Top baffling dog behaviors explained

Apr 20, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. ET

A dog is man's best friend. Sometimes, though, that best friend of ours does some pretty funny stuff. Our expert reveals some top reasons Fido acts the way he does.

Why does he do that?

A dog is man's best friend. Sometimes, though, that best friend of ours does some pretty funny stuff. Our expert reveals some top reasons Fido acts the way he does.

Dog pulling leash

Leash pulling

Many dog owners believe that their pooch leash-pulls as a form of dominance when on a walk, but they're mistaken. In fact, your dog is probably leash-pulling because he can. If he knows his strength and you aren't halting him, he's not going to stop. In addition, he's probably a lot speedier than you are, so he's going to continue going at the rate he wants unless you do something about it.

You can stop your dog from pulling the leash by getting with a trainer or perhaps changing out his leash and collar combo. Some dogs pull on their leash because they are uncomfortable. Take him to the local pet store and try on a few. See what he reacts best to by walking him around the store a bit.

Marking territory

Urinating dog

Does your dog suddenly have a very small bladder when you take him on a walk, peeing at every corner possible? This is because your dog senses something new to his surroundings. Perhaps there is new grass or a new dog that previously walked that path. Your dog wants his presence to be known, and he wants to feel comfortable in his own space.

If your dog is marking his territory in the home, it could be due to a new form of anxiety around him. Many dog owners see this when a new baby or object is brought into the home. It stresses him to see something new, so he reacts by peeing on it. His smell brings comfort to him, so he does it as a sense of relief. Introduce new things and people to him to avoid the occurence in your home.


Smiling dog

Have a smiling pooch in your home? While experts argue that dogs do not smile to express happiness, he could be smiling because he sees you smiling. That's right; you make your pooch happy! If he smiles and then you compliment him with a belly rub, you'll probably be seeing that smiling face again soon. He sees your reaction and he wants that to continue, especially if it's as positive as his favorite rub down.

On the flip side, states that alpha males rarely smile, as they believe they are dominant or an equal in your relationship. Therefore, if you see his teeth baring, you may want to turn the other direction as it probably means a growl or bite is soon to follow.


Drooling dog

Drooling is a normal dog behavior, and in some breeds, excessive drooling is common. However, if you are noticing more drool than normal in your pooch, he may be dealing with some stress in his life. WebMD states that dogs experience excessive drooling when dealing with psychological issues such as anxiety, fear and nervousness. Help your pooch out by easing him into new things in his world slowly rather than springing it on him.

Drooling can also occur when a dog has dental problems. If you feel this may be the case, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure that all is well with your best friend.

Awkward sleeping habits

Sleeping dog

Feel like your dog gets more sleep than you do? Well, he does, but not on your schedule. Your dog sleeps, on average, 14 hours per day (and 18 hours for larger breeds), but he is awake for most of the night, making sure his loving owner is safe. Knowing that this is his primary responsibility as a domesticated pooch, he takes it very seriously.

When your dog does snooze from his duties, his sleeping is actually much different than our own. While we can go into a deep sleep, your pooch cannot do this due to having heightened senses. This is why he is so easily awakened and startled by new sounds.