Your Dog's Crazy Behaviors Explained: Part I

April 7, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Pet Care and dog behavior

Do you watch your dog's odd behavior on occasion and wonder, "Is my dog crazy?" Some actions and behaviors are entirely reasonable even if they seem strange while some "acting out" can be a sign of necessary training or your dog trying to tell you something. Here's how to decipher your dog's nutty behavior.

1. Sleep Running

There is a classic dog behavior that's completely normal: while sleeping, your dog may twitch, whimper, and even bark quietly, apparently chasing down a phantom squirrel or cat. What isn't normal is if your dog gets up and runs or walks in his or her sleep. This is a sleep disorder and means your pup isn't entering R.E.M. sleep properly, and medication from your vet can take care of it.

2. Thunder Phobia

Many dogs are skittish when a thunderstorm rolls through but pay careful attention to your fluffy friend's attitude to be sure they're not developing a phobia. When your dog's fear of thunder transforms into a phobia, he or she will pace, shiver, and drool—and worst of all—likely try to escape. Work with your pet by using a storm sound app or CD and associating this sound with giving treats and special attention.

3. Snacking on Poop

You may be eager to hear that nibbling on poop at the dog park is a curable behavior, but the truth is that dogs are natural scavengers. Poop has protein, so if you have a pup who doesn't indulge in the occasional feces feast, consider yourself lucky.

4. Separation Anxiety

Are your neighbors complaining about your dog's behavior while you're gone during the day? Your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety. Although it's common for dog—who are park animals—to dislike your departure, it's not healthy for them to panic, bark, or destroy the house every time you leave. Train your dog by appearing calm and collected when you leave, and work with your dog when you're home to stay quiet and calm when separated from you. If your dog barks, don't return to the room or kennel; when your dog is calm, return and reward your dog.

For more pet care and training advice, visit us at our clinic or give us a call.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.