More weird things dogs do

Caught your dog doing the naughty with one of his toys? Don’t worry, there’s a simple explanation for his behaviour.

Q: Why do some dogs hump their toys?
A: Mostly because it feels good, but also just because they can. It’s pretty normal behaviour, especially amongst adolescent males, simply because they feel a need to satisfy their sex drive, and rubbing up against something causes a pleasurable sensation. In many cases, neutering can temper this behaviour, but there’s no guarantee. If your dog seems really obsessed with his genitals, consider taking him to a vet for a check-up: there’s a small possibility of a medical problem.

Q: Why do dogs eat grass?
A: No one knows for sure, but there are two main theories. The first is that grass is a good source of fibre and chlorophyll and helps digestion. The second is evolutionary: if a dog ate something offensive it would feel nauseous, then eat some grass so it would get tangled up with the bad stuff (thus irritating the stomach lining) and cause the dog to throw up. So today, even if they haven’t eaten something bad, dogs might just instinctively eat grass when they feel nauseous.

Q: Why does my dog hate the postman?
A: It’s perfectly normal for dogs to bark at the approach of a stranger, and when the stranger leaves, the dog believes he has successfully frightened him off. If the stranger returns, as postmen routinely do, the dog barks even more aggressively to be sure that this time the offender leaves for good. Over time, this routine aggression becomes more and more intense. It’s simple conditioning: your dog learns this hostility through repetition, the same way he learns commands.

Q: Does a wagging tail mean a friendly dog?
A: Not necessarily! Always be sure to look at the whole dog to check for aggression. If the dog is relaxed and smiling it’s more likely to be friendly than a nervous-looking, tense or skittish dog , even if both are wagging their tails. Be on the lookout for a dog with hackles raised with its eyes focused in a hard stare: here, a wagging tail does not mean “I’m friendly”. It’s best to check with the owner first before petting any strange dog.

–    Compiled by Emma Merkling, Health24. Source: “Why do dogs drink out of the toilet?” by Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori, Health24 Pet Zone.