This is an article for all first time dog owners. I remember when I was in the fifth grade, my friend got home this puppy she found in a bin outside her apartment and I was instantly with love with it. It was so hard to convince my parents into letting me have it. After a lot of begging (literally) my parents agreed. I had named it Sheru. That was the first time I was about to have a dog for a pet. I had had fishes and cats before and taking care of none of them had been as challenging as it was with Sheru. Keeping all the dog care aside, sometimes, Sheru’s behavior really bothered me. He would do funny, weird things, freaking me out, making me wonder if my little puppy was suffering from any kind of psychological disorder. I had to call up a lot of my friends who had dogs to confirm whether it was just my dog or was such kind of behavior common in all dogs. To my relief, they assured me that it would be a matter of concern if Sheru had not been behaving that way. Now after so many years of experience with dogs, I laugh at myself for having freaked out then. I would like to share what I have learnt and figured out about common dog behavior and appearances in all these years, that might come across as abnormal initially, but you needn’t worry because your dog is doing what it can do best, which is to simply be a dog!
Rolling on the floor
Ever seen your dog rolling on the floor about itself and wondered if it was having seizures? Your dog is just indulging in self entertainment. When your dog doesn’t find anyone or anything to play with it usually jumps around chasing flies and when tired with all the running sometimes lies down on the floor and rolls about. Sometimes though, if your dog is doing this very often, it could mean that it is trying to scratch its back because of itching caused by external parasites. Seek medical help immediately for treatment.
chasing their tail
This is very common in puppies less than a year old. The hairier your dog, the more frequent the chase. Dogs at the puppy or the grown up puppy stage somehow find the presence of an ever wagging tail very amusing. You are supposed to get worried when your dog actually catches its tail and starts ripping it off without feeling any pain, which is impossible unless the dog is really mentally ill.
Yes dogs dream too! My dog for example goes marathon racing, kick boxing and sometimes even opera singing in his sleep. It’s nothing to be alarmed about because dogs can dream and make a lot of physical movements in their slumber too like humans. Although it could be a matter of concern if your dog is continuously moaning or shivering in its sleep, viral fever is one of the most common reasons.
Dogs usually scoot, or in other words, drag their bottoms on the floor when their poop hangs loose. Some dogs can be really conscious about cleanliness. However if they keep scooting at any time other than their post pooping session time, then it is possible that they are doing so because of discomfort caused by bacterial infection in which case seeing the veterinarian is recommended.
One of those embarrassing moments for an owner is when their dog gets personal with particular objects or people. The dog may not necessarily be desperate for carnal pleasure. The act of humping is a kind of stress buster in dogs. If your dog does this just in front of you, just turn your face the other side. However if this behaviour becomes very frequent where in your dog indulges in this act in a public sphere then you must train your dog against it.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that dogs eat grass when they are sick. Actually, dogs eat grass sometimes to relieve themselves from the everyday menu at home. Eating grass is good to clear their digestive systems. Also sometimes, dogs chew grass, because they like chewing grass, just like humans chew gum even after the flavor has long been gone.
Dogs have this habit of sniffing the private areas of people or other dogs, especially if they are meeting them for the first time. They do not mean to be rude, but they get a lot of information from sniffing down there and hence they do it every time they sense something different.
Peeing in installments
Most people do not find it unusual. This is just for marking purposes. Some people like to let their dogs loose very late in the night or early in the morning instead of tying them on a leash and taking them for a walk. They expect their dogs to walk themselves, be done with their business and return back home. Dogs fear losing their way back home sometimes, just in case they ventured very far. Hence they pee on random boulders, trees or automobile tires on their way so that they can make their way back home, guided by the scent of their urine.
Some dog breeds drool a lot more than others. It is normal if they drool because of having their mouths open for too long, or if you are eating something that smells delicious without offering it to them. But if the drooling is frequent then it could be an indicator of anxiety so do not ignore.
In addition to these, some dogs may have peculiar habits that are specific to them. My second dog for example, sang every time someone played the mouth organ, it didn’t have to be a melodious tone, just blow it once and it would get him started. My third dog is now ten years old and he still is not used to the concept of farting. He springs up into action and barks in every direction soon after he farts, which even after ten years is very entertaining. He also performs, what looks like a mating dance to me, before his food!
If any kind of behavior is too abnormal and threatening do call up your vet and make sure if your pet is fine.