We bring home our dogs and bring our dogs into our homes: literally share our worlds with them, let them play with our children and make them part of our daily lives. However, there are things that they do, which make us wince, wrinkle our nose and exasperatingly shake our heads.
We discover that our dogs have gross behaviors but all because of reasons that we fail to recognize or fully understand. Here are three unusual dog behaviors and why our dogs have them:
Eating His Stool
The grossest behavior that we discover in our dogs is when they eat their stools, which is scientifically known as Coprophagia. It is a fairly common behaviour that most dogs will engage in at some time in their lives and there are absolutely logical explanations for it.
Before dogs became “man’s best friend,” and we had breeds such as Cavoodles, they lived in the wild and although carnivores themselves were also a target of other carnivores. This was especially so when young. The mother dog is forced to protect and hide her puppies from larger carnivores and this means they need to get rid of any remaining scents from the area where they stay. This includes eating the puppies’ stool to hide the smell of an easy meal as well as to maintain hygiene in the den.
Puppy see, Puppy do
Puppies eating their own or other dog’s stools can often be attributed to them learning this behavior from their mothers while still very young. Some dogs will quickly forget this behavior, while others will form a habit of it. Like any habit, some are easier to give up than others.
There are other less convincing reasons why dogs eat their stools but there are also ways to prevent or stop this habit altogether. There are food additives that you can use so that their stools become less appealing – even though stools don’t sound appealing in the first place!
There are many times when our dogs sniff the butts of other dogs they just met almost automatically. This is often misconstrued as a form of simple greeting like waving to a friend but this quirky dog habit is practiced for a good reason. The dog’s anus has two glands, which emit strong pheromones. When dogs sniff each other’s bums, they are actually getting information regarding temperament, gender and health status of the other dog from the pheromones released from these glands in a direct form. This is also why they smell other dog’s droppings they come across.
The leg humping behavior is not only disgusting but also absolutely embarrassing. Against common belief, a dog’s leg humping behavior does not immediately refer to sexual activity. If this behaviour had a sexual basis, the dog would stop humping behaviours after he has been desexed.
Leg humping is all about dominance – to other dogs or you, for instance. Stopping this behavior is always achieved through consistent training. The dog needs to learn how to shake hands, stay or sit in your presence so he will know that your position in the pack is higher than his. The more your dog understands his position in the pack (lower than that of the people), the less likely he is going to do leg humping.
So, when you notice that your dog has gross and weird behaviors, you should bear in mind that they have good reasons for it but it doesn’t mean these behaviors cannot be stopped – through training.