We are supported by commissions earned for purchases made through the links in our articles. Learn more.

Do You Have a “Weird” Dog? The Science Behind Crazy Dog Habits

Key Takeaways

  • Weird dog behavior can be caused by instinct, boredom, stress and anxiety, underlying medical conditions, or just a playful move.
  • Head pressing, scooting, bed-digging, circling, rolling on the grass are only some of the most common dog behaviors humans deem weird but actually have meanings.
  • Understanding the reasons behind a dog’s behavior helps pet parents attend to their needs and address any possible medical conditions.

Ever looked at your dog staring into the abyss, barking up a storm, and wondered, ‘Is my house haunted?’ ‘Why is my dog acting weird?’

Well, buckle up because we’re about to embark on a fun journey into the top 10 quirky, head-scratching, tail-waggingly strange things our Poochinis pull off. 

I’ll spill the doggy biscuits on the reasons behind your dog’s strange behavior.

If this article tickles your funny bone and helps you understand your Lil Bow Wow or Miss Barky Pants just a smidge better, leave us a comment to let us know. It’ll put a wag in my tail!

Reasons Behind A Dog’s Weird Behavior

You may be wondering, “Why should I give a pup’s tail about my dog’s unusual behavior?” Let me toss you a bone here. A dog acting strange may seem adorable most of the time. However, did you know that your dog’s behavior could actually hint at some serious medical conditions? In fact, many weird behaviors exhibited by dogs are symptoms vets look out for when diagnosing illnesses.

At the end of this article, you’ll realize that there are five possible masterminds behind your pupper’s peculiar antics:

  1. Pure, unfiltered doggy instinct
  2. Simple canine boredom
  3. Stress & Anxiety
  4. Underlying medical issues
  5. Or good ol’ playful shenanigans

Knowing what’s driving your Treat Detective’s quirky habits not only lets you understand them better but could potentially be the key to helping them if they’re in need. You’ll be able to distinguish which are plain, common quirkiness and which are abnormal behaviors that need to be addressed. 

Or, well, at least you’ll get a kick out of knowing why your Lil’ Weirdo is such a lil’ weirdo.

And hey! Keep those paws here till the very end because we’re gonna dive into the absolute weirdest, and dare I say spookiest, doggy behavior that may give you a little shiver down the spine. Just a little.

Top 10 Weird Dog Behaviors

Here are the top 10 weirdest dog behaviors and why they do it.

Dog Head Pressing

Let’s dive right into the first mystery. Ever seen your fur-baby pressing their head against the wall?

A dog pressing its head on the wall.

Yup, the one that’s all over the internet and cute video compilations! Many of us smile, thinking our buddy is feeling a bit red in the face, maybe guilt-ridden, or just spooked by the vacuum cleaner. But hold onto your leashes, folks, ’cause that’s not quite it.

This odd behavior slides right into the medical category. Head pressing can signal an underlying illness from a nervous system disorder, like Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS), or something scary-sounding like cerebellar hypoplasia. Even toxins like lead, arsenic, mercury poisoning, metabolic issues, or infections like meningitis or encephalitis can be the culprits.

But don’t freak out just yet! If it’s not in your dog’s routine to do this, it could also just mean your pup’s got a bit of a headache, especially if they’ve had a knock on the noggin recently. But if your fur baby is suddenly pulling a wall-leaning stunt, it’s definitely time for a vet appointment to rule out anything serious.

Dog Scooting

Alright, moving on! Ever caught your Droolius Caesar dragging their fuzzy butt all over your Persian carpet?

That’s what we call ‘scooting,’ and it’s more about grooming than an appreciation for your expensive decor. They could be trying to clear away dirt, fluff, or even unwelcome hitchhikers from their behind. 

Sometimes, though, this scooting can be because of discomfort in their anal gland or even a pesky parasite party. And if your pup starts to scoot like never before, it could signal allergies, skin infections, or even the big C – cancer. So, when in doubt, rush to the vet!

Dog Digging Bed

But what about our little Queen Sniffany, who seems convinced she can dig a tunnel through your bedsheet?

Is it all in good fun, or has she lost her doggy mind? Well, it’s a bit of both. 

A dog digging the bed.

Contrary to their expert belly rub solicitation tactics, our fur kids come from a long lineage of wolves, who’d often dig to create a den. So even after centuries of being spoiled with kibble and squeaky toys, some of our pups channel their inner wolf and get diggy with it for a comfy and safe snoozing spot.

And the ones who’ve hung up their wolfish ways? Well, they might be feeling anxious or stressed, especially if you’re away or they’re in unfamiliar surroundings—separation anxiety is often the culprit. Or they’re just plain bored, and your bed makes a great digging sandbox! 

To curb their enthusiastic bed-remodeling, keep ’em active. Remember, a tired pup is a non-digging pup. Also, shower them with toys to keep them entertained. And if all else fails, consider investing in dig-proof bed covers. Trust me, your linens will thank you!

Dog Circling Before Bed

Okay, friends, have you ever wondered why your Scooby Doo Little takes a spin around the block before deciding it’s bedtime?

Are they performing an ancient ritual, whispering a quick ‘thank you’ to the Great Dog in the Sky? The Heavenly Howler?

Not exactly. They’re just… getting comfy. 

Circling before snoozing helps them pat down their bedding—be it grass or the plush bed you just splurged on. They’re making a nest, tidying up, and sweeping away any annoying twigs or stones. 

Even in their super snug, color-coordinated, skid-proof fancy beds, they circle. It’s kinda hilarious! Their ancestors did the circling dance on harsh, gritty ground, and here are their descendants doing the exact same twirl on top-of-the-line orthopedic cushions. Why? Well, DNA!

Dog Rolling Around in Grass

Now, why does our Ruffunzel roll around in the grass like she’s a Disney princess seeing the outside world for the first time? 

A dog rolling on the grass.

Partly instinct, partly ’cause it feels good. 

Pups have scent glands sprinkled all over their bodies. As they frolic in the grass, they’re basically signing their name on nature’s guestbook, telling other dogs they’ve stopped by. It’s also a handy way to relieve the itch from parasites or just to cool down on a hot day because grass is like the canine version of an air conditioner. Plus, it just feels so good! 

Dog Kleptomania

Now, what about their klepto tendencies?

Ever found your sock in their secret stash? Or your slipper under their bed? 

A dog with a show in its mouth.

Well, they’re not planning a canine uprising; they’re just after some attention. These little Robin Woofs have figured out that a stolen sock equals a game of chase. And who wouldn’t want that? 

If they’re going on a theft spree, it’s time to up their exercise and playtime. If the thieving persists and is driving you barking mad, don’t resort to punishing them. Remember, time-outs are not gonna work in the long run. 

Instead, redirect their energy towards something else and reward the good behavior. This way, they’ll associate fun times not with your favorite pair of socks but with a fun, interactive toy or activity!

Alright, let’s press paws here for a moment. Our next chat is all about, well… ‘doggy doo-doo.’ Yup, we’re talking doggie bathroom habits. If that’s likely to get your stomach churning but let’s face it, if you’re a dog companion, you’re probably a pro at this stuff; feel free to skip ahead to this timestamp.

Sniffing in Circles Before Pooping

Ever wondered why your little Vasco Dog Gama sniffs around like he’s searching for buried treasure before settling down to do his business?

Well, it’s a wild instinct. Remember, in the grand animal kingdom, dogs are considered prey. Sniffing around helps them size up the territory and make sure it’s safe from any lurking predators.

But there’s more to it. Each sniff is like reading a newspaper headline from the local Doggie Daily. Who’s been here? What did they have for breakfast? Did they also try to chase that annoying squirrel?

And the circling isn’t just for show. It helps them shake off any pre-poo jitters and get comfortable. Sometimes they might seem ready to go and then pop up to start the ritual all over again – it could be that the surface is just not up to their high standards.

Your job? Patience, my friend. Let them do their thing while you stand guard.

Dog Staring While Going Potty

Speaking of standing guard, let’s talk about the way your little Bark Twain seems to look right into your soul while they’re taking a dump. 

Unsettling? Yes, but also…sweet? 

Remember how I said pooping is a vulnerable moment for our doggos? In that moment of weakness, they look to you for reassurance as if to say, “Got my back, right?” And sometimes, it’s a cry for approval—a proud, “Look, Mom, I’m doing it!” from their potty training days.

Don’t try to correct it. Let it happen. It’s a sign of trust.

Coprophagia—Dog Eating Poop

What’s not so sweet is when Princess Paws decides to dine on her own droppings. 

Yup, we’re talking about coprophagia. If you’re wrinkling your nose in disgust, join the club!

A dog being examined by a vet using a stethoscope.

This revolting habit might mean that they’re not getting enough nutrients from their food. It’s especially common in puppies or dogs on a low-quality diet. In some cases, it could even be a sign of a medical condition, like a digestive or neurological disorder. So, a sudden interest in poop-snacking should prompt a trip to the vet. 

Make sure your dog gets a good balanced nutrition through the best fresh dog food!

Of course, when most dogs eat poop, they could also be doing it just to grab your attention. Or they might be following a gross instinct passed down from their ancestors, who did it to recycle nutrients. 

The best way to nip this in the bud is to clean up after your dog pronto. And make sure there aren’t any ‘leftovers’ from other dogs when you take yours out.

Dog Going Crazy at The Water Sprayer

Why does your pupper go ballistic at the water spraying from a hose?

For some dogs, it’s a thrilling game – chasing the water, trying to catch it, it’s all so exciting! I mean, it’s a water park right in their backyard!

But for others, it’s an enemy invader spraying them with a surprise attack.

If your pup takes it a little too seriously, make sure you introduce the hose slowly. Let them sniff around, and then turn the water on slowly. With a little bit of time, they’ll realize that their mortal enemy is just another fun toy.

Bonus: Dog Barking at Thin Air

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. The weirdest and spookiest doggo behavior.

Picture this. It’s a regular weeknight. You and your Hairy Pawter have just wrapped up dinner and are settling in for some Netflix. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your doggo starts fixating on a dark corner of the room, barking incessantly as if warding off an unseen intruder.

A dog sat on a sofa looking wide-eyed and spooked.

Your heart starts to race. You try to tell yourself it’s nothing, but the unsettling thought creeps in… Are you and your doggo not alone in the room?

Is there a presence, a spectral entity not of this world, lurking in the shadows…? 

A demonic presen… Alright, fine, I’m just pulling your leg. There is a totally scientific explanation for this eerie behavior.

Doggos have senses that put us humans to shame. I’m talking about a sense of smell that’s 100,000 times sharper than ours and hearing that can detect higher-frequency sounds and pinpoint their exact location, even if they’re coming from a distance four times further than we can hear. They’re basically little furry superheroes.

So, when your dog is acting weird and seemingly barking at nothing, he’s probably picking up on something we simply can’t perceive. Maybe it’s the scent of that squirrel he’s been eyeing in the backyard or the distant hum of a familiar car engine a couple of blocks away.

Or, you know, your house is built on an ancient burial ground, and your pooch is just saying “hello” to some friendly neighborhood ghosts. No biggie.

There are a whole lot of other curious behaviors that we don’t have time to cover. If your furry friend is pulling some stunts that have got you scratching your head, let me know in the comments, and I might just tackle them in a sequel.

Thank you for joining me on this fascinating journey into the minds of our four-legged friends.

Home » General » Do You Have a “Weird” Dog? The Science Behind Crazy Dog Habits

Leave a Comment