Although cats generally hold the title of most enigmatic house pet, prone to bouts of mysterious behaviors, dogs also have some bizarre behaviors. If you’ve noticed your canine companion rolling in a questionable spot on the grass, or dragging their hind end along the ground, you’ve likely wondered what is going through their head. Our Liberty Veterinary Hospital team has often wondered about unusual canine behaviors, too. We’ve delved into the reasons behind some dog antics, and offer the following list of some of the most common weird dog behaviors, and the reasons behind them.

#1: Your dog is scooting along the floor

Scooting is a relatively common dog behavior, but may be linked to a medical problem if it’s excessive. If you’ve noticed your dog racing their hind end along your carpet, they may have one of the underlying conditions:

  • Inflamed, infected, impacted, or abscessed anal glands
  • Matted fecal material around the anus or tail
  • Skin allergies or dermatitis
  • A tapeworm infection
  • A perianal fistula
  • A rectal wound or tumor

In general, your pet will scoot because they feel uncomfortable, most often because of pressure caused by overly full anal glands. These two sacs reside right inside your pet’s anus, and typically naturally express a thin, foul-smelling fluid during defecation. However, if the sacs become irritated or inflamed, the fluid can thicken and become trapped, causing pressure buildup. To help alleviate this unpleasant feeling, your dog may lick, chew, or scoot along the ground. Rather than scolding your pooch for “wiping” their hind end on the floor, call us to schedule an appointment.

#2: Your dog howls when they hear sirens

Like barking, howling is a form of canine communication. Although your domesticated dog likely doesn’t howl nearly as much as their wolf ancestors, they may strike up a song when they hear a siren. Typically, dogs howl to communicate long-distance, and they may join in when they hear that high-pitched, carrying siren sound. Fortunately, this behavior should end when the siren stops or moves out of earshot.

#3: Your dog rolls in horrible smells

On your daily stroll around the neighborhood, your dog stops, drops, and rolls in the one spot. When they leap to their paws, you notice a foul stench, and determine that your pooch rolled in something rotten. Why does your dog feel the urge to roll in disgusting odors, especially if they’ve just had a bath? Well, they may be displaying their natural instinct to disguise their scent from prey. Or, they simply like smelly things, and the stronger, the better.

#4: Your dog humps anything and everything

Humping is a common, yet frowned-upon, behavior in the canine world, in polite company. Although believed to be sexual in nature, most humping is performed out of excitement or frustration. For example, your dog may hump your guest’s leg when they first arrive, because they are so excited to see someone new, they turn to humping to calm down. You may also see excessive humping at the dog park, where dogs are routinely overstimulated and may not have proper communication skills. When too excited, confused, or frustrated, pooches may turn to humping to try to communicate with their furry pals.

#5: Your dog tilts their head when they hear unusual sounds

A head tilt is an adorable behavior many pet owners try to capture and teach their pet to perform on command. Most often, you’ll notice a head tilt if you speak in an excited, high-pitched voice, or if your dog notices an unusual sound. Pricking their ears up and cocking their head to the side helps your dog pick up odd sounds and understand them better. 

#6: Your dog gets a case of the zoomies

Another cute behavior—unless you have a Great Dane rampaging through your house—is termed “the zoomies.” When your dog gets the zoomies, they may have a crazy look in their eye as they dart around your home or yard. And, no, your dog is not possessed by a demon, but an overabundance of exuberance and energy. This behavior is not an evolutionary trait—rather, the zoomies let you know that you’re raising a happy, healthy dog.

An unusual behavior in your dog may be endearing or disgusting, but can also indicate a more serious medical problem, rather than natural instinct. If you’re unsure about what your canine companion is trying to tell you, schedule an appointment with our Liberty Veterinary Hospital team.