While all dogs are special in their own unique ways, they do exhibit common behaviors and some of them are downright confusing! This week we’re highlighting 4 common, but often misunderstood, dog behaviors. Does your pup exhibit these behaviors? Do they do other silly/confusing things? Drop a note in the comments below!
Remember, while we have worked with many dogs for a longgggg time, we are not veterinarians. We always recommend seeking the advice of your veterinarian to discuss specific behaviors.
Why does my dog eat POO? Yuck!
According to the American Kennel Club, more than 15% of dogs are considered “serious” poop eaters, so it’s actually pretty common. There’s no one definitive reason why dogs eat feces, but veterinarians say the behavior can generally be explained by environmental factors. These include feelings of anxiety or isolation, a desire for attention from pack members or their humans, and other underlying issues that exist within packs of multiple dogs.
Unfortunately, there’s no one explanation for every dog who is interested in eating poop, but experts suggest keeping their living area clean, ensuring their real food provides enough vitamins and nutrients and teaching them the “leave it” command. Poop eating doesn’t have to become a lifelong problem, but you’ll need to devote consistent attention early in their lives to prevent it from being a long-term issue.
Why does my dog lick its paws CONSTANTLY?
As with poop eating, there’s not one catch-all explanation for paw licking; however, there are a few common explanations.
- Injury – if the licking is a new behavior, check the paws (paying close attention to the pads) to make sure your pup isn’t trying to nurse a new wound.
- Skin allergies or dermatitis – your pup might be licking excessively because their paws are itchy or uncomfortable. Check with your veterinarian in case they might have food or environmental allergies.
- Stress – this could result from many things including boredom and anxiety. If you’ve checked on other health issues, you might consider checking with a dog behaviorist to discuss potential anxiety/stress-related issues.
Why does my dog follow me everywhere?
For the most part, this one is pretty simple. Dogs are pack animals and YOU are part of their pack! Your dog might look at you as their leader, especially if you’ve had them since they were tiny. While it can be cute sometimes, it can also be annoying and can even lead to dependency and separation anxiety. It’s important to give Fido things to do, plenty of exercise, and a set of commands they understand very well. This creates a healthy relationship between the two of you and teaches your dog to be independent and to relaxxxxx.
Why does my dog whine SO MUCH?
This is a tricky one; there are so many reasons your dog might be whining. Whining can be a result of boredom/excess energy or it can be a sign of discomfort due to a serious underlying health concern. It’s important to pay attention to changes in behavior, mood, or eating habits and take them to the vet if you notice behaviors that are unusual.
First of all, a tired dog is likely not going to whine to seek attention because they’re bored. As a first-line remedy, you can review their daily activity levels to ensure they’re getting enough exercise. This can come in the form of walks, trips to the dog park, fetch in the backyard, or short-term daily training activities. It’s important to make sure Fido gets lots of exercise and stimulation and if they don’t, they might whine to tell you they need more!
Whining might signify something more serious. Though we all wish our pups could talk, they don’t have the ability to tell us what’s hurting or where they’re feeling discomfort. If your dog suddenly begins whining and seems generally uncomfortable, we recommend contacting your vet immediately. They will be able to talk through your specific circumstances to figure out the best next steps.