Having a dog will bring you countless moments of pure joy. But, sometimes you will wonder why they do certain things. And no matter how much you scratch your head for answers, they are often very simple. Dogs are simple, but our brains often convince us otherwise. We’ll demystify dog behaviour.
Here are the most common behaviours of your furry best friend that many owners have trouble explaining.
Why Do Dogs Shake Even When They Aren’t Wet?
This is a very good mechanism that we could also consider adopting, just maybe in a bit of a more spontaneous tone. It is just like seeing ducks in a pond ‘shaking it off’ after having a little argument and each going its own way afterwards. Now, dogs do it not just to shake off bad emotions, but any sort of intense ones. So if your dog shakes it off after kisses and hugs, it doesn’t mean he didn’t like cuddling with you but is simply shaking it off to go back to his normal routine.
Your dog shouldn’t do this that often. Does he also lean on one side while he does this? This could be a sign of an ear problem. In that case, check his ears. Does he scratch them? Are they clean? Do they smell bad? Are they swollen? Especially during summer, even cats can pick up ear mites, which can irritate their ears and lead to an infection. In that case, immediately go to the vet so you can see what sort of infection your dog is suffering from. Your vet will prescribe an adequate treatment but you can also help your dog with a few at-home remedies. You can place a warm compress or salt sock to ease the discomfort. Also, you can add Echinacea and Garlic supplements to his food to help his immunity fight the infection.
It is very important to know how to clean your dog’s ears properly. Do not pour anything in them unless instructed by the vet so you know how to do it properly. But, it is safe and recommended to clean the outside of his ear from time to time as a preventive measure. This is especially important if your dog has floppy ears like cocker spaniels do. Preferably, use a product that has tea tree oil for its antiseptic properties. Pour a bit on a cotton ball and gently clean the outside of your dog’s ear. Also, it is always a good idea to add a bit of Turmeric extract from time to time to your dog’s food as it helps the liver to cleanse toxins. Studies show that when compared to corticosteroids, Turmeric extract displays equal anti-inflammatory capability in acute inflammation and is around 50% as potent in chronic inflammations.
Why Do Dogs Sleep on Their Back
This is really nothing to worry about, on the contrary! It just means that your dog is a happy and relaxed dog who feels safe around you. Why else would he leave his belly unattended :) On the other hand, dogs who sleep on their bellies want to be ready to get up quickly in case something comes by to harass their precious pack. So a dog who is asleep on his back is not afraid of predators.
Why Does Your Dog Scratch the Furniture?
Needless to say, getting a pet means you signed on for a period of destructive behaviour. This is especially the case during teething. But some things can go on even after you’ve survived this painful stage of grieving for your furniture. Scratching the sofa is one of them.
The reason behind it is simply an instinct that is deep within their canine DNA. Dogs are just naturally wired to dig. Your dog is instinctively trying to build a nest. He is just making the area cosier so he can rest better. Also, this is a territorial thing as the bottom of a dog’s paw has special glands that release a territorial scent onto the given surface while the dog is scratching it. So there you have it – you have biology to blame for this dog behaviour.
Again, if this behaviour seems a bit excessive, the question is – is your dog well exercised? Some dogs simply get a kick out of scratching the furniture or even tiles and floors in general. Dogs that have excess energy are more likely to engage in scratching and digging behaviours than those that are properly exercised. It could also mean that your dog is bored because if a dog that is entertained by other means he is not as likely to engage in scratching.
Why Do Dogs Steal Your Socks and Underwear?
First of all, your dog is never trying to embarrass you – regardless of how it might seem. They may start sniffing at certain areas, like someone’s crotch while the person is sitting down. Even when this is the case, just try to laugh at it because this is just a way for your dog to get information. Their noses are their radar. And the same goes for your socks and underwear, it’s just their strong scent. We have higher concentrations of pheromones in our genital areas than any other part of our body, which makes them rich sources of information for your friend who is on a lifelong quest for information.
The solution is to wait until your dog outgrows it as this is a most common behaviour for puppies. Or get him attractive toys to chew on.
Why Do Dogs Lick Their Own Butt?
To a certain degree, this is a regular grooming ritual. Cats do the same and they are even cleaner than dogs as they clean themselves entirely, head to toe. They are just cleaning the residue of any faecal matter that was left behind. When you see it that way, it’s just hygiene. However, you should pay attention if this dog behaviour becomes excessive as it could also be a sign of an anal gland issue.
Anal Gland Problem
Basically, if your dog excessively starts licking its anal area and you see him dragging it on the floor, this is a sign that he needs help. Your dog has two anal gland sacks within its anus. Normally, they are emptied when your dog poops. But, due to many reasons, this bad smelling liquid builds up and causes them great discomfort. Vets can empty them but you should first try to help your dog do it naturally. Simply because once you go to the vet, your dog will need help doing this in the future and these visits will just become more common. You don’t want to deprive him of his natural system that expels waste. So, you can first help your dog to do it naturally as this is nothing else but a build up of toxins within their body. There are many simple things that you can do to help your furry friend.
Why Do Dogs Lick Walls?
In most cases, there is nothing to worry about when you observe this dog behaviour. It could mean that your dog is missing minerals in his nutrition or that he is simply trying to get rid of his morning breath. Consulting your vet on his nutrition and getting a blood sample will provide the answer. If these are good and your dog keeps doing it, which is very rare, it could mean that he has created a habit out of it. Try helping him to break it by getting him a toy. He could just be bored.
Why Do Dogs Lick Their Owner’s Wounds
The answer is pure love. For all those skeptics out there, no, dogs are not thirsty for blood. If you have hurt yourself with paper or scissors, there is no way that your canine friend hasn’t tried to help you by licking the wound. They were not taught to lick their paws or newborn puppies which is how they clean them. This is a pure sign of affection. Your dog is caring for you. Now, some studies show that licking can protect against infection while others show negative results due to a different flora and bacterias. So, whether you allow this or not is up to you, but your dog is just trying to help you.
As far as your dog is concerned, all we need is love. So whatever your dog does, try to be patient and understanding as he has no harm at heart. The answer is always simple. Make sure you train your dog as this will deepen your bond and will surely help in understanding him better. You have the biggest influence on your dog’s behaviour. Just remember, your dog is only a segment of your world, but to your dog, you are his entire world.