Why Does My Dog…? Five Canine Habits Explained!

Dogs can be funny little creatures – or funny large ones. No matter what breed you have, there are no doubt a few little habits or behaviours that make you wonder why on earth they do that – especially if it’s something that you’ve never seen your dog do before. As a dog trainer in Croydon, we often see worried dog owners baffled by their dog’s behaviour. Fortunately, since dogs have been man’s best friends for centuries, we’ve been able to figure out the answers to some of those questions.

Why Does My Dog… Turn in Circles Before Lying Down?

From observing relatives of the domestic dog who still live in the wild, it’s thought that this is an ancient survival behaviour that’s become genetically encoded. Before taking a nap in the wild, a dog needed to have a safe and comfortable space – and by turning a few circles in the long grass, they could make themselves a nice little nest. It’s not necessary in your living room, but it probably still makes them feel comfier!

Why Does My Dog… Stick Their Head Out of the Car Window?

If you’ve ever taken a drive with your dog on a warm day with the windows rolled down, you’ll know how much they love to stick their head out of the window and ride along, ears flapping in the wind.

Why? Basically, because it’s fun! There’s the sensation of the wind against their face, plus the amazing array of scents they get to savour as they pass – it’s an exciting experience. However, you should be careful about allowing it, because it does carry a risk of things getting thrown up into their face, particularly their eyes.

Why Does My Dog… Eat Grass?

It’s often said that dogs will eat grass to soothe an upset stomach, so seeing your pup do this can be a little worrying. However, that’s only part of the reason – they may also do it because they just like the taste, or to add a little more roughage to their diet. If they’re suddenly eating grass in large quantities, and particularly if they’re throwing up afterwards, then you should definitely take them to the vet for a check-up. Occasional grazing, however, isn’t thought to be harmful – just make sure the grass hasn’t been treated with chemicals or pesticides.

Why Does My Dog… Take Food Away to Eat?

Your dog has a perfectly good dog bowl, so why do they insist on removing their food, and taking it somewhere else (like your bed!) to actually eat it?

Just like circling before a nap, this is sometimes thought to be a holdover from their wild ancestors; wild dogs hunted in packs, so taking their food away from the source meant that they wouldn’t have to fight over it.

However, it could just be that they really don’t like the bowl – perhaps it makes an unpleasant sound when they eat from it, or perhaps the location isn’t comfortable for them for some reason. If you’re tired of finding dog food where it shouldn’t be, try putting their food down somewhere else, or try a different kind of dish for them to eat from.

Why Does My Dog… Do Handstands to Pee?

This one is a little more unusual – and to human observers, it can seem hilarious and bizarre. We’re all accustomed to the typical leg-raise peeing posture (which some people associate only with male dogs, but is common in females too) but some dogs are a little more extravagant – they actually do handstands to pee!

The simple fact is that dogs don’t just pee because they need to go, they also use their urine to mark objects and territory for a variety of reasons. The handstand, which is frequently seen in small breeds and more common with females, is thought to simply be a way of peeing in a more conspicuous place so that other dogs will notice it.

Understanding canine behaviour is a key factor in good training, so if you have any questions about your dog’s habits or would like to know more about our training services, please get in touch with us on 07821 543388 today.

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