11 Weird Things Dogs Do (And Why)

5 min read
Dog Paw

We love our dogs, don’t we? They have been called “man’s best friend” for eons. We praise them for their loyalty. As much as dogs and cats seem to be adversaries, they pale in comparison to the adversarial interactions of “dog people” versus “cat people” as they loudly claim the superiority of their preferred pet, touting their benefits while railing against the drawbacks of the other.

Oh, yes, the not-so-positive quirks. That’s what the defender will call them, while the detractor will call them major flaws. For dogs, some of these quirks are just little things, while others are quite difficult to defend. Dogs, like the humans that love them, are not perfect. But what is it with some of the things they do? Let’s take a look down below.

11. Destroying the House

Destroying The House

Maybe you come home from work to discover that your dog has ripped up the carpet in your bedroom. Or you wake up to find the legs of your tables and chairs scratched and chewed beyond recognition. Or you’re watching TV when your dog suddenly leaps through your closed living room window to the front lawn. There are as many ways that dogs can engage in destructive behavior as there are reasons why. If you find that your dog is destructive, the first step toward curbing the behavior is to consult with a vet.

10. Butt Dragging

Butt Dragging

Did she seriously just slide her stinky dog butt across your new rug? What’s going on here? Is she marking territory or something? Nope. Butt dragging is usually a sign that something is medically wrong with your dog. It could be something simple, such as needing to have her anal glands expressed, or it might be something more serious. If you can’t tell anything from a visual inspection, the next stop is the vet.

9. Falling and Leg-Paddling

Falling And Leg Paddling

This one is actually probably the most serious behavior we’re going to cover, so you really need to watch out for it. If your dog suddenly falls over and starts to twitch or paddling her legs, there’s a good chance that it’s a seizure. Other signs include appearing worried or clinging to you beforehand, and walking in circles afterward. It is incredibly important that you take your dog to a vet if you suspect she had a seizure because symptoms almost always worsen without help.

8. Bathroom Audience

Bathroom Audience

Dogs don’t exactly respect boundaries. This is true whether you’re cooking in the kitchen, watching TV, or doing something significantly more personal like going to the bathroom. It can be unsettling to have your dog stare at you as you sit on the toilet (especially if you suffer from bathroom “shyness”!), but there’s nothing particularly “wrong” with the behavior. Dogs just aren’t as hung up on privacy as we are. Still, if the idea of a canine audience truly bothers you, there’s nothing wrong with closing the door or teaching your pooch to stay when you need to do something personal.

7. Eating Poop

Eating Poop

Are you getting sick just thinking about it? Yeah. So why in the world do dogs do it? Two primary reasons. First, he may be trying to keep his space clean. That’s right. Some dogs eat their feces as an act of cleanliness. This is an instinctive behavior that female dogs engage in when they’re with their young litter in order to keep the den clean. Still… blech. Second, his food might not be meeting his nutritional needs. Eating poop can be a dog’s attempt to bolster his diet. Either way, it’s not something you want to continue (nor is it healthy).

6. Reverse Sneezing

Reverse Sneezing

Of all the weird or scary things on this list, reverse sneezing takes the cake — despite the fact that it is completely and utterly harmless for your pooch in most cases. Here’s what happens. All of a sudden, your dog starts making a horrifying sound that seems like a cross between snorting and choking, and she looks like she’s trying to vomit but is also really self-conscious about it. What’s going on? It’s a “respiratory event” that can be caused either by overexcitement or as an attempt to get rid of mucus. Though it looks awful, if you just let it run its course for 30 seconds or so, your dog will go right back to normal.

5. Sleep Barking

Sleep Barking

If you’re wondering why dogs bark in their sleep, many experts believe that it’s a sign that your pup is dreaming. Hopefully, the barking won’t be so bad that it stops you from dreaming!

4. Food Herding

Food Herding

One dog owner posted online about her dog, “She will push her dog dish with the food in it around on the floor with her nose until it’s lodged between something and won’t move further. Then she starts to push soil up and over the dish with her nose as if to bury it. The problem is, there’s no soil, just the floor.” This dog is ‘herding’ her food like she would herd cattle if she were doing the job she was bred to do. She needs structured activity like an obstacle course in lieu of actual cattle herding.

3. Best Friends

Best Friends

Another user wrote, “My dog Alice Eloise is best buds with our UPS driver. Every Friday, we have a big delivery, and every Friday they play an epic game of fetch from one end of the house to the other. It makes Alice Eloise so happy! Anytime we are out and see a UPS truck, she stops in her tracks, wanting to say hello!” You can certainly chalk that last line up to the dog having been trained that The Big Brown Truck means a game of fetch is about to go down.

2. Licking


Dogs will lick on just about everything they see. Just about every dog owner knows that upon returning home from work or other long absence, a lick-fest is going to ensue. But some dogs take it to another level. Another internet comment post went something like this: “My poodle/bichon mix Luna will whine and bark at me if I don’t pick her up right when I get out of the shower and allow her to lick the water out of my hair! We now have a routine of her waiting outside the shower for me to finish, then she jumps up into my arms so she can basically drink my hair.”

1. Working Those Chores

Working Those Chores

Dogs can jazz up the standard – in other words, boring – household chores. This can inspire some quirks from the family pooch. One person has stated that her dog is petrified of one specific trash can. The other ones are fine, but keep that one away! Another dog owner reports, “My dog Riley goes completely crazy every time we take the trash out. She can be sound asleep in the other room and the second we pull the trash bag out of the trash can, she loses it and starts barking and running around in circles like it’s the most amazing thing she’s ever seen.”