Dogs are great companions, and many are so intelligent, you almost think of them as human. However, some things dogs do almost universally often seem weird to us, probably because we do mistake them for humans. The thing is, they are not humans, so there is usually a reason for the things they do that we do not typically understand. Here are some of those weird things dogs do and why.
Belly Scratch = Kick Wheels
You might have had hours of entertainment scratching your dog’s belly and watching the back legs go crazy, and think it is a shared enjoyment. However, while your dog might enjoy the attention and touch of your fingers, the kick wheeling is not actually a sign of enjoyment. Much like how our knees jerk when someone hits your knee at just the right spot, the kick wheeling is a reflex. Your tickling or scratching is interpreted as an irritation, and sets off the nerve endings on your dog’s skin to do something to get rid of that. Hence, the kick wheeling, which is an involuntary movement signifying the start of a scratch without the follow-through.
It might not be as comfortable as we think for the dog, so you might want to think about moving to another, less sensitive spot than the belly to show your affection. If your dog does present the belly, however, you could interpret that as a good spot for them, too.
Another source of amusement for many dog owners is watching them chase and catch their tails with their teeth. Some people interpret it as a sign of foolishness, hence the term “chasing their own tails” for people rushing around while accomplishing nothing at all. For dogs, however, the tail chase serves an important purpose: getting rid of an itch. It could be a minor irritation, or it could be a parasite. In either case, you should check the tail for any signs. It can get so bad that the dog could actually do some serious self-harm. If you cannot figure out what’s wrong, consult your vet.
If the dog chases its tail but does not bite it, then the reasons might be less alarming. This could be a sign of boredom, especially when it is a puppy. A bit more concerning is that it is a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which might be due to stress or genetics. If the behavior is excessive or results in self-harm, consult a vet.
Many dogs invariably act crazy right after a bath, seemingly intent on undoing any cleaning you managed to do. They will streak around the house or backyard and roll around the carpet, dead leaves or even mud. While this is exasperating for dog owners, the possible reasons actually make a lot of sense.
One is the smell of shampoo, which many dogs find annoying. They will streak around trying to outrun it. Another is the instinct to be camouflaged. Rolling around in the mud or the dirt is not a massive fluff you to their owners, but a desire to make themselves less easy to spot.
Dogs are not humans, although they may display more intelligence than many people around you. Nevertheless, they are animals, and they do some things that might not make much sense to people. It makes sense to the dogs, however, and it is important for your dog’s wellbeing to be aware of the reasons behind the weird things they do.
For a comprehensive dive into what our dogs are trying to tell us with their crazy antics, check this article out from our friends at Fluentwoof.