a way that is comfortable for both of you, approach with your body angled slightly (not with your shoulders squared toward the dog), your eyes slightly averted, and speak quietly with a gentle voice. All these body language cues of friendship will help a dog understand you mean no harm. The dog might still want nothing to do with you, but at least you didn't approach in a scary way that could cause a defensive or aggressive reaction.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

You might think having strict rules makes life boring or unhappy for your dog, but dogs really want to know what's right and wrong according to their leader. This comes in the form of rules. It's similar to how children thrive when they have structure and boundaries. Rules make life a lot more predictable, a lot less confusing, and a lot less stressful.

When establishing those boundaries, it's important to be consistent — dogs don't understand exceptions to rules. They don't understand that they're allowed to jump on you when you have leisure clothes on but not when you have work clothes on. They don't understand that they're allowed on the couch after a bath but not after coming in from a romp in the mud.

Additionally, saying "No" for breaking a rule but not actually doing something to help the dog stop the behavior and learn the rule is not effective enforcement. Dogs thrive when they know where the boundaries are, and when you spend time enforcing consistent boundaries with positive rewards, you also are building up their trust in you as a leader.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Like other social species, dogs have their favorite friends and their enemies, it's easy to tell what other dogs (and people) a dog wants to hang out with and those with whom she'd rather not associate. Yet, many dog owners ignore this or simply fail to read the cues their dog is giving them. It is common for enthusiastic owners to push their dogs into social situations at dog parks or allow strangers to give them pets despite the dog clear signs of wanting to be left alone.

True, there is value in encouraging shy, fearful, and reactive dogs out of their comfort zones so that they can develop necessary social skills, However, knowing the difference between gentle boundary-pushing and forcing an interaction is vital to your dog's safety and sanity.

When dogs are pushed too far in social situations, they're more likely to lash out; after giving multiple cues, their last resort for sending a clear message is to use their teeth. What's worse is that their trust in you as a protective leader is weakened, and they have an even more negative association with a park, a certain dog or person, or a general social setting. So take care to read the body language she gives you when she doesn't want to be around certain other individuals, and don't force it.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

It's important to allow a dog to have some time to explore her surroundings while walking. Dogs see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell for interpreting the world as we humans place on our sense of vision. Too often, we deprive them of that experience by treating walks only as rushed, required potty breaks and exercise, trudging along the same old route without any variety or sense of leisure.

Dedicate one of your daily walks to having a "smell walk" — going slow and letting your dog take in the world with her nose. Go somewhere entirely new, explore a different neighborhood or trail, let your dog sniff at a spot until she gets her fill before moving forward, even if it's for minutes at a time.

To help your dog know the difference between a walk where she should obediently stay beside you and a walk where she is free to explore, dedicate a special backpack or harness for smell walks; make sure it is clearly different from your usual collar and leash setup so the different purpose of the walk is obvious to your dog. These walks are a wonderful opportunity for your dog to get some of the mental and sensory stimulation that keeps life interesting for her.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Just as dogs are amazing at reading our body language, they're amazing at reading our tension levels through the leash. By keeping a slack leash, you're letting your dog know that there's no reason to be worried or tense — that you are calm and in control so your dog is free to be calm as well.

On the other hand, keeping a tight leash sends a message to your dog that you're tense, nervous, and on alert, and your dog responds in kind; their levels of stress, frustration, and excitement rise. Plus, it doesn't feel good for your dog to constantly be pulled and thus cued to be on alert, and they're also well aware that they can't get away from you even if they think they need to.

This is why it is so important to teach a dog how to walk on a slack leash. It is a difficult skill to master, and something the majority of dog owners can commiserate about, but it's essential to having pleasant walks with a relaxed dog.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Tension on the leash isn't the only way a dog can pick up how you're feeling. You can tell when a person you're around is feeling tense, even if you don't realize it. Dogs have the same ability. The more stressed and wound-up you are, the more stressed and wound-up your dog is. And dogs, just like us, don't like stress.

You might roll your eyes, but the next time your dog is acting frustrated and tense, check in with yourself — have you been feeling that way for the last few minutes, for the last few hours, or the last few days? Your dog might just be acting as your mirror. If you need a reason to meditate, helping your dog calm down is a great one.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Just like children can be bored while running errands with their parents, dogs abhor when their owners are boring. You may be busy with obligations or simply tired, but remember that your dog waits all day for you to come play with them. If your dog is making trouble — getting into boxes or closets, eating shoes or chewing on table legs — she's basically showing you just how incredibly bored she is.

Luckily, there is a quick and easy solution to this: training games. Teaching your dog a new trick, working on old tricks, playing a game of "find it" with a favorite toy, or going out and using a walk as a chance to work on urban agility are all ways to stimulate both your dog's mind and body. An hour of training is worth a couple of hours playing a repetitive game of fetch in terms of wearing a dog out. While of course exercise and walks are important, adding in some brain work will make your dog happy-tired. Even just 15-30 minutes of trick training a day will make a big difference.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Many people think it's funny to tease dogs: barking at one as you pass it on the street, waving or talking to one that is barking at them from behind a window, pulling on a dog's tail. The list can go on, but the important thing is that you shouldn't do something you know makes a dog mad for the sake of a laugh — the dog won't find it funny. And, it can lead to some serious behavioral problems.

Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do

Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do A discussion of how dogs sense the world, play, dominance, peeing, and emotions Posted April 11, 2018

For all the love and attention we give dogs, much of what they do remains mysterious. Just think about different behaviors you see at a dog park: We have a good understanding of what it means when dogs wag their tails—but what about when they sniff and roll on a stinky spot? Why do they play tug-of-war with one dog, while showing their bellies to another? Why are some dogs shy, while others are bold? What goes on in dogs’ heads and hearts—and how much can we know and understand?

Courtesy of University of Chicago Press
Source: Courtesy of University of Chicago Press

Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do has the answers. Below is an interview I did with Dr. Zazie Todd for Companion Animal Psychology about this book.

Dr. Todd: Why did you decide to write Canine Confidential?

There are many reasons, and in reality, I've been writing this book for many, many years. I bring a unique perspective to the study of dogs in that I was trained in ethology and have done long-term field work on free-ranging dogs, wild coyotes, and various birds including Adélie penguins in Antarctica.

Among the most important reasons are: to emphasize how important it is to watch dogs and to learn as much as one can about different aspects of behavior; to emphasize that there is a good deal of individual variability among dogs so speaking about "the dog" is misleading; to stress that dogs display multiple intelligences and don't only "live in the present"; to show that dogs are not dumb-downed wolves; to provide a lot of detailed data in accessible prose to non-researchers, information that can be used to allow dogs to be dogs as much as they can be in an increasingly human-dominated world (in many ways, dogs are captive animals whose freedoms are severely restricted); to discuss how dogs sense their world via smell, sight, hearing, touch, and taste, and why they should be allowed to exercise their senses and to sniff to their hearts' delight; to let their walks be for them, not for us; to dispel myths such as dogs are unconditional lovers (anyone who's rescued a dog who has been abused knows this to be so), peeing and marking are the same, growling is always aggressive, it's a bad idea to hug dogs or to play tug-of-war or to "get down and dirty" and to romp around with them (when we do it must be on their terms, of course; also see), that dogs (and other nonhuman animals) don't display dominance (they do, but we shouldn't dominate them to get them to live in harmony with us), that they always circle before the lie down, that intense play-fighting always or usually escalates into fighting (research shows this actually only very rarely occurs); that dog parks are a bad idea across the board (they're not, but only dogs who like going to dog parks should be taken there); to provide trainers with information that can be used to enhance the dog's life when they work with their clients, canine and human, and to strongly suggest that trainers observe dogs outside of the context in which there is an issue; to strongly suggest that people select certified trainers and to choose someone as carefully as they'd choose a neurosurgeon; and to stress how important it is to allow dogs to exercise their senses, their muscles, and their hearts.

Courtesy of Carl Safina
Source: Courtesy of Carl Safina

I mix in a good deal of the latest research on various aspects of dog behavior with numerous stories, and take a descriptive "anatomical" approach to naming the dogs with whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and watching. For example, readers will meet Bernie and Beatrice "the butt-ers," Tammy "the tongue," Louie "the licker," Harry and Helen "the happy jumpers," and Peter "the pecker-pecker." All names, canine and human, have been changed to protect the guilty.

I also write some about human-human interactions and how they reveal a lot about their dogs and the people themselves. It's just a coincidence that this is The Year of the Dog, and I'm thrilled that my book was published in this special time. Of course, every day should be "the day of the dog" because we are so fortunate to have them in our lives. They should only be as fortunate to have us in their lives.

The subtitle of the book is Why Dogs Do What They Do, and in it you answer lots of questions about why dogs do things, like ‘what are they doing when scent marking?’ and ‘why do they roll in stuff?’ How did you pick the questions, and are there any of the topics that are particular favorites?

I selected the different topics based on many decades of studying dogs and their wild relatives, by cataloguing questions that I've been repeatedly asked when talking with people at different venues, and also by paying attention to those areas that are important to understand to give dogs the very best lives possible. Among my favorites are play behavior -- how dogs are able to play fairly and have fun-on-the-run as they engage in frenetic "zoomies" and low-key play -- and topics centering on the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of dogs and other animals. I also really enjoy listening to people talk about their dogs and also other people at the dog park and their friends. Dogs can be social catalysts for bringing people together and really get people talking about things they don't typically share out of the places where they bring their dogs for exercise and to have fun with other dogs. Sometimes I'd politely excuse myself when someone was sharing TMI (too much information).

You write a lot about the emotional lives of dogs. How do we know which emotions dogs experience – and what more do we need to know?

That's a great question. There are ample detailed data from many ethological perspectives and a growing number of neuroimaging studies that clearly show that dogs are emotional beings who experience joy, happiness, sadness, grief, pain, disgust, jealousy, and likely guilt. The bibliography and the notes in Canine Confidential are lengthy and filled with up-to-date data from ethological and neurobiological studies. These data clearly show that the real question at hand is why emotions have evolved, not if they have evolved. The reason I write that it's likely dogs display guilt is because we really don't know if this is the case quite yet. An oft-repeated error in both scientific essays and the popular press goes something like, "Research has shown that dogs don't display guilt," and a study by Dr. Alexandra Horowitz is cited as evidence. However, she did not show that dogs do not display guilt, only that we are not very good at reading guilt in dogs. I include an exchange with Dr. Horowitz about this point, with which she totally agrees. She wrote, "My study was decidedly NOT about whether dogs 'feel guilt' or not." Readers will be pleased and surprised to see how much we really know about the emotional lives of dogs, and I also point out where more research is needed. One can be sure that dogs are sentient beings who care about what happens to themselves, their families, and their friends.

The book is full of lovely stories about dogs, including your own dogs. As a writer, do you most enjoy writing about the scientific research or about the anecdotes, or do you prefer writing about both together?

I really prefer writing about both together, as I do in my book and in numerous essays that I write for Psychology Today about dogs and many other animals. It's always interested me that many anecdotes are supported by empirical data that are collected at a later date. I also write a good deal about the importance of "citizen science," and that's why I encourage people to become ethologists and "naturalists in the dog park" if they go there with their dog(s).

One thing that’s clear from this book is that people tell you stories about their dogs at the dog park, or email you stories about their animals. Are there any particular topics that people tend to talk to you about the most?

Not really. What I love about the stories I'm told is how wide-ranging they are. Quite often, the questions I'm asked and the stories I'm told focus on a particular dog and their human, and the unique relationship they've formed. Once again, there not only is a good deal of within species variability among dogs, but also among their humans and in the dog-human relationships that are formed. I feel very lucky to have people share their stories with me in person and via email and the occasional letter, although sometimes when I open my email inbox I feel overwhelmed. But, that feeling disappears rapidly as I learn more and more about dogs and their humans.

You say that even though we don’t know everything about dogs, we still know enough to be able to give them rewarding lives. What are the most important things we can do for our dogs?

Love them, respect them, meet them at least half-way, develop mutual tolerance, and learn as much as you can not only about dog behavior but about the unique individual(s) with whom you chose to share your home and your heart. And, let them be dogs as much as possible. There's no reason to be helicopter guardians, yet people say "No" or "Stop that" far more often than they say "Good dog" or "That's ok." In some ways, my books can be viewed as a field guide to freedom in which I encourage people to unleash their dog as much as possible. Choosing to live with a dog (or other animal) is a "cradle to grave" commitment and we must remember that we are their lifelines.

At the end of the book, there is a really nice appendix that teaches people what ethology is and how to do it. What can people gain from becoming ‘citizen ethologists’?

They can gain a lot. By becoming fluent in dog they not only can learn some nitty-gritty details about dog behavior, but also about how unique each dog is. It's also a lot of fun to do these informal studies, and I love it when people come to me and ask me how to become an ethologist. In the book I tell stories about how people have told me that learning to "speak dog" and to try to think like they do has helped them not only to understand their dog, but also how this information improves their relationship with their canine companion. Learning about dog behavior and dog-human relationships is a win-win for all.

Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do is published by Chicago University Press.

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Why do dogs tilt their heads? New study offers clues ...

A quick internet search turned up plenty of speculative results positing that dogs tilt their heads to hear better, to listen for specific words or tones, or to see past their snouts. Sommese found one poster hypothesizing that shelter dogs do it more often because they know on some level that humans find it irresistible.

Of all the cute things dogs do, cocking their head to one side while they look at you may be the most endearing. Yet surprisingly little research has looked into why they do it. Now, a new study of “gifted” canines—those capable of quickly memorizing multiple toy names—shows they often tilt their heads before correctly retrieving a specific toy. That suggests the behavior might be a sign of concentration and recall in our canine pals, the team suggests.

The researchers stumbled upon their find by chance while conducting a study of “gifted word learner” dogs. Most dogs can’t memorize the names of even two toys, but these talented pups—all border collies—could recall and retrieve at least 10 toys they had been taught the names of. One overachiever named Whisky correctly retrieved 54 out of 59 toys he had learned to identify.

Over the course of several months, the researchers tested the dogs’ abilities to learn and recall labels for toys, comparing their skills with those of 33 “typical” dogs. Owners placed toys in another room and asked for them by name. Only the seven gifted dogs were able to rapidly learn and remember names. But these dogs shared something else in common: the head tilt.

The pattern was too consistent to be pure coincidence, says Andrea Sommese, an animal behavior researcher at Eötvös Loránd University who led the study. “So we decided to dig into it.”

A quick internet search turned up plenty of speculative results positing that dogs tilt their heads to hear better, to listen for specific words or tones, or to see past their snouts. Sommese found one poster hypothesizing that shelter dogs do it more often because they know on some level that humans find it irresistible.

The scientific literature was much more sparse. A search for previous studies on head tilting yielded surprisingly few results. There were some veterinary papers about the practice as a symptom of certain health problems, Sommese says, but nothing about the quizzical behavior familiar to dog owners. That led researchers back to their own data to look for clues.

The scientists found that—when asked to retrieve a toy—gifted dogs cocked their heads 43% of them time over dozens of trials, compared with just 2% of the time in typical dogs, they report this week in Animal Cognition. (Although gifted dogs tilted their heads much more often, they were just as likely to retrieve the correct toy regardless of whether they made the motion.) The animals even had a favored side, just like humans favor their left or right hand. This was consistent over months of recordings, regardless of where the owner was standing in relation to the dog. “If a dog was a left tilter, it would stay a left tilter,” Sommese says.

All of the border collies in the study were familiar with the words being spoken, he notes, but only the gifted dogs who had correctly attached a meaning to each word consistently exhibited the tilting behavior. That means head tilting isn’t just a sign of familiarity with particular sounds, Sommese argues. If it were, all 40 dogs would be equally likely to do it. The team thinks it could be linked to mental processing—a sign of high attentiveness or concentration in the gifted dogs. The dogs might be cross-referencing the command with their visual memories of the toys, for instance.

Monique Udell, a human-animal interaction researcher at Oregon State University, Corvallis, has never seen head tilting featured in a study like this before. She cautions that these observations are preliminary, but says she thinks they could provide an exciting new direction for research on canine cognition. “The next step is asking more questions to get at what the head tilt really means,” Udell says. “Can we use head tilting to predict word-learning aptitude, or attention, or memory?”

Sommese hopes to follow up on this study by figuring out what sorts of sounds might be similarly meaningful to the nongifted dogs, to elicit the same behavior. Until then, dog owners will have to be content knowing that when a pooch tilts its head, it’s probably just trying its best to understand what you’re doing.

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Dogs Dig Digging. Dogs dig for lots of reasons: As a means to get somewhere, hide food, explore and, frankly, just for fun. This knack for getting dirt between the paws goes back to the days when they dug dens and buried their leftovers. Watching other dogs and owners dig can also encourage the urge to make a hole of their own.

Part of the reason we love dogs is for their unconditional love and curious nature. Some of their most endearing qualities may also stump us from time to time: the furious digging, the inexplicable rolling in stinky, smelly stuff, and the ritualistic nesting at bedtime.

Many of these strange behaviors common to dogs are believed to be tied to the days when they ran in packs, dug shallow dwellings and gathered their own chow.

Birds Aren’t the Only Nesters

Natalie Wolford of Phoenix, Ariz. has two Chihuahuas, Leo and Bella. Their strange habits include “digging” a bed each night before lying down to sleep.

“Bella goes under the covers near my feet and turns and turns until she starts pawing and pawing before finally plopping down,” says Natalie. “Leo does it sometimes but it’s the same thing every night with Bella.”

So why does Bella nest each night?

puppydoughnut

Before dogs were domesticated some 15,000 years back, they dug shallow beds to keep them a bit warmer than simply snoozing on the ground’s surface.

The bedtime ritual might also be linked to a dog’s instinct to mark his or her territory. Dogs mark the area that they consider theirs by scratching the ground with the smell that comes from the sweat glands in their paws.

While Natalie’s dogs conduct harmless pawing, some dogs shred whatever they can get their paws on. If this is the case, get your dog a bed of her own with a lose fill such as cedar chips. (Dogs are more likely to adapt to a bed placed in spots they already consider their territory.)

Dogs Dig Digging

Dogs dig for lots of reasons: As a means to get somewhere, hide food, explore and, frankly, just for fun.

This knack for getting dirt between the paws goes back to the days when they dug dens and buried their leftovers. Watching other dogs and owners dig can also encourage the urge to make a hole of their own.

If digging causes a problem, fill favorite spots with rocks and a smell they dislike such as chili pepper or their own feces. You can nudge them into digging in a designated spot by burying a treat there and cheering them on as they make the discovery.

Your dog could be sending you a message by the holes he’s digging, according to The Secret Lives of Dogs:

  • Holes near fences indicate something of interest on the other side or boredom.
  • Holes adjacent to the house could mean your dog is lonely and wants to come in.
  • Shallow holes could mean your dog is trying to get comfortable by warming up or cooling down.

What’s That Smell?

Many a pooch enjoys rolling in some smelly stuff from piles of autumn leaves to dirt, snow and, unfortunately, even the droppings and carcasses of other creatures.

152dogrolls

Dogs might prefer a good roll to itch a scratch. Dogs who sometimes rub around after a bath might be attempting to remove the sweet shampoo smell.

Reeling in something smelly could be your dog’s way of saying that he found something interesting and he wants you to know. Or he could be marking his territory. He may enjoy the smell of something so much that chafing against it is his way of taking that lovely smell along with him.

Most rolling and rubbing is harmless. But if your dog picks up a totally unruly scent, freshen him up with odor neutralizers rather than shampoos, which may enhance the stench – err – scent.

Why do dogs ...? - Why do cats and dogs ...?

Dogs are great! They're loyal to a fault, always happy and they seem to genuinely care for their owners. However, they're also a little bit wacky from time to time and do more than their fair share of things we don't understand, which drives us to question their behavior.

Dogs are great! They're loyal to a fault, always happy and they seem to genuinely care for their owners. However, they're also a little bit wacky from time to time and do more than their fair share of things we don't understand, which drives us to question their behavior. Have you also ever wondered if it was just your pet, or if other people wanted to know exactly the same thing?

Thankfully, Google's search is a wonderful proxy to see what lots and lots of people want to know. So let's explore the ~2150 most asked questions about dogs that start with the word “why”. Specifically, questions that start with the following words:

why does a dog | why do dogs | why is a dog | why are dogs | why does my dog | why is my dog

It's the words that follow those six questions that I'm interested in; therefore, questions that are the same except for the starting words have been grouped. For example, why do dogs lick feet and why does my dog lick feet have been combined into one data point representing the lick feet question.

Let's look at similar data that we just did for cats, but now all based around dogs by exploring the ~2200 most asked questions about dogs that start with the word “why”.

In general, things dogs do with their mouth are incredibly popular, including the sounds they make, followed closely by all the different ways they move. I'm going to warn you, there's a fairly large amount of questions that involve, well... 💩. But before we get to that, though, let's start with a category of questions where just one word is so popular it deserves its own section—licking.

By far the most popular dog-related search topic is about what they lick. Not surprisingly, many questions that involve licking are about why dogs lick parts of us so much. Particularly popular are questions about dogs licking our legs and feet. Maybe because they're in easy reach for most dogs?

Try hovering overtapping on any bold text or circles in the visual

People are also asking (in all kinds of ways) why dogs just can't seem to to stop licking or why they like to lick items such as , windows, blankets, pillows, cushions, bed, carpet, or furniture in general.

If you want to see the cat version of any of the visuals, clicktap on the little blue circle in the lower right of the page, when visible.

Visual Explanation | The colors are random | Circles are sized according to question popularity.

Questions about why dogs eat so many strange things aren't far behind licking in terms of popularity. Specifically, eating-related questions are dominated by why dogs like to eat lots of unsavory things. Especially poop..., and not only their own! Apparently charcoal is also a dish that some dogs can't stay away from.

Dogs do lots of other things with their mouth, such as chewing, nibbling or drooling. Although I would imagine dogs nibbling on your kitten, or drooling in your car isn't what you like to see happen.

Interestingly, for cats biting is a lot more popular than what they eat, while for dogs it's the other way around. I wonder if that says more about cats or dogs?

dog-eat-grass.gif

Ignoring the elephant in the room for now (→ eating poop), let's instead go into why dogs like to eat grass from time to time. Dog diets do not officially include grass, but it's actually quite common and considered to be natural dog behavior.

Even so, the reason why so many dogs eat grass is not understood. There are a few widely different theories. For example, it could be as simple as your dog liking the taste or texture of grass, or maybe they are trying to add some fiber into their diet.

There are also less fun theories. Perhaps your dog is bored and just doesn't have anything else to do to pass the time. Some also think it could be a sign of an upset stomach and that dogs eat grass and then vomit to sooth the stomach; however, research doesn't seem to support this theory.

Sure, dogs don't mind sleeping, but most prefer being up and about a lot more than cats. I for one have always wondered why dogs like to shake their heads when holding toys. Apparently they also shake... other animals around? What about why dogs roll over when they know that they're in trouble?

There are some other lovely quirky questions in this group—from those that ask why dogs sit on a variety of other living animals to why dogs love to rub their bums on the ground, or your carpet. Also, why do they follow you into the bathroom? Or try to hump stuffed animals, or even another dog's face?!

dog-shake.gif

The most obvious reason is to shake off excess water when dogs are wet, but I'm guessing this is not the “shake” for which most people are searching. Perhaps they are referring more to the shivering kind of movements?

On the good side, a dog can get really, really excited! Shaking can help them get rid of some of all that happy energy. Some may have learned that their owners will show them affection when they shake, so if they want more love, they'll try to shake; smart dogs!

Shaking can also be a sign of discomfort. Interestingly enough, being cold seems to not be the most common reason. They could literally be shivering in fear (fireworks ring a bell?), from being anxious, nervous, ill or in pain. If you're worried about any excessive shaking of your dog, be sure to see your vet!

Howling is a sound that is uniquely associated with dogs and their wolf cousins. Therefore, it’s probably not surprising that out of all the questions that are asked about the sounds dogs make, why they howl is the most popular overall. Even the more mystical howling at the moon is asked pretty often. With dogs being such social animals, they also like to howl with us. Although... maybe not all dogs...

Additionally, people tend to be curious about the barking behavior of dogs. For example, why do dogs like to bark at the mailman, at inanimate objects or, well, at nothing at all?

Sadly there's no geographical information in my data to check if all the questions about why dogs are panting so much come primarily from searchers living in hotter climates. After all, panting is the way dogs “sweat”.

Now that we've explored some of the topics of the “why”-related dog questions, let's put all of the ~2150 questions together so you can search and discover them even more freely.

To make sure that this doesn't take up an excessive amount of space, but also to look at the questions from a different angle, all questions have been grouped to create “sentence trees”. A sentence tree combines sentences that start with the same word and creates new branches whenever the next word in the sentence has multiple options.

Let me explain with an example. Take all the questions that “start” with the word dig, meaning the first word that comes after any of the “why do/does/are (my/a) dog(s)” variations:

Why do dogs / Why does my dog dig, Why do dogs dig at the floor, Why do dogs dig at the beach, Why do dogs / Why does my dog dig holes, Why does my dog dig in her bed, Why do dogs dig in the bed, Why do dogs dig inside, Why do dogs dig lots holes when they are sick, Why do dogs dig their face into you, Why do dogs dig their head into you.

There are two sentences in the list above that all have the words at the right after the word dig: dig at the beach and dig at the floor. We can, therefore, combine these two sentences one level deeper and only split them apart from the word where they start to differ; beach and floor. Doing this for all the questions that start with dig gives the following sentence tree:

If we now make the size of the circles depend on the question popularity, shorten all the lines, and make them spread around the first dig circle, we get following small package of all the questions that start with dig:

dog-sentence-explanation-network.png

When we repeat this process for all ~320 unique words that follow “why do/does/are (my/a) dog(s)” we get the collection of sentence trees below.

Perhaps you'd like to learn why dogs are always happy, man's best friend, or just the best overall? Or maybe you're more interested to know some interesting and useful facts? For example, why is it that dogs are allergic to chocolate, or grapes (in case you didn't already know). And ever wonder why dogs are called K9? Although that last one is easy, just listen to the whole “word” while saying K9...

In case you don't see anything happen when you hover over the bold text examples, try clicking it to be taken down to the visual below.

And what about wanting to understand very specific aspects of a dogs behavior? For example, why are they so obsessed with balls? Why do they like to bite the water when they swim? Why do they like sticking their head out the window? These questions stem from many endearing moments shared with our pets.

Visual Explanation | As before, circles are sized according to question popularity | The colors are still random | The final “leaves” in a sentence tree are fully colored while those that still have branches are white with a colored stroked | Hovering overTapping on a circle reveals not only the sentence up till that point, but also all the variations that (might) follow after | Finally, if you're interested in something specific, try looking for it with the search box at the top.

The most popular question on Google that asks “why” about dogs is “Why do dogs lick?”. And this is also the most popular question that people ask specifically about their own dog; “Why does my dog lick (me)?” is number one of all the questions that also include the word “my”.

In fact, there is quite an overlap between the two lists; there are seven questions about dogs that occur on both the “my” and “non-my” top 15. Although shaking, smelling and panting are more popular when people search for their own dog than generally about dogs though. Whereas the most popular general questions are more geared towards why dogs seem to eat some rather strange things, such as grass or (their own) poop.

Similar to cats, questions that are popular when people search for “my dog” include things that you realize more when you actually share your house with a dog, such as all the different ways a dog licks (and doesn't stop), whines, stares at you and follows you around.

While the remaining questions on the general top 15 that aren't high up on the “my” list seem like the more unpleasant experiences that fit someone who has met a naughty (friend's) dog: why they hump, bark, scratch, bite and dig. Thankfully, “Why are dogs better than cats?” is in there too, even though the reverse question is even more popular amongst cat lovers.

I had personally expected to find the “why do dogs like to play fetch” in the top 10 and not the ~400th rank it's at. But perhaps it's obvious, any playtime with their owner is just magical.

Visual Explanation | On the left is the top 15 of most asked “why does/is my dog” questions, while on the right is the top 15 for the more general “why do/does/is/are (a) dog(s)” questions | The circles are scaled to question popularity | Circles with a pink-orange color occur in the top 15 on both sides. The blue and green colored circles occur below the top 15 of the respective other side, whereas the grey circles do not appear as a question about “my dog” | The thicker a line, the higher up that question occurs on both rankings.

Now that we've been looking solely at the “why” questions that people search for about their dogs, let's expand our view and look at the popularity of all dog related questions per country. And let's add cats too, to finally settle the debate over which countries are dog countries and which are cat countries (well, assuming search popularity is a decent proxy for that).

Although the analyses above only took English questions into account, we are now looking at the overall search popularity of dogs and cats irrespective of the language used (thanks to Google's Knowledge Graph). If you're a dog-lover, you might be happy to hear that almost all countries, more than 85%, show more searches about dogs than cats!

Dog searches are by far most popular in Vietnam. Additionally, they are an especially popular search topic in English speaking countries, with the US, UK, Australia, and Canada all in the top 10 of countries that search for dogs the most.

Middle & South American countries also rank exceptionally high, with almost half of the countries in the top 15 lying in the Americas. This might not be surprising since a quick Google search reveals that many of the American countries are estimated to have a very high dog ownership rate.

Overall, it appears that even though it might sometimes feel like the internet is overrun with funny cat videos, dogs make us turn to Google search a lot more!

Visual Explanation | This visual shows the Google search popularity of dogs and cats for ±115 countries between 2013 - 2018 | Each circle represents either the dog or cat search popularity, depending on color | The farther outward a circle is placed, the higher its search popularity.

Visual Explanation | This visual shows the Google search popularity of dogs and cats for ±115 countries between 2013 - 2018 | Each circle represents the search popularity for one country, with dogs on the left and cats on the right | The higher a circle is placed, the higher its search popularity | Each country's dog & cat circle are connected by a line.

Hopefully, this deep dive into what people search for to understand (their) dogs just a little better, has shown you that dogs everywhere just love to lick! And of course that they are wonderful & wacky. Even though we might not always understand why they do the things they do, we'll continue to love them regardless!

Interestingly enough, the questions people ask about cats are surprisingly similar to dogs and yet totally unique. A lot less licking and poop, but instead much more sleeping, biting ಥ_ಥ and 🥒cucumbers! So if you also like cats, or if this has made you curious, this would be a good time to check out the cats page too!

Hey, you made it all the way through both the cat and dog pages! I hope it has only increased your for these two amazing animals!

Go back to the starting page
Reasons Why Dogs Hump and How to Stop It

Sometimes, an intact dog will hump a spayed or neutered dog. Females hump too, and it may or may not be sexual in nature. When a dog humps objects or people, it might be a form of masturbation. Having your dog neutered or spayed may help with the problem, but be aware that dogs may develop the habit of humping before they're altered and continue it afterward.

Humping is a frequent (and embarrassing) behavior you may observe in your dog. Sometimes dogs hump other dogs. Sometimes they hump a stuffed animal or a sofa. Perhaps worst, sometimes they hump a person's leg.

It can be awkward when your dog is humping something in front of other people. It's particularly cringe-worthy if your dog likes to hump people, especially if the "victims" don't have or don't like dogs. Although humping is usually a harmless behavior, there are ways to discourage your dog from humping everything in sight.

Humping, or mounting, is an action that seems inherently sexual in nature. However, this is not always the case. Humping is part instinct and part learned behavior and, most importantly, it is completely normal for dogs. It only becomes a behavior problem when your dog humps people, upsets other dogs by mounting them, or when the humping is excessive. 

There are a few different reasons why dogs hump.

An intact dog (not spayed or neutered) may hump other dogs due to hormones and sexual attraction. When both dogs are intact, they usually end up mating, so you need to keep intact dogs of the opposite sex separate if you don't want that to happen.

Sometimes, an intact dog will hump a spayed or neutered dog. Females hump too, and it may or may not be sexual in nature. When a dog humps objects or people, it might be a form of masturbation. Having your dog neutered or spayed may help with the problem, but be aware that dogs may develop the habit of humping before they're altered and continue it afterward.

Usually, dogs aren't emulating mating behavior when they hump. Nonsexual arousal is more likely to provoke a dog to hump. It's just a way for the dog to burn off energy or relieve stress. Some dogs bark, some run or jump, and others hump. This is normal for many dogs. If the behavior is frequent, training may help by redirecting your dog to another outlet for its excess energy.

Along the same lines, some dogs hump as an attention-seeking behavior or because they are bored. If this is the case, providing them with ample exercise, mental stimulation, and attention when they are not humping should help.

Like play fighting, play humping can be a completely normal and acceptable behavior between two dogs as long as it doesn't upset one of the dogs. Some dogs play hump each other back and forth, and everyone is fine with it. Some dogs simply enjoy humping. Make sure to break it up if one of the dogs seems annoyed by the humping. Training (for instance, to run to your side when called) may be useful in decreasing the frequency and intensity of play humping.

Before you try to train your dog not to hump, you should rule out any medical causes. While humping is not usually related to a medical condition, there are a few possibilities.

Urinary tract infections, skin allergies, and priapism (persistent erection) may elicit humping. This is similar to other behaviors, such as licking the genital area or rubbing against furniture or other objects. Your vet should be able to rule out health conditions as possible reasons for humping.

Since there are a few different reasons for dog humping, it may take a bit of trial and error to get your dog to knock it off.

Obviously, you don't want your dog humping your guests. You also don't want humping to lead to a fight with another dog. Even humping an object can potentially cause damage (depending on the object). Fortunately, humping can usually be managed through training.

Illustration: The Spruce / Julie Bang

First of all, if you want to stop your dog's humping, you need to address the behavior while it's happening. Call your dog's name and say a word like "off" or "stop." The word "no" is not ideal since it's used so often in conversation. Likewise, the word "down" may be confusing if your dog knows how to lie down on command (or if you ever want to teach it).

If your dog stops humping when you say "stop" or "off," reward with a treat, a toy, or affection, depending on what your dog likes most. Remove the humping target if possible. If it's a person, you might just need to remove your dog from the room.

If you can't get your dog's attention with a verbal cue, you might need to lure it away with a valuable reward. Find something very appealing, like a treat or a favorite squeaky toy. Consistently repeat the "off" or "stop" cue each time the dog humps; then coax it away. Praise your dog when he moves his attention to the reward and away from the humping.

Eventually, you might be able to break your dog's humping habit. However, some dogs won't quit that easily. If yours is one of them, you may wish to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to work on the issue.

Otherwise, you might need to accept that your dog is going to hump and avoid situations where humping will be a problem. If this is how things turn out, you'll need to know how to predict the humping behavior and prevent it whenever possible. This is especially true when humping may cause a dogfight or an injury to someone.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

Reasons Behind Weird Dog Behavior

It's natural to project our human traits and emotions onto dogs, but you just can't explain dog behavior. Luckily, these canine experts can.

RD.COM Pets & Animals Dogs

It's our natural tendency to project our human traits and emotions onto dogs—until you see your dog rolling in the mud. You just can't explain that, but these canine experts can.

DogSigma S/Shutterstock

As you may have guessed, this usually means they’re dreaming, and fortunately, it’s not usually of any medical significance, says Gary Richter, DVM, integrative veterinarian, and veterinary health expert at Rover.com. What’s interesting is that studies revealed certain dog breeds acted out their hallmark traits while dreaming, like an English springer spaniel flushing out prey or a pointer “pointing” in its sleep. If all that “running” during sleep seems excessive, Dr. Richter says it could point to underlying stress or a medical condition. Dogs sleeping too much could be a sign of sickness, too—find out how much dogs usually sleep.

Yellow labrador retriever standing on sofa looking out the windowCarol Kelpin/Shutterstock

Every day the mail carrier delivers mail, your dog barks. Does this dog behavior simply mean dogs hate mail carriers? “Barking at people outside is a protective behavior. Dogs see their house as their territory and anyone approaching or near their territory is a potential threat, so they bark to ward off the intruder,” says Dr. Richter.  Adding to it, each time the mail carrier delivers mail, your dog barks and the mail carrier goes away. It creates a pattern that is reinforced over and over. “From the dog’s perspective, they are saving the house from invasion every day by driving away the invader. We never appreciate their efforts,” says Dr. Richter. Just like dogs actually have a justification for barking at the mailman, there’s a reason behind each one of your pup’s facial expressions.

Dog rolling over in grass, enjoying sunny day in parkRobert Petrovic/Shutterstock

Dogs have upwards of 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose, and humans have a paltry six million. With all those receptors, you would think dogs’ high scent orientation would steer them away from vile and pungent smells, like dead animals, yet it’s like Eau de Stinky to them. “Their opinions about what constitutes an attractive scent are often different from ours,” says veterinarian Jennifer L. Summerfield, Brown Veterinary Service, DVM, CPDT-KA. “It’s thought that the behavior of rolling in dead or especially stinky things may have originated as a way of disguising the dog’s scent, which could be useful for hunting.”

Flat Coated Retriever puppy eats a chicken carcassPhil Stev/Shutterstock

Like smell, a dog’s sense of taste is vastly different from ours. We both like a juicy burger, but dogs find a rotting chicken or even vomit quite tasty, too. “Dogs originally evolved as scavengers eating scraps on the periphery of human settlements, and feral dog populations today still manage to survive quite well on less-than-ideal food sources like trash, roadkill, and other unsavory options,” explains Dr. Summerfield. But why don’t they get sick when they eat nasty roadkill or expired food? “A dog’s GI tract can process bacteria and other contaminants that would make a human sick and is often able to extract some nutritional value from ‘gross’ things like poop or vomit.” Your dog’s eating habits could also be indicating a serious medical condition, so it’s important to know why your dog eats non-food items, like dirt.

Dog poops in a meadowDora Zett/Shutterstock

Dr. Summerfield says there are three possible reasons for this. One theory is they are stamping down the grass for a clean place to poop. The second is they are scanning the area for predators before they go. Lastly, a study found the most interesting reason. “A study done in Europe found that dogs tend to align themselves in a North-South position when they poop,” says Dr. Summerfield. Even more fascinating, dogs rarely relieved themselves along the east-west alignment. Think your dog’s bathroom requirements are strange? You probably never even realized these other unbelievable facts about your dog’s behavior.

Dog sniffing other dog's rear, close-upPhotick/Shutterstock

You really don’t have to apologize to your new friend when your dog sniffs their crotch—but you will anyway. Dr. Summerfield says the reason why you shouldn’t be embarrassed about this dog behavior is that dogs collect a lot of vital information via their nose and the most concentrated sources of pheromones the crotch or butt area whether you have two legs or four. It doesn’t matter if your human or not. “Although we might find this behavior socially inappropriate, sniffing the anus or genital areas of another dog is a very polite and normal way to say hello in the canine world—much like shaking hands for humans,” says Dr. Summerfield. “So it’s not surprising that when they’re meeting a new human friend, many dogs go straight for the crotch for a good ‘getting to know you’ sniff.” In addition to what your pup learns from sniffing your pheromones, there are at least 13 other secrets your dog knows about you.

Cute barking dog not aggressive on leashalexei_tm/Shutterstock

“Many dogs are anxious or uncomfortable about interacting with other dogs—this can be due to genetics, negative past experiences, or a lack of adequate early socialization as a puppy,” says Dr. Summerfield. A dog may lunge forward and bark at another dog to keep it from getting to close; other dogs may hide or cower behind you while some just lay down in an overly submissive posture because they’re fearful or not comfortable with the situation. Dr. Summerfield adds, “It’s not uncommon for a dog to be wary of other dogs, but very friendly towards humans—or vice versa.”

Puppy Jack Russell Terrier licks his mistress. A lovable puppy.photo-oxser/Shutterstock

Let’s start with the most licked place: our face. “Licking the face, especially around the mouth, is a normal friendly greeting behavior that dogs often display towards other dogs when saying hello. This is usually seen a submissive gesture—a way of saying, ‘Hi there! I’m no threat to you!'” says Dr. Summerfield. So, it’s perfectly natural for a dog to lick a human face too. As far as feet, fingers, and in between toes: The stronger the smell, the higher the attraction. “This may be due to the higher concentration of scent in these areas, which is also why many dogs are attracted to dirty socks and dirty laundry.” While it may be normal for your dog to lick you, you should definitely consider the scary reason you shouldn’t let a dog lick your face.

French bulldog puppy on the carpetPatryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

The butt scootin’ boogie is kind of comical to watch, but you have to wonder why they do it and what they are leaving behind on your floor. It’s a sure sign of plugged or infected anal glands.”Normally, these sacs express their contents, a very pungent-smelling brown fluid, when the dog defecates. But occasionally, the sacs might become plugged or infected and have a hard time emptying on their own,” says Dr. Summerfield. To relieve the discomfort, they scoot their butt on the floor. “If this happens, your veterinarian can normally resolve the problem by expressing the glands manually.” In addition to your dog scooting on their but, make sure to monitor for these things dogs do to let you know they’re sick.

Golden retriever is digging a hole in sandy soil to hide his toy tennis ball. The dog's legs and toy.Candy299/Shutterstock

Some dogs bury their treasures while others stash them behind a chair or under a stack of pillows on the sofa. Dr. Richter says this is purely instinctual behavior. “They are keeping track of their stuff,” he says. To keep their treasures from being stolen by another animal, they hide it for safekeeping. While this dog behavior is perfectly natural, some breeds known for hunting like hounds and terriers are prone to digging and hiding as the prey they hunt lives underground. Dachshunds, another breed known for stashing, may have a cache of toys and treats nestled in the corner of a dog bed.

Boxer canine looks through screen door while waiting for something.Lori Jaeski/Shutterstock

A dog can be dead to the world when it’s sleeping, but when a door opens, it instantly comes to life and sprints to the door to check it out. This dog behavior is similar to ours when we’re surprised at something—we perk right up to see what’s up. But for a dog, there’s a little more to it. “This is an instinctive self-protection behavior. Something has moved suddenly and unexpectedly, and they don’t know what may be coming through the door,” says Dr. Richter. Some dogs take it further and bolt through the door because they want to investigate potential threats and defend their space. Didn’t realize your dog was holding down the fort each time he sprinted to the door? You probably never knew these other secrets your dog would tell you if he could.

MUDDY DIRTY JACK RUSSELL DOG WITH A STICK IN MOUTH IN A MUD PUDDLEsmrm1977/Shutterstock

It could be anything really from a magnolia seed pod to a glove someone dropped. “Dogs use their mouths in much the same way that human children use their hands. Many dogs are naturally curious about the world, and if they find an object interesting, they may want to pick it up, hold it, or carry it for a while,” says Dr. Summerfield. They’re curious just like toddlers, and some breeds are attracted to certain objects like a toddler is to a blankie, especially if the dog is a sporting or retrieving breed.

Close up back view of two small Jack Russell dogs sniffing about in Autumn leaves, showing waggy tailsJenny Summers/Shutterstock

Tails can express a wide variety of emotions. A low wagging tail with a wide sweeping arc is a friendly wag, while a high, stiff tail may indicate aggression or arousal. But why do dogs wag their tail to a certain side? “Recent studies on dog body language do suggest that there may be a difference as to how the left- and right-sided tail wags are interpreted by other dogs, and in how the dogs feel when wagging their tails to the left vs. the right,” says Dr. Summerfield. In the study, dogs remained relaxed when they saw images of another dog wagging its tail to the right, but when dogs saw the image of the tail wagging to the left, it stirred up anxiety. More research is needed, but it indeed points to the tail as a key communicator. Now that you know why your pooch is acting a little strange, find out the 19 things your dog actually wants from you.

Originally Published: July 31, 2019

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Why Do Dogs Like to Chew on Things?

Why Do Dogs Chew? Boredom can be another culprit. Think about it: You are at work all day, and your dog is home, alone, just waiting for you to return. Think about how bored you'd be! To combat his boredom, you can offer chew toys or toys that dispense food. Keep some out of reach so that you can surprise him with something novel, or break out his favorite chew toy just before you leave. Just ...

We've all seen the pet-shaming videos. You know the ones: A pet parent comes home to find a happy, tail-wagging dog waiting at the front door. Person and dog walk into the living room and — oh no! — the couch has been mysteriously ripped apart! Stuffing is everywhere! The pet parent gasps in horror. What could possibly have happened? Who could be to blame? Why do dogs chew things?

Learn what makes your dog gnaw on his surroundings and how you can convince him to leave your socks (or plants, or books, or furniture or toilet paper rolls) alone.

Border collie chewing on a blue sneaker

Chewing & Separation Anxiety?

The first thing you need to do is to figure out why your dog is engaging in destructive behavior. One common reason is separation anxiety. Most dogs will give you sad puppy eyes when you leave, but a dog with separation anxiety will go beyond a simple pout or whine when you leave him home alone.

A dog with separation anxiety may soil in the house or start destructive behaviors like tipping over the garbage can or ripping up his dog bed. He may even injure himself attempting to escape. Anxious dogs might also bark or drool excessively or refuse to eat or drink. Many pups with separation anxiety don't respond well to being crated. Consult your vet on ways to help your dog overcome separation anxiety.

Why Do Dogs Chew?

Boredom can be another culprit. Think about it: You are at work all day, and your dog is home, alone, just waiting for you to return. Think about how bored you'd be!

To combat his boredom, you can offer chew toys or toys that dispense food. Keep some out of reach so that you can surprise him with something novel, or break out his favorite chew toy just before you leave. Just like you might do for your cat, you can invest in a puzzle feeder that keeps your dog active and busy and gives you some peace of mind. Just make sure that his toys are filled with a daily portion of his healthy dog food instead of treats.

Finally, puppies who are teething frequently want to chew on something to relieve their pain. Plus, just like human babies, they want to put everything in their mouths. New textures! New tastes! New experiences! So much fun! To keep your pup from staring shamefacedly at a shredded slipper, make sure he has plenty of sturdy and age-appropriate chew toys and try not to leave him unsupervised for too long.

Advice to Chew On

How can you teach your pup not to chew? Crating your dog or designating a doggy-proof room are two options. You should start crate training when he is young if possible, and be consistent. However, make sure your energetic pup gets plenty of time to run around. You can also teach him a simple "drop it" or "leave it" command if he chews on anything other than his toys in front of you.

If you're away for long periods, consider hiring a dog walker or enrolling your pooch in doggy day care. These options keep your dog active and give him a social outlet when you're away, both of which will go a long way toward keeping you from coming home to find a new hole in your wall.

If nothing else works, you can try making an unpleasant-tasting deterrent spray to discourage your dog from chewing on specific objects (like his favorite chair leg). Cuteness suggests a mixture of white vinegar and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Never spray the deterrent on your dog's body, and keep up with his behavioral training to reinforce what you want him to learn.

German short haired puppy chewing on a bright orange ball in the yard.

Tucker Him Out

The most important thing you can do to prevent destructive behavior is to give your dog lots of exercise and love! Keeping your dog well-exercised and giving him lots of social stimulation when you're home can go a long way to changing his behavior when you're not home. After all, who isn't ready to settle in for a long, quiet nap after a brisk walk in the neighborhood or a session of backyard fetch?

What you shouldn't do is discipline your dog after the fact. Your dog might act ashamed on your viral video, but really he's reacting to your tone of voice and mannerisms. Correcting your dog when you catch him in the act can help him learn, but telling him "no" hours after the fact won't help him connect the discipline with the destruction.

We know destructive dogs can cause havoc on a home. Consider why your canine pal is acting out, and give him some alternative options to let out his boundless energy.

Kara Murphy

Kara Murphy

Kara Murphy is a freelance writer and pet parent who lives in Erie, Pa. She has a goldendoodle named Maddie.

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Dogs do not reason, they react. Dogs never premeditate their actions, meaning, they never think, "I am going to bite that mailman today." When a dog bites, it is most likely because the human is not communicating with the dog properly. There are certain things our canine friends need to be satisfied and happy. When they don't get them, they react accordingly. Dogs, and animals in general, have a …

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Dogs are not mechanical creatures, nor are they humans. Their brains do not work in the same way that a human’s does. They lack human reasoning and some of our more complicated human emotions, but these are replaced with their own unique abilities that we would not trade for the world. That is what makes animals so special; they differ from humans. Taking the time to learn how it thinks and what makes it tick will help you successfully communicate with your dog. Give your dog what it needs, rather than only taking what YOU want from your dog. Those who do for others are, generally, happier than those who only focus on themselves.

If you had a snake as a pet, you would more likely see the snake as the animal it is and try and give it what it instinctually needs, for example, a hut to hide under. Unfortunately, many people humanize their dogs and perceive them as having human tendencies. In doing so, the dog suffers because he does not get his instinctual needs met.

Dogs do not reason, they react. Dogs never premeditate their actions, meaning, they never think, "I am going to bite that mailman today." When a dog bites, it is most likely because the human is not communicating with the dog properly. There are certain things our canine friends need to be satisfied and happy. When they don't get them, they react accordingly.

Dogs, and animals in general, have a universal language. They read one another's energy/emotions. Humans can also read energy, but most humans have let this ability fall dormant. If you are displeased, your dog will know it when you walk into the room because it feels your anger and the energy that is produced by this emotion. Dogs do not understand that the reason you are displeased is because they chewed up your couch or peed on the floor. The only way to make a dog truly understand something is wrong or bad is to catch him at the moment he is committing the deed, or the split second beforehand.

Dogs are pack creatures. Just because the alpha member is shunning them doesn't mean they know why, they just recognize that you're displeased. The slinking behavior is a generalized plea for forgiveness for crossing over boundaries or limitations the pack leader places on its subordinates (lower members of the pack), not an acknowledgment of a specific wrongdoing.

Here is an example: if your dog chews something up and in the past you have yelled or corrected him after it was chewed, let’s say the trash, your dog now thinks it is bad for that trash to be on the floor. Because your correction did not come at the right time, your dog may not understand that the act of chewing the trash is the unwanted behavior, he may only think that it's bad to have trash on the floor. Therefore, the dog chews the trash, sees trash on floor and suddenly it's BAD. He slinks away or displays submissive signs because he knows you are going to be upset and he will be punished. Yet, he chews the trash again because he does not know that CHEWING the trash is the unwanted behavior. Your dog knows you are mad, but unless you caught him in the act, he does not know why. Consequently, if you throw a piece of paper at the trash, miss and the paper falls to the floor, your dog may bark, as he knows trash on the floor is not in compliance with how the world is supposed to be. He will bark to alert you that something is out of place. When you pick the paper up and throw it away in the trashcan, order will have been restored to the universe and they will settle down.

Tip: Don't use your dog’s name when correcting him. His name should only be used for positive reinforcement.

In order for dogs to successfully live among humans, the humans must be the pack leaders. In the wild, pack leaders do not give affection to lower members of the pack unless it is earned by exhibiting wanted behavior. What they do give are rules the pack must follow, limits to what they are allowed to do, and boundaries that the pack must not cross. This social structure makes the dog feel safe and secure. When dogs live with humans they experience a human trait called affection. Love is embedded in all animate creatures and affection is the exhibition of that love. However, affection is not as frequently displayed in the dog world as it is in the human world. An example of affection in dogs is displayed by licking, like when a group returns after hunting and is greeted by the puppies/adolescent dogs that did not participate in the hunt. Affection between two different species is something humans have introduced to dogs and humans must learn the proper times to give it in order to properly communicate.

Affection is wonderful and dogs thrive on this human characteristic. However, too many times we give our dogs only affectionate love and we overlook their important canine instincts. The thing that keeps the pack solid and the members secure is consistent, firm, confident discipline. When a dog is lacking in discipline, he will lose his direction, become unstable, confused, insecure and unhappy. The lower dogs look to the pack leader for guidance and direction. Their instincts tell them that without a strong, consistent pack leader, they will not survive. Therefore, it is instinctual for a dog to try to take over if they do not see you as a consistent, strong leader.

Note: Do not confuse excitement in a dog for happiness. This is another way in which we humanize a dog's behavior. A dog who runs around very excited is lacking in mental and physical exercise and, in most cases, leadership as well. Dogs cannot speak words, so they are unable to tell us what they really need.

Dogs also need to be taken on daily walks. In nature, birds fly, fish swim, and dogs walk." For a dog, walking is a migration instinct. Packs walk to find food. The leader leads the way and the lower members happily follow. Taking a dog for a walk is not only for exercise but also for the mental fulfillment of your dog’s instincts. Running around your backyard, playing with another dog, chasing a ball, or taking your dog to the dog park is not going to satisfy this instinct.

The biggest mistake dog owners make is that they forget dogs are animals. We humanize dogs, as it pleases the human inside of us to do so. Too many times we humans use dogs to satisfy our own needs, and overlook the fact that our canines, what we call “man's best friend,” have their own needs. People do not think about what the "animal" in their dog needs. Dogs help people, and it’s high time people start helping dogs by taking a step back and seeing dogs as animals, learning what these animals need and giving it to them. Then, and only then, can we also be our dog’s best friend.

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"We adopted Miss Piggy as a puppy from a breeder. I drove four hours one way, extremely sick, to get this dog for my husband for his birthday. We have been married ten years and he has always wanted a Bulldog. I found her and knew we had to have her. Every Bulldog we'd ever seen was white or brindle; she is red. Miss Piggy is ten months old. She is the Alpha in our house; all the dogs listen to her. She is the boss and is extremely stubborn. She loves everyone. Her best friend is Gabe, our nine-month-old blue Pit bull. They are about the same age and were raised together. I am currently reading Cesar Millan's book, "Be a Pack Leader." I definitely need this with this girl. She knows she's the boss of even the people. She uses her weight to knock things out of her way. She is a spoiled princess. I know we caused it. It took us so long to get a Bulldog. We spoiled her rotten. She has had so many health issues already. She has had two cherry eye surgeries on the same eye, and needs another one. She has skin issues as well. She is hard to get a pic of, she is always running around, playing with a ball. She is such a joy to have in our home. There is nothing like slobbery bulldog kisses. I love to smooth her wrinkles. She loves to have her belly rubbed and her butt scratched. She loves to play fetch and chase balls around the house. She is just a big bundle of love."

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"Ferris is a purebred Jack Russell Terrier and Charlie is a terrier mix. They are both rescue dogs. Ferris is a perfect example of a Jack Russell Terrier. He is spirited, loving, and extremely intelligent. Charlie has a few immune system problems and a chronic skin condition. They are the yin-and-yang of dogs. Ferris gets plenty of exercise. I walk him and I am working on teaching him to run alongside me while on my bike. Charlie is getting used to being a dog. He was in a cage for over two years at a no-kill animal shelter. He did well crate training and learning to walk on a leash...or to walk at all. Caesar Millan's show has been really helpful. I used to let Ferris do whatever he wanted. I have learned to be a pack leader or both my sanity and his."

Written by Sharon Maguire© Dog Breed Info Center® All Rights Reserved

  • Understanding Dog Behavior