Weird but Normal Dog Behaviours

Weird but Normal Dog Behaviours

We share our homes with these sweet, furry little family members, but have you noticed them do some of the strangest things? Well, most of these “weird” behaviours are completely normal!

Sniffing…there – Yep! Dogs sniff butts! It’s typical dog behaviour, though it does sometimes garner a giggle or an uncomfortable laugh. And if humans started partaking it would be, awkward. But it’s actually extremely normal and useful for dogs!

Dogs have a sense of smell that can be between 10,000 and 100,000 times more sensitive than that of a human. Think of it as, if we walk into a home where someone’s baking bread, we’ll smell a yummy loaf. A dog, on the other hand, will recognize all the separate ingredients as a separate and distinct odour!

SO, why do they sniff each other’s butts? To get information! A simple butt sniff can tell your dog a lot of helpful information about new dogs that can be useful for keeping themselves safe. The closer a dog can get to a source of body chemistry, the better they can sense if new dogs are friends or foes.

Spinning Before Settling - Circling before laying down is believed to have been done for a couple of reasons. First, for safety. Because wild dogs slept outdoors, in leaves and grass, circling an area would have forced snakes and insects nesting below the grass to scatter.

And, because circling would flatted out the area, it created a visible signal to other wild dogs that the space had been claimed. 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.

Howling - It’s not uncommon for dogs to howl when hearing certain sounds. Many dog owners have reported howling when ambulances are nearby, when a certain song comes on the radio, or when they play an instrument.

Howling is a form of communication in dogs. It is a way for dogs to signal their presence to other dogs that are often located far away. It is common in wolves and coyotes, both relatives of today’s domestic dog. Sometimes dogs will howl when they hear sirens or other loud higher pitched sounds like clarinets and flutes (or the ambulance or theme song that sets them off).

Dogs do this as an instinctive response to hearing what they interpret to be another howling dog in the distance. They are not doing this because it hurts their ears.

Tilting Their Head - While the simple answer is that dogs tilt their heads to hear us better, the truth is actually a bit more complex. Dogs are well known to have incredible hearing, but, they sometimes have trouble locating the source of a sound, or the direction that it’s coming from.

Tilting their heads repositions the ears, helps to open the ear canal, and allows a dog to better judge distance and position of sounds. As part of their incredible audible abilities, the slight change in sound from different positions of the ears can help a dog pinpoint its source.

But that’s not all!

Dogs also tilt their heads while listening to us speak to them as a way to first, let us know they’re paying attention and, second, as an involuntary muscle movement while they’re searching for familiar words or phrases. This is one theory you can test (and prove) right now! Get your dog’s attention and say “do you wanna…” and watch for the head tilt as they’re waiting for that magic phrase “go for a walk?”

Please do bear in mind that everything in this post is strictly advisory and has been gathered from various reputable sources from the internet. We're not vets, and you should always seek professional advice if you ever have concerns.

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Jun 03 2022
by Claire