Life would be a lot simpler if we could sit down and have a heart-to-heart with our four-legged family members.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and understanding your dog’s communication can feel like a never-ending battle.
Usually, we detect what is going on with our dogs through their behaviors, so you may have found yourself wondering, why is my dog acting weird?
In this article, we’ll be discussing different odd behaviors found in dogs and what they could mean, so be ready to take notes on:
- Several abnormal behaviors that you may see in your dog
- The most common reasons why your dog may be acting weird
Abnormal Behaviors for Dogs
Not every weird behavior that you notice in your dog is abnormal. Read on to learn about the most common abnormal dog behaviors.
Running Around in Circles
Have you ever noticed your dog literally running around in circles for no reason? This is one of the weirdest behaviors to come across dogs doing, and the circling we’re talking about here is more than just a cute chase-your-tail whirling action.
If you see your dog circling obsessively and it looks to be more compulsive than light-hearted fun, you may want to address it.
Panting is a natural way for your dog to cool down since dogs dissipate heat through their mouths. After heavy physical activities or when it’s warm outside, you can expect to see your dog painting.
If you notice your dog panting excessively and it’s not attached to exercise or warm weather, that behavior should be seen as abnormal.
There is a significant difference between the bites you see from a puppy and the biting that might occur with an adult-aged dog.
Puppies are still learning to use their mouths and are more prone to lick and bite as a way to explore and communicate. When adult dogs bite, there is usually a less desirable reason behind it, such as fear, anxiety, or aggression.
Similar to us, you may assume that your dog only yawns when tired, but that’s not necessarily the case for our canine friends.
You may occasionally see your dog yawn when curling up to sleep or stretching. But studies show that more often, dogs will yawn as a way to calm themselves.
You may notice your dog yawn here and there if there’s a change in environment, which may cause a temporary stress reaction.
But if your dog is constantly yawning and you can’t figure out why it may be due to stress. Try and observe the atmosphere when your dog yawns to see if there are certain triggers that may be causing internal stress.
Urinating inside is one of the most adverse actions that our dogs can do. Dogs can easily wreck our home environment with this abnormal behavior. If your dog isn’t yet potty-trained, peeing indoors is to be expected.
But if your dog is potty-trained and you notice it urinating inside unprompted, this should be considered a weird behavior that you’ll want to address immediately.
Have you seen your dog randomly press its head against a hard surface? This weird behavior is self-destructive, which is not natural for dogs.
Experts categorize head pressing as an urgent issue that you’ll want to get professional help with as soon as possible.
If your dog is jeopardizing the state of its head or brain to gain relief, there is most likely a severe internal issue at hand.
Digging, on the other hand, is more of an instinctual act for a dog to exhibit. Dogs will often dig outdoors as a form of entertainment or to hide their treasures, such as bones.
Occasional outdoor digging is nothing out of the ordinary. Although, if you see your dog digging obsessively or scratching at the floor indoors, it may be more of an abnormal tendency.
We all know that uncomfortable moment when we see a dog scooting its bottom across the floor. This behavior can be as simple as something (like poop) being stuck on your dog’s rear.
If it gets to the point where your dog is repeatedly scooting for no reason, you may want to have your dog checked for irritation in the anus area or possibly disease.
It may be shocking to hear, but eating poop is not as alien to a dog as it is to us. In fact, mother dogs will often eat their puppies poop until the pup is old enough to excrete smartly.
This is an instinctual behavior that the mother dog does to keep her den clean, as well as hide any traces of her family from predators.
Eating poop has its time and place, though. If your dog doesn’t have puppies and is just eating any excrement that it comes across, this should be considered abnormal.
Many times, if dogs are eating poop, it may mean that there is a gut issue or possibly a nutrient deficiency that they’re trying to fulfill with poo, whether it’s their own or another animal’s.
Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Acting Weird
Below are the common reasons why your dog may be acting weird all of a sudden.
Anxiety & Stress
Anxiety and stress are the most significant underlying reasons for weird behaviors exhibited by dogs.
Many things can cause stress for our pets, so if you’re unsure why your dog is anxious, it’s best to consult with a veterinary professional.
Common causes for stress or anxiety disorders are abandonment, lack of exercise, or stressful environments that are chaotic or unpredictable.
No matter what the breed is, dogs are active creatures that require social and physical stimulation.
They aren’t built like us, so if you sit at a computer all day and you expect your dog to be okay with doing the same, you’re poorly mistaken.
Although a dog will do what it can to entertain itself with toys or other means, it may resort to some of these weird behaviors as a response to the lack of interaction.
If your dog is getting older, it’s only natural for a slow cognitive decline. You may notice your dog acting weird more often as it grows older due to this.
These abnormal behaviors can be accompanied by an increase in sleeping, random noises or barking, and lethargy.
To best support your dog in its senior years, consult your vet. If you suspect cognitive dysfunction in your dog’s younger years, also consult with your vet, as this could be due to other illnesses.
These are the most common reasons that can result in your dog acting weird. In general, it’s always best to receive further insight and treatment from your vet or a canine behavioral therapist.
So be sure to extend your research if your dog is displaying weird and concerning behavior that you aren’t able to relieve on your own.