Dogs have lots of unusual behaviors that make us laugh. Sometimes it’s pretty easy to guess why they do what they do, but sometimes their behavior is baffling. You know why they jump all over you when you’ve been gone for too long, but why do they tilt their head at unusual sounds or chase their tail? Here are 5 quirky things dogs do and why they do them.
#1 – Chase their tails
Why do dogs chase their tail? They might be feeling bored or playful or excited. After the first time, they might repeat the behavior because they get attention. Dogs with a high prey drive are likely to chase anything that moves – even if it’s their own tail.
There can also be medical reasons for tail-chasing behavior. Studies have shown a link between dogs that have high cholesterol and dogs that are prone to chasing their own tails. Dogs may also be trying to reach an itch that could indicate a medical issue. Or they may have a compulsive disorder. If your dog seems to chase his tail more than average playful pooch, you may want to have him checked by the vet to rule out medical causes.
#2 – Tilt their heads
No scientific studies have been done to discover why dogs tilt their heads, but there are a lot of theories about this adorable behavior. They might be trying to see you better if they have a large muzzle that blocks part of their view of you. They might be trying to hear a sound better by tilting an ear flap away from their head to allow sound in better. Or, like tail chasing, they may do it because it gets our attention and affection.
#3 – Scoot their butts on the carpet
This behavior may strike you as either horrifying or adorable, but it means your dog is uncomfortable. Something on their bum is bothering them and causing either itching or pain. This could be the result of anything from a food allergy to an anal gland impaction. You should take your dog to the vet to determine the cause of his problem before it becomes worse.
#4 – Circle before lying down
This behavior is a holdover from before dogs were domesticated. They would dig a bit of a hole in the ground or turn around in circles to flatten a comfortable place to sleep. The primitive part of their brain doesn’t understand that the plush, expensive bed you bought for them doesn’t need to be scratched at or stomped down to become more comfortable!
#5 – Stare at you
Depending on how long your dog stares at you, it may come across as either cute or creepy. But what are they really thinking when they stare right into your eyes and go a crazy long time without blinking? It may be they’re trying to compare the look on your face with your behavior to see if your emotional signals match up. But we’d prefer to think it’s their way of showing us how much they love us!