Is Your Dog Weird?

One of the best thing about owning a dog is its personality. No two dogs are alike, and invariably a dog’s unique personality will shine through when he is put in certain situations. 

But a lot of canine behavior is shared across all breeds and types, and while some is certainly entertaining, it can also lead to trouble down the road. Here’s a list of common dog behavior, and what to do if it becomes a problem.

Separation Anxiety
If your dog whines or barks excessively when you leave, it could be separation anxiety. Just like humans, dogs need to learn emotional self-control. If there is a specific family member that the dog makes a fuss over, another family member needs to teach the dog that laying down and being quiet is the only way to get the loved one to return.

Doesn’t Love Dogs
If your dog loves people but hates other dogs, it could be because he didn’t have enough positive experiences with other dogs during the initial period of socialization, which is three weeks to three months of age. Taking your dog out to dog parks and other safe areas, or visiting friends with dogs and getting yours slowly acclimated, can help reduce the animosity.

Hating the Reflection
Does your dog bark any time he sees a mirror? Does your dog go to great lengths to avoid seeing a reflection? This behavior is actually quite normal. Since dogs depend so much on their sense of smell, another moving creature that has no scent is probably the dog equivalent of a ghost, which let’s face it, is scary. Most dogs eventually learn to ignore the reflected interloper.

Night Sucking
If your dog can’t help but obsessively suck on his own thigh or a blanket at bedtime, there’s a name for that: flank sucking. It’s seen most often in Dobermans.

Flank sucking doesn’t concern most owners, but the behavior shouldn’t be encouraged. Dogs who suck blankets can swallow pieces of blanket so large they have to be surgically removed.

Freaking Out at Loud Noises
If your dog loses it when there’s a thunderstorm or during a fireworks display, it’s not unusual. Most dogs are averse to loud noises, and the fear can manifest itself as pacing, shivering, or drooling. Some dogs panic and try to escape, and there have been cases of dogs injuring themselves by slamming into doors or glass panes.

Try playing a CD of a thunderstorm or sound effects at a low volume while playing with him and giving him treats. Raise the volume on CD slowly, and only when he is comfortable. Eventually, he will come to associate the loud noise with fun.

Get That Tail
Do you have one of those dogs that compulsively spins in circles? Admittedly it’s funny, as long as the dog isn’t doing it for hours at a time.

There is a danger in letting such behavior go unchecked. It can worsen — sometimes after a traumatic event — and the dog may get to the point where he’s unable to stop.

If your dog is spinning way too much, talk to your vet immediately.

Blog Category: