Why Do They Do That?

Narrated from: General Info

As you watch your dog goofing off or playing around you will likely see him or her do things that make you wonder “What is he doing?” or “Why does he do that?” Let’s explore your pup’s natural tendencies and the reasons behind it so you can better understand your dog. Some of the things they do seem annoying while others seem downright rude, until you understand them. From crotch sniffing to humping there are very good reasons behind their actions and it’s not just to upset you!

Crotch sniffing: You would be amazed to find out just how much a dog can tell about other dogs and your guests by this age-old practice! Your dog is seeking information about how nervous your guest is, where they have been, what they have had to eat and he is watching the reaction of their target to see how dog-friendly they are. The dog can tell if this person is friendly and whether or not they have been around other animals. Your dog can smell fear in humans just as easily as they can sense kindness. Likely this falls in to the category of downright rude until you know how much this little sniff is teaching your dog. While it may be embarrassing, you can teach your dog the “Leave-it” command and he will stop this annoying behavior.

One funny habit most young dogs practice is tail-chasing. We may wonder why they don’t get dizzy and fall over or why they are doing this in the first place. Often we laugh at this one, but it too has a very meaningful purpose. Puppies need to explore their body just like babies. When they are chasing their tail it closely relates to an infant grabbing their feet and playing with their toes. If this behavior continues in to adulthood or becomes obsessive to the point when you can not distract him, there may be a compulsive disorder in action. Compulsive disorders are quite common in some breeds and can require enlisting an animal behavior modification expert to put an end to the behavior.

Another annoying problem with some dogs is referred to as “scooting” and it looks like the dog is wiping his bottom on your carpet. There are several reasons he or she may be scooting and all of them need to be checked by a veterinarian. If their stool is loose their bottom may be irritated and the carpet fibers help to scratch the itch. If the dog has intestinal parasites his bottom may itch and there again he uses the carpet to sooth the itch. Another reason he may be doing this is that he has impacted anal glands. Any of these issues can cause serious complications if you do not have them treated.

Seeing a dog hump on your furniture or on your house guest may make you cringe but it is not at all abnormal. Both male and female dogs hump from time to time and it helps them to relieve stress and it simply feels good. Males tend to perform this much more often than females. It is sometimes a sign of dominance and has nothing at all to do with anything sexual. The dog doing the humping is in fact dominating their play mate (human or not) to show who is the boss. All of this is perfectly harmless and very natural to dogs. If you simply cannot stand this you may want to consider having your male dog neutered which may greatly decrease his desire to hump. For males and females you may need to incorporate the assistance of an animal behavior modification expert.

to top of the page
Previous Next

Other articles that might interest you::