15 Strange and Quirky Dog Behaviors Explained

People have been domesticating animals for centuries now. But, the most domesticated animals are dogs. The wolf ancestors were domesticated for hunting, security, cattle herding, and companionship. However, nowadays, most dogs are adopted for companionship.

Other than their abilities to sniff and bond with humans like no other animals, the furry friends often exhibit some behaviors that are hard to understand. Many dog parents often say, ‘ my dog is acting weird,’ but that is usually not the case. Dogs have some strange behaviors, and a majority of them have a reason behind it. Your dog might not be as weird as you think.

So, here are some quirky and strange behaviors explained for the pet parents to help you understand your little furry friend.

1. Chasing tails

Dogs love to chase their tails, even the pugs who have a curled tail try their best to chase and catch their tail. This might seem like a juvenile activity, but there are a couple of reasons why dogs do it.

Firstly, they are simply intrigued by the dangling thing flopping around their backside and chase it for pure fun and out of boredom. However, this is more common with puppies and young dogs.

Secondly, if your dog is chasing the tail excessively and is trying to bite it off more than just simply catching, then their tail could be infested with fleas.

2. Circling before lying down

Dogs circle multiple times before lying down to simply ward off insects that may be around. But, this does not make sense when your pet sleeps on a comfortable mattress.

Actually, like most dog behaviors, this behavior too is hard-wired in their brain. Dogs try to flatten the surface with their paws to sleep comfortably on a flat surface.

3. Head-tilts

Have you ever wondered why your dog tilts their head sideways when you try to talk to them?

Dogs have excellent hearing, but they sometimes have trouble locating the sound source, so one reason for their cute head tilts is that they are trying to find where the sound is coming from. So, the tilting helps them open the ear canals and reposition their ears to hear better and locate the sound source.

Moreover, they do this to show you that they are paying attention to you.

4. Carrying food to a specific location

Dogs will often carry a mouthful of treats or food in a specific area and eat it there only. No matter where you give them food, they will take it up there and eat it. Dogs do this because they feel more comfortable and safe in a specific area of the house.

5. They kick when you scratch their belly

If your dog trusts you, they will go into the submissive pose and present their belly to you, and it’s another hard-wired behavior to display trust and playfulness. Dogs enjoy the occasional belly rubs and the tickles.

But have you noticed that they flutter and kick their legs when you scratch their belly?

This is nothing more than an involuntary reflex, triggered when you scratch in their saddle area – side of the belly. The exact spot to trigger this response varies from dog to dog, but surely, they do enjoy it a lot.

So, the next time you wonder ‘why my dog is acting weird?’, it may be their hard-wired behavioral traits passed down from their ancestors, and most of the time, there is a good reason behind such behavior.

6. After a poop, they run around

Dogs have smell glands in their paws, so your dog may be marking its territory. This would also explain why your dog may kick after going potty, which many dog owners assume is to cover up the waste. Sometimes, they can simply feel liberated and relieved, which causes them to exhibit dog zoomies. 

7. Rolling in Unsanitary Stuff

Dogs may do this to hide their scent or because what smells bad to us may smell different—and even preferable—to them. It truly can happen, especially when we are taking our dogs on a beautiful stroll and they come across a pile of something filthy and simply have to roll in it.

8. Eating dirt

Dogs frequently eat dirt as a means of exploring their environment, particularly when they are digging holes. In rare instances, it can indicate that your dog has pica, an eating problem in which animals are driven to consume objects other than food, or that they are both anemic. If you discover that your dog is obsessively eating dirt, consult your veterinarian to see whether there is a more serious health problem.

9. Scratching the carpet or licking the tile floors

Licking tile floors can indicate anxiousness, digestive issues, or a lack of vitamins or minerals in your dog’s diet. If your dog does this, they may be attempting to pick up crumbs you accidently dropped. Clay floor tiles in particular, which may smell like the minerals your dog is missing, may indicate that your dog is not getting enough of a certain nutrient. It could be a symptom of boredom or nervousness to scratch the carpet. Your dog may be clawing the carpet to release some of their pent-up energy if they are thrilled.

10. Dogs giving a wink

 If you notice your dog winking at you, it’s probably just an indication that they have something in their eye or are suffering from dry eye. Using eye drops or rinsing their eye with saline or fresh water can be beneficial. A dog may wink as a means of “breaking their gaze.” and is pointing out that they’re friendly to you.

11. Dogs smelling butts

A simple butt sniff can provide your dog with a wealth of knowledge about unfamiliar dogs that they can utilize to keep themselves safe. A dog’s ability to determine whether new dogs are friends or enemies depends on how near they can get to a source of body chemistry.

12. Humping

You can find comfort in the knowledge that your dog is quite typical to humps into other animals, people, or inanimate objects like pillows or plush animals. The behavior, which usually occurs in poorly socialized dogs, is brought on by excessive excitement or a need to assert dominance when playing.

13. Pacing or barking while they are sleeping

It is safe to believe that any movement or noise made by a pet while they are asleep is the product of a vivid dream, just like when people can talk or walk while they are asleep. 

14. Paw Licking or Biting

These behaviors have a wide range of root reasons, including boredom, anxiety, dry skin, discomfort from arthritis or other conditions, and allergies. A dog will lick dry skin in an effort to feel the dryness again. Dogs may lick themselves in response to discomfort or itchy skin brought on by allergies or an injury.

15. Creating Holes

Digging holes can also be a result of a dog trying to cool off in hot weather, wanting to hide food or treats, wanting to escape the yard or something they are afraid of, hearing moles or bugs under the earth, or wanting to cool down. 


The ones that are mentioned and explained above will assist you in identifying the behavior that your dog is exhibiting. Just keep in mind that while dogs might exhibit some of this behavior, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that you should be concerned. Keep in mind to first observe your dog.

Although some dog habits may seem strange to you, that is how dogs typically act. If you are concerned about the behaviors your dog is displaying, you can take your dog to the nearest veterinarian to get examined so that you will be less concerned.