I don’t know about you and your fur-iend but I’ve noticed some really weird behaviors, a couple of which Sam does and some that he doesn’t which makes me wonder: what the heck is that all about? Like why do dogs circle around before laying down? Sam walks around and around and around some more just before flopping down on his bed. The answer is actually interesting: the dog is trying to create a safe “nest” like their ancestors did eons ago. By walking around in circles wild dogs would flatten down the vegetation and chase out large crawly things. It also left a visible sign that this spot had been occupied and warned others of their territory. What that means in my living room though is still up for debate.
Then there’s the kicking the ground after pooping thing. Thankfully Sam doesn’t do that but several dogs in the ‘hood do because they will kick mulch all over the sidewalk. When pet parents let their dogs do that (and then don’t sweep the mulch back) it really bugs me. I wouldn’t allow Sam to do that and think it’s kind of rude. Besides, it’s MY territory, not theirs. It kind of ranks up there with those people who let their dog hop over a short fence into my iris bed to do his business. And then not pick it up. Grrrr. One of these days I’m gonna bust them and remind them in an oh-so-not nice way to (a) please not do that in the flowers and (b) to PICK IT UP!!! I mean, come on…I already supply the bags in the front yard for dog walkers, the least they can do is use them, right? But back to the kicking part. Dogs actually have scent glands in their paw pads and that kicking out of the back legs triggers those glands and marks their territory. It’s something akin to drawing an arrow to the poop, like yelling “I was here (so scram..I’m very big and powerful).” Sheesh, talk about a power trip.
Then there’s that frantic leg kicking when you’ve reached your pet’s “tickle” spot. I’m scratching Sam’s belly and he’s looking almost perplexed at me (which I’ve previously interpreted as pleasurable so inevitably I scratch even more). Turns out dogs have a scratch reflex which results in a completely involuntary reaction. Seems as though that scratching (or tickling in my mind) can irritate the nerves under the skin which are connected to the spinal cord. A message is relayed to the leg muscles to kick in an attempt to be rid of the irritant. Guess sometimes those tummy rubs are more annoying than enjoyable. Who knew?
Does your dog display any weird traits? What do you make of it?