In detail

Three times strange dog behavior and its meaning


It is not always easy for people to correctly interpret dog behavior. Especially when it comes to highly curious habits like wallowing in foul-smelling stuff or chasing your own tail, the meaning is not always clear. Dogs like this Jack Russel Terrier chasing their tails may be sick - Shutterstock / bikeriderlondon

Are there occasional moments when you don't understand your four-legged friend's dog behavior? Sometimes the meaning of a certain behavior is not easy to interpret because the overall context has to be taken into account. Here you can read examples of three common dog habits and their possible meaning.

1. Strange dog behavior: chasing your own tail

It looks funny and cute at first when dogs chase their own tail. If this dog behavior only occurs sometimes, boredom can be behind it - provided your four-legged friend otherwise looks healthy and happy. If he chases his own tail regularly, it can be compulsive and a behavioral disorder. One possible cause is that your dog was separated from its mom too soon as a puppy. As babies, dogs do not yet know that the bushy thing at its most valuable is their own tail and try to catch it out of hunting and playing. If a puppy comes early to a new home alone and realizes that he receives attention and positive reactions from his people when chasing his tail, the behavior can solidify. After a veterinarian has ruled out physical causes, an animal psychologist may be able to help.

If your four-legged friend is chasing its tail, it is best to check whether there is any dirt or debris on its rear or in the fur. The dirt bothers your dog and he tries to remove it. It is also possible that your dog has an anal gland infection or parasites such as worms or ticks on the buttocks. An allergy to fleas or flea saliva can also cause severe itching. So, as a precaution, go to the vet with your dog if it chases its tail and they don't know the meaning.

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2. Dog likes to wallow in stink stuff: meaning?

There are dogs who love to wallow in things that smell hideous to human noses. What this dog is supposed to do is not entirely clear, but there are a few theories about its meaning. One possible explanation is that dogs are trying to cover up the strong smell with their own scent or to mark something potentially edible as their property. The opposite is also conceivable that dogs want to cover their own smell with the scent, for example to camouflage themselves when hunting.

However, it can also simply mean that only we humans perceive the strong smell as a stench, but it smells very wonderful for the dog's nose. After all, there are also scents that people find pleasant and dogs terrible, for example an intense perfume. Dogs can "read" all sorts of things from a fragrance with their sense of smell and find what we find stinky and disgusting exciting and interesting.

3. When dogs run in a circle before lying down

Sometimes dogs spin around on their crib for a while before lying down. This could be a holdover from the time when the dog was still a wolf or at least not yet domesticated. With the little dance around their sleeping area, they could flatten leaves or grass to make things more comfortable afterwards. Evolution has partially survived this dog behavior.