Every dog comes with a few of the standard cute attributes. Who knew we would be so endeared by a simple head tilt? But what about the less talked about and rather head-turning habits? Chances are your dog will have one or multiple questionable habits too. Check out a few of the most common strange dog habits and what they really mean about Fido. Flank Sucking
Predominate in Doberman, dogs can and do suck on their own skin. This habit is a form of OCD and often becomes repetitive as a coping strategy. It is also usually indicative of anxiety. While seemingly harmless, it can actually lead to hair loss, sores, infections, and behavioral changes. It typically requires medication or therapy to treat.
Too often than you may like to admit, you have seen this habit being laughed at or called “cute”. It is actually one of the least cute habits, as your dog is, in fact, scratching its butt on your floor. This action usually means your dog is facing anal gland problems. Or they could just be wiping up. It is often best to take a trip to the vet if this habit is frequent or coincides with a painful or angry expression.
Chasing and Spinning
There are more than enough videos of dogs expending energy in this dizzying way. While chasing their tail or shadow, or even just spinning can be cute, this can turn into a bad habit. Compulsive tail chasing can actually be indicative of a need to scratch, possibly due to anal gland issues or fleas. Besides medical issues, any form of repetitive movement can become compulsive for dogs and could require medication to treat.
Referred to as coprophagy, this is a particularly nasty habit. Many dogs consume their own feces for a variety of reasons. Some may be hungry or could purely enjoy it. Like cats eating grass, it could also be a remedy of some sort, particularly for a lack of protein. In an unlucky case, your dog may also see it as fun. Especially if you give them good enough reactions.
Some dogs happen to lather kisses on more than others, maybe even to an unwanted degree. This slobbery habit is an overkill of simple affection. Some dogs may pick up excessive licking by realizing it leads to your affection. Others may do it to complete sensory needs or to continue their primal instinct of grooming and socializing.
If you know your dog is not a wolf or hybrid, then this habit can seem especially strange. It may be as cute as a puppy finding their bark, but howling can continue up into adult dogs. We have yet to determine exactly why domesticated dogs find howling necessary and rewarding. Derived from primal instincts, some scientists now find it a simple way for dogs to express their presence.
Humping. Anything and Everything.
Contrary to popular belief, this habit is typically non-sexual. Even if your dog isn’t fixed, humping can happen more often than we care to admit. While it is embarrassing, you will be happy to know it is usually due to overexcitement or attention seeking. Both are relatively easy to fix by distracting them with treats or simply directing their energy elsewhere.
We see this habit played out in movies and our own homes. It can be slightly maddening to watch your dog turn and turn as if it will actually make them any more comfortable. This habit is actually due to wild instincts. Undomesticated dogs and other species are frequently seen circling to stamp down greenery and debris to create a more comfortable spot to rest.
Barking at or running from the vacuum cleaner may appear funny, but continued after lengthy exposure can indicate a bad habit. If your dog regularly expresses fear or dominance towards inanimate objects, then they may have anxiety. This can often be fixed with slowly increased exposure combined with positive reinforcements, like treats or playtime. Sometimes it may require anxiety medication.