The Guide For The Curious Dog Owner
Have you ever caught your dog doing something random or weird and wondered “why did they do that?” or “are they the only one who does that?”. We all want answers to some of these bizarre mannerisms, so here is a guide to satisfy some of your curiosities!
WHY DOES MY DOG EAT POO?
As humans we wouldn’t dream of eating poo (well I’d hope not), but for some reason our pups just love a good nibble of the finest poo produce at the local park.
Coprophagia or coprophagy, is the consumption of faeces and in fact, some female nursing dogs will eat the poo of their young to help keep them and their den clean (kind of thoughtful and cute in a gross way I guess).
Dogs will also eat poo of other animals such as cats, horses and possums as it simply just tastes delicious to them. These types of poo can contain nutrients that can sometimes be beneficial for your dog, however they can often contain harmful bacteria and parasites, so it’s best to discourage this!
There are also a few abnormal reasons why your dog might be eating poo, so keep an eye out for these;
- Some dogs eat poo as a “displacement behaviour” when they are anxious. If an anxious dog is confined, then they may defecate and eat their own poo.
- Your dog may be worried that they will get into trouble for their accident, so they may eat it up to cover up and hide it from you.
- Your dog may eat its own poor because they are sick. This can be associated with diseases of the intestinal tract and sometimes other parts of the body.
WHY DOES MY DOG TURN AROUND IN CIRCLES BEFORE SETTLING INTO ITS BED?
Does your dog perform a dance routine containing a number of pirouettes and some funny paw scratches before settling into their bed… or yours?
Dog behaviourists believe that they need to perform this bedtime ritual as it is inherited and generic. Their canine ancestors such as wild wolves, did the same thing and now domestic dogs have retained this genetic disposition.
Turning around in the bed before laying down is often done so that your dog can position themself in a way to “ward off an attack”.
Some wildlife biologists also believe that wolves sleep with their noses to the wind so that they can quickly pick up on a threatening scent, therefore the circling motion allows the wolf to determine the direction of the wind.
This protective trait of your dog could actually come in handy one day!
WHY DOES MY DOG CONSTANTLY TRY AND LICK MY EARS?
Bonnie and Leo constantly try to lick our ears when we cuddle them, which is cut, but it can sometimes feel like a little too much TLC. So, why do dogs do this?
Dogs can become infatuated with ear licking for a variety of reasons. As a genetically dispositioned pack animal, dogs often have complex social structures and equally complex social behaviours, to reflect these structures. Grooming one another is one of these behaviours that help give them structure.
So, when your dog licks your ears, this is actually a sign that they are grooming you. Your dog will also lick your ears to show you that they respect and value you!
WHY DOES MY DOG GET THE ZOOMIES AFTER A BATH?
Go to park. Play in mud. Best time ever. Time to go home. Bath time. All clean. Oh no, here come the Zoomies!
We all know that feeling all too well when your freshly bathed dog goes absolutely mental, flying around the house! It’s a weird thought that after a nice shampoo and condition, us humans would sprint around the house shaking ourselves everywhere, so why do our dogs do it?
Relief. Unless your dog is in the 5% who LOVE baths, you’ll resonate with us when we say bath time can be a strenuous exercise. To put it simply, when it’s over, you dog is so relieved that they express it by sprinting and shaking and letting out all that nervous energy.
Strange New Scent. For us humans, feeling fresh, clean and smelling good makes us happy, but for our dogs this isn’t the case. Because they have this new and unfamiliar scent all over them, their solution is to sprint and roll around to get rid of the new scent and get the old one back!
Drying Off. Put simply, our dogs way of drying off is to roll around, shake themselves and sprint. No matter how many towels we use to dry them or how long we blast them with the hair dryer, our dogs will always have a sense of independence when it comes to drying themselves their way.
FRAP. Frenetic Random Activity Periods. They happen to every dog, especially young puppies. Everyone with a puppy would have experienced many other Zoomies apart from post bath ones, so the solution is to stand back, let it happen and hopefully there isn’t too much damage caused by the chaos!