Dogs perform a wide variety of weird acts. Some may be adorable, like tilting their head while listening to you, while others are downright disgusting, like raiding the litter box for “snacks.” Since you can’t speak to your canine companion, you may think you will never know why they do what they do. However, our Medina Veterinary Clinic team is devoted to better understanding our patients, so we did a little research to discover the cause behind the act. Read about some of your pooch’s most common odd behaviors, and the reason why they do such things.  

Why does my neutered dog hump other dogs?

Neutering your dog should remove all that testosterone raging through their system and the need to reproduce, right? While true, dogs hump each other, human legs, stuffed toys, and other unusual items, despite their lack of reproductive hormones or organs. And, not only male dogs may be caught humping—female dogs hump, too, whether or not they’re spayed. Puppies and adolescent dogs are most commonly seen humping, because young dogs can easily become overexcited, and may not know how to properly react in stimulating situations. For example, dogs often hump each other when playing at dog parks, since there is such high energy and mental stimulation. They may not know how to appropriately respond and turn to humping out of confusion, frustration, or excitement. Humping other dogs or people is generally not linked to dominance, although newly neutered dogs may still hump female dogs who are in heat.

Why does my dog eat poop?

One of the grossest dog behaviors is known as coprophagia, or the act of eating feces. Whether your dog eats their own poop, their doggy friend’s, or the cat’s, coprophagia is not an uncommon behavior. Unfortunately, dogs like the taste of foul things, such as feces and dead animals, and they often root out these items. Coprophagia is also commonly linked to diet. If your dog is not eating a nutritionally balanced, complete diet, or they have an underlying metabolic disorder, they may eat feces in an attempt to meet their nutritional needs. Your dog’s wolfy ancestors would eat feces if food was scarce, and the behavior may have been carried down over time.

Why does my dog get the zoomies?

If your pup randomly bursts into a sprint around your home or yard, you likely call it a case of the zoomies. This adorable behavior often causes owners to laugh at their dog’s delight and joy, despite their wet dog running through the house after a bath. Your dog gets the zoomies after a bath because they feel good running around and shaking off the excess water and bath-time anxiety. Other times, your dog may have a burst of energy simply to show they’re happy. When a case of the zoomies triggers laughter and attention, the behavior is especially rewarding for your pooch.

Why does my dog sniff butts?

Butt-sniffing is not an unusual behavior in the dog world. In fact, it’s considered a polite greeting. Coming face-to-face with a strange dog and making eye contact sends a threatening message, which generally leads to an altercation. Instead, dogs circle around to gain one another’s scent from their hind end. This safer greeting imparts a lot of information about a dog, from their health status to their gender. And, while you may think this greeting should be left solely to canines, dogs also sniff people’s rears to learn more about them. Don’t be offended—this is a natural greeting for a dog, and lets them decide if you’re friend or foe without facing you head on.  

Simply put, dogs do a lot of weird stuff. Some of these odd behaviors are simply dogs being dogs, but others can signal an underlying medical condition. If your furry pal demonstrates an abnormal behavior, try to capture it on video, and bring the video to their next appointment. Give our Medina Veterinary Clinic team a call to schedule a comprehensive exam for your pet’s weird behavior.