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Dogs do funny things, but are they doing anything wrong?

Tail-Chasing

Puppies have funny ways of exploring their bodies, and chasing their tails is one of them. Think of a baby playing with their toes, they are curious. This isn’t an issue unless your dog has chose tail-chasing over eating. Then you may need to talk to your vet about training or medication.

Crotch-Sniffing

Dogs can get a lot of information from sniffing, and unfortunately sometimes they stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. Dogs sniff each others butts, and they don’t see it as bad manners. If your dog is too pushy, you could speak to a trainer and get your dog to stop checking out your friends.

Scooting

It’s common for dogs to scoot or drag their bottoms across the ground after doing their business — especially if their stool is loose. But if a dog scoots a lot all day, see your vet. Scooting can mean impacted anal glands, which you should get your vet to treat.

Humping

Pleasant or not, humping is a natural thing for dogs. For many dogs, humping feels good or relieves stress. It’s more commonly done by male dogs, but females do it too. It’s OK to look the other way if it’s your couch or a stuffed animal. But if they start humping people or other dogs, it could turn into a rather uncomfortable situation. Call them off so they don’t bother anyone, and talk to a trainer or vet for behavior tips.

Eating Grass

Dogs are not just meat eaters, their ancestors were foragers, meaning the got some greens in their diets from time to time. Eating grass, sticks, and even dirt is normal — as long as they don’t do it a lot. If your dog binges on grass, it could mean stomach problems (blockages). If your dog eats a lot of dirt, it could be a medical problem (like anemia). Call your vet to check.

Eating Excrement

Unfortunately, a dog eating excrement is very common. Not only is it unpleasant to get a kiss from your pup afterwards, but excrement can carry parasites that can pass from one dog to the other. Deter your dog by offering them tastier options and discouraging it when you can. You can also mention it to your vet for more advice.

Drooling

If your dog salivates when you’re grilling steaks, that’s normal. But drooling too much, or for no good reason, could be a sign of a health problem.  If your dog drools a lot and starts having behavioral problems, such as chewing or hiding, it also could be a sign of anxiety. Consult your vet.

Herding

Some dogs will try to herd anything — cats, ducks, even kids. That’s what they were bred to do! Their instincts are telling the to gather and collect things around them. Even though herding can be normal, it still can be a problem. With training, dogs can learn to herd only when you want them to (and you can do events like this!).

Noise Phobia

Socialization can be very preventative in weeding out noise phobias, but even still, some dogs are afraid of noises like thunderstorms or sirens. Seek professional help for those noise phobias. Trainers can help you learn relaxation techniques and strategies. Talk to your vet for advice.

Paw-Licking

Dogs lick their paws to groom themselves. That’s normal, as long as they don’t overdo it. When dogs lick their paws too much, it’s often because of an infection or skin allergy. Sometimes, it’s a habit. Talk to your vet to find out the cause and how to treat it.

Glow-in-the-Dark Eyes

Dog eyes naturally glow in the dark, because they’re different from human eyes. Dogs have a layer of eye tissue which reflects light back through the retina. This is one reason dogs have better night vision than people do.

Dreaming

Your dog is curled up in bed, eyes shut and paws twitching. Every now and then, he whines. He’s probably dreaming. If you could see a dog’s brainwaves during sleep, they seem to have REM cycles. REM or rapid eye movement is the stage of sleep when people usually dream. So what do dogs dream about? That’s one secret our four-legged friends get to keep.