Sometimes your dog will do something that seems odd but is cute and funny as well. Other times, strange behavior isn’t so much fun when she causes a problem you never expected and can’t explain. Some behaviors occur because of what they were bred to do since domestication, others can be traced back to their pre-evolutionary wolf backgrounds. Cute and fun things they do should be encouraged and there are always means of training a dog to stop problem behavior.
There are some common eating habits dog portray which seem odd to humans. If you have two dogs and one always waits for the other to eat first, it’s a simple show of respect as their roles in the pack are defined. If they share and eat out of the dish together, they recognize themselves as equals because you are the Alpha dog in their pack! When your dog takes food out of her bowl to eat on the floor, that’s also recognizing you as her leader and goes back to when only the lead wolf was allowed to eat directly from a kill and the others had to grab what they could get and run off with it.
Barking is a dog’s means of communication, problematic barking can be caused by a number of things they want you to know. Typically, either your dog is guarding you with an alarm against a perceived danger which may or not exist, or your dog is bored and wants to play. Alternatively, it can be a compulsion developed by a dog who doesn’t get enough attention, or it can be caused by some form of discomfort the dog is feeling. When a dog’s barking is excessive and problematic, the last thing you want to do is try to shout at her to make her stop as she loves the attention and thinks you are encouraging her to bark more. A better idea is to calm her with petting and assurances that everything is okay.
Typical Problem Behaviors
Problem behaviors occur when a dog isn’t getting enough attention, and when that’s the case the dog probably isn’t getting enough exercise either and has plenty of energy to to do bothersome things. Chewing on furniture, destroying plants, or if an outdoor dog digs holes, the dog isn’t receiving enough attention. It may be a good idea to get a second pet so they can entertain each other. Using the bathroom indoors again means the dog isn’t receiving the attention she needs and is demonstrating her loneliness. Of course, these descriptions only apply under ordinary circumstances with an adult dog, obviously a sick dog may use the restroom in a bad place or a toothing puppy may chew on something odd until taught a chew toy is more appropriate.
How a dog shows affection can also seem odd, but in a good way whether she uses your foot as a pillow or jumps in your lap unexpectedly.
Contact us at Community Veterinary Clinic to learn more about your dogs behavior!