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38 Quirky Dog Behaviors and What They Really Mean!

Lea Lomas

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There is nothing quite like having a dog for a pet. These furry little creatures are as fascinating as they are loving, offering us their entire hearts in return for our genuine care. While we cannot talk to our dogs, we can communicate them by learning to understand how our dogs behave. Today, we are going to explore 38 quirky dog behaviors as well as what they signify! If you’ve ever wanted to know what your dog was thinking, now is your opportunity!

Squinting/Blinking Eyes Repeatedly

If you see your dog staring at you with squinting or blinking eyes, you might be a little worried. Is something in your dog’s eyes? Does your dog have an allergy? While those are possible reasons, the more likely trigger for this behavior is that your pup wants attention. If your dog wants a few extra pets, you might notice slow blinking or squinting behavior.

Sniffing the Rear End of Another Animal

Dogs don’t have hands, so they can’t just shake hands when they greet one another. While we don’t advocate sniffing your buddies behind, dogs use the technique to learn to get to know one another. As it turns out, a dogs’ butt has the strongest concentration of pheromones in their entire body.

Excessive Digging

Digging is an instinctual action for many dogs, though it is especially common in terrier breeds. Typically, dogs like to dig when they are hunting for something that has been buried. Being as dogs like to bury things and their memories aren’t perfect, excessive digging could be explained away by a forgetful pup looking for lost toys.

Flashing the Puppy Dog Eyes

The secret weapon in the arsenal of every pup is their Puppy Dog Eyes. Puppy dog eyes are one of the most adorable ways your dog can beg for attention. When you see your furry friend flashing their big round eyes, they are trying to signify just how much they love and trust you. Pay back that trust with a treat!

Staring At You 

There could be a thousand different reasons as to why your dog is staring at you. Typically, you’ll look at other actions aside from the staring to gauge the goal of their action. When your dog is simply staring at you without any other factors, it simply means that they are respecting of you.

Tail Tucked Between Legs

If you see a dog with its tail tucked firmly between its legs, the reason is likely due to anxiety. You can tell a lot about how a dog is feeling by looking at their tail. When the dog’s tail is relaxed and hanging loose, the dog is comfortable. When the tail is tucked away between the dogs’ legs, that means that the dog is scared.

Scratching at the Floor

There is nothing quite like seeing your full-grown Husky scratching at your brand-new carpet to raise your blood pressure. When your dog starts scratching at the floor, they are likely trying to leave their mark. This is a common behavior in ‘snow breeds’ like Husky, Malamute, and Samoyed breeds. For more information on this behavior, key in ‘dog burrowing’ on your favorite search engine.

Staring With Tongue Out

There are many variations of staring that can lead to different outcomes. When you notice your dog staring at you with its tongue out, the reason is quite simple: your dog is happy! When dogs stare with their tongues out, it is a sign of happiness and relaxation as well as trust.

Howling at Night

If you live out in the country, howling at night can be triggered by any number of things. If you live in the city and hear howling, it is likely because your dog is imitating a characteristic of its past. Most howling-heavy dogs are closely related to wolves which means that your pup is trying to communicate with its pack.

Chewing On Your Blankets

If you see your toddler chewing on the end of a blanket, you probably don’t flinch. If you see your little Pug chewing on a blanket, you are probably wondering why! This is a common behavior found in dogs that were separated too early from their mother. Much like your toddler, this behavior is done to comfort and soothe the dog.

Open Mouth, Relaxed Tail, Pointed Ears

Have you ever seen a German Shepard trotting around at a dog park? You’ll likely notice their open mouth, pointed ears, and relaxed tail expression., This expression signifies that the dog is in a neutral behavior, though relaxed and secure within its environment. If you want to pet a friend’s dog for the first time, this is the correct behavior to look for.

Shaking Toys Vigorously

There is nothing more fun for a dog than a hardcore play session with their favorite rope toy. When your dog viciously shakes their chew toy, they are tapping into behaviors remembered from their past. This behavior is done in the wild when a dog is ensuring that its prey has been killed.

Bowing Before Playtime

The ‘play bow’ is the ultimate sign that playtime is about to start in earnest. If you notice your dog bowing toward you or one of your other pets, that simply means that they are excited and ready to play. Don’t leave your furry friend hanging, grab a toy and get in on the fun!

Looking at You Before Acting

When you notice your dog staring at you for prolonged periods of time and you aren’t holding food, something might be up. Typically, a long and enduring stare signifies that your dog is waiting for you to respond to what they are about to do. If your dog has ever found where the treats are hidden, you know this expression quite well!

Straight Pointed Tail + Forward Ears

There are many different ways for a dog to position its tail and ears to signify a behavior. When your dog has its tail pointed straight out with its ears resting forward, your dog is likely curious about something in the area. Your dog might have noticed a new smell or sound.

Shaking Water Off Their Coat

Every dog will shake its body when they get out of the water. Whether after a bath or playtime at the lake, dogs will shake to get water off because it is the most efficient way possible to get dry for them. A wet dog can shake away at least 70% of the water soaking its body!

Dog Follows You Everywhere

Some people might think their is a deep meaning as to why your dog follows you everywhere. Well their is and their isn’t. Some dogs will follow their owners everywhere because they know that they might get a treat or some food. And some dogs are bred to be by your side. Dogs have been breed to work side by side with people for generations and that is why they may follow your everywhere as well. Some breeds are more so to follow you side by side then others.

Open Mouth With Loose Floppy Tongue

Have you ever noticed your dog watching you while you tended to some activity? Maybe you were sitting down for a Netflix binge when Lassy hopped up on the couch to stare at you with her tongue hanging out. A loose floppy tongue is a positive behavioral sign that states absolute comfort for the dog.

Hiding Under Your Bed

There are a multitude of reasons for a dog to hide under a bed. Some dogs will hide in dark spaces when they are scared or injured. Other dogs will just want to have their own private and quiet space to relax in. If your dog suddenly begins to hide under the bed, check to ensure that they are okay but otherwise let the dog be.

Circling An Area Before Going to Sleep

One of the most commonly reported dog behaviors is when a dog walks in circles before laying down to go to sleep. This is a common trait for dogs that sleep outside or on the ground. Before dogs were domesticated, this circling behavior was used to smash trample grass for a soft sleeping place.

Teeth Bared + Snarl

You don’t have to be a behavioral expert to understand that bared teeth can rarely signify something positive. When your dog bares its teeth or begins to snarl, the odds are good that they are upset or afraid. Never approach a growling or snarling dog and especially avoid animals that have flashed their teeth.

Any Kind of Staring

No, Fido isn’t trying to read your mind by staring into your eyes. Dogs stare for many reasons, most of them benign. If you notice your furry best friend staring at you from across the room, all they really want is a little bit of love and affection. Who could resist such a cute behavioral tactic?

Running in Their Sleep

Sleep running is one of the funniest and most adorable things our dog regularly does. This cute behavioral tic signifies exactly what you probably already guessed, your dog is running in its sleep! Who knows what exciting adventures your dog gets up to while it is asleep. Maybe they finally caught the mailman?

Bark That Slowly Gets Higher Pitched

Dogs have all sorts of barks that they like to whip out for special occasions. If your dog starts with a slow and low-pitched dark before working it up to a high-pitched bark, your dog probably wants to play. Of course, all dogs are unique so make sure that you understand the dog you are interacting with.

Aggression Toward Mail Carrier

It is a tale as old as time. The mail carrier arrives to deliver your latest Amazon package and Scruffy goes wild. More than just a trope, barking at mail carriers is an outward signifier that your dog is staking a claim on its territory. Your dog is just doing its job to protect you and your family. We aren’t sure that the mail carrier loves this behavior, though.

Seemingly Random Howling

We’ve touched on a number of different reasons for your dog to be howling, so let’s dig a little deeper. If your dog begins to howl at seemingly random times, they could be responding to sounds from their environment. Sirens and train whistles, as well as other high-pitched sounds, can trigger your dog to howl in response.

Powerful uh Flatulence

Flatulence can signify a thousand different things when a human exhibits the behavior. If you notice that your furry friend is sporting some intense flatulence, well, that is likely due to a mix between their breed and diet. If you notice ongoing flatulence paired with strange and sudden new behaviors, there might be something else at play.

Low Keening Growl

Growling can signify so many different behaviors that you need to know your dog in order to understand their growls perfectly. That being said, a low growl will typically indicate that your dog is anxious or afraid. Any time that an animal is scared or anxious, they become unpredictable. Never approach a scared or worried animal.

Sleeping With Limbs Upward

This adorable sleeping position makes us want to just cuddle our pets even more. When your dog stretches out with its limbs straight in the area, they are likely trying to cool down. This sleeping position also signifies that your dog is comfortable with exposing its most vulnerable area (stomach) to the world.

Barking At Other Animals With Ears Pressed Tightly

Is there anything more entertaining than watching your dog meet another dog? If you notice your dog barking with its ears tightly pressed to the side of its head, this is likely a sign of submission. When two dogs are interacting via barking, the one with its ears held high is typically going to be the alpha.

Sleeping on Their Side

Dogs will sleep in just about every position possible, though cats still hold the sleeping crown. When your dog sleeps on its side it is likely due to the fact that they completely trust their surroundings. Side sleeping is a signal that your dog is comfortable and has trust in the leader of its ‘pack’, i.e. you!

Stashing Treats in Hiding Places

When you give your dog a treat or toy, do they immediately hide it? While you might think it strange for your dog to stash its treats and toys, this is actually a common behavior rooted in evolution. Prior to dogs becoming domesticated, being able to hide food was an absolute necessity to survival in the wild.

Sleeping in the ‘Superman’ Pose

Does your dog like to splay out like Superman when they rest? With paws stretched in all directions and hips splayed flat, you’ll think that your dog has begun to melt into the floor! Most dogs assume this sleeping position because the dog has completely run out of energy. If you have a puppy, you’ll notice this sleeping position all of the time!

Everyday Panting

Panting is a common behavior that every dog will exhibit. Dogs do not sweat as we do, so they have to have another way to reduce their internal body temperature. If your dog is panting on a sunny day, the odds are good that your pup needs to cool down with a cold bowl of water.

Excitedly Sticking Head Out Car Window

Your dog experiences the world through its snout. So, when your dog sticks its head outside of the car window, they are doing it to take in as many new experiences as possible. While dogs enjoy sticking their head out the car window, you still need to be careful as this could be dangerous for the animal.

Sleeping on Back With Paws Over Chest

Have you noticed your dog sleeping on its back with its paws tucked atop its chest? This cute pose may make you want to scratch your doggos belly, but you might be better-served backing away. A dog that sleeps in this position is likely doing so because they are overheated and need space to cool down.

Slow Tail Wagging

When your dog slowly wags its tail, what do you think is going on? Some dogs will wag their tail slowly to signify that they are anxious. This would be similar to a human that laughs when confronted with something uncomfortable. Some other dogs will slowly wag their tail to signify submission.

Evading Being Petted

There is nothing quite so hurtful as when your dog avoids your affection. If your dog is pulling away when you try to pet it, there has to be a reason. Most commonly, this kind of body language signifies discomfort with the way that you are petting the animal. Change your technique and see if your dog is more receptive!

Sleeping Like a Fox

A dog that sleeps in a tight ball with its paws curled beneath it may look like a fox. This sleeping-fox position is likely due to the fact that your dog is cold. This position allows your pet to retain as much body heat as possible to stave off the cold.

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Animals

What are the Weird Bugs that Look Like Blueberries Outside of This Woman’s Home?

Lea Lomas

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If you have ever stared at a spot and suddenly it moved, then you can probably relate to what this poor woman was going through. Recently, a story was published about a woman in Texas who couldn’t quite figure out what she was looking at. This woman lives just outside of Houston and spotted something strange on the side of her house. At first, she thought it was dirty; however, she quickly realized that she was dealing with something that was actually alive.

For those who might not be bug people, this story might be a bit much. They might even think they would actually run away from whatever it was that this woman was dealing with; however, the story quickly attracted the attention of the internet who went to work trying to figure out what this poor woman had on the size of her house. After all, these bugs might be something that is actually doing something dangerous to the side of her home. This is where the good samaritans of the internet world can come in handy.

She was working outside of her house in Houston one day. She was staring at what was happening on the side of her house when, suddenly, what she thought were just spots actually started to move. On closer examination, the bugs actually looked something like blueberries; however, nobody would want to make a pie out of whatever it is that these creatures are. They appeared to have legs and antennae, confirming that they were, in fact, something that people would definitely not want to eat; however, this doesn’t exactly narrow down the identity of these strange critters. It simply rules out non-food options.

The true mystery surrounding these critters is the way in which they move. In a video that was posted on the woman’s YouTube page, it almost looks like they are dancing. In the eyes of many, these critters appear to have some sort of formation they are using to dance for others. They actually look almost like a marching band, similar to the ones that get into strange formations during shows at the halftimes of football games. They are truly some of the most mysterious bugs that people have ever laid their eyes on.

In fact, people have confirmed this sentiment because the comments started to flood through this woman’s YouTube page. It seems like people were quickly interested in trying to find out more information about these strange bugs. They were asking questions and providing suggestions as to the identity of these strange critters. At least they didn’t bite this poor lady, at least according to the video. That would have been a total disaster!

There were a number of interesting suggestions in the YouTube comments section. Some people seem to think they are something called Southern Green Stink Bug nymphs. Others were calling them Kudzu bugs. On the other hand, nobody seemed to be 100 percent certain as to the identity of these bugs. People are still curious, asking the lady if she ever did figure out what exactly they were!

The mystery has only added to the viral nature of the video. There are many people who would like to figure out what these strange things are. Up until this point, nobody has actually suggested that they are blueberries that should be eaten. It is pretty incredible to watch these bugs move together in a special formation. If nothing else, these bugs certainly know how to put on a show for the camera.

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Animals

Four White Lions Charm Zoo Staff & Earn Their Freedom

Mackenzie Freeman

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White lions are exceedingly rare, with their numbers estimated to be no greater than 300 worldwide- if you don’t count the 80’s, hair-metal band of the same name. The white mane and body hair are caused by a mutation that happens once only over several thousand lion births.

So, when these four white lion cubs were taken into care in 2017, zoo staff and visitors were charmed by their tendency to want to cuddle each other and to stay close inside the basket they were given to sleep in.

It was decided that the lions would be given special care since their bright white fur is considered to be a major handicap in the wild. The lions had not been involved in an accident or injured- so there was no reason to keep them caged up longer than necessary. They were allowed to grow up within a limited controlled habitat but were slowly introduced to the wild and allowed to have their freedom.

The worry was that the bright white fur would make hunting abnormally difficult for the cubs, making survival in the wild unlikely. But the lions were healthy enough that it was decided they deserved a chance to live on their own.

Up until the day of their final release, the adorable white lion cubs charmed visitors and zoo staff alike. They remained very close and friendly with each other throughout their stay at the zoo. Even as adolescents, the white lions slept in close proximity and would cuddle and clean each other regularly.

After having grown to a sufficient size, over a period of seven months, the lions were slowly given the chance to move out into the African wildlands where they eventually made their homes. They seemed to know that they were not as well camouflaged as normal lions, and made more effort to hide from their prey before striking from hidden locations. The animal carers took this as a positive sign and eventually allowed the four white lions to venture out on their own with radio tags in their ears allowing wildlife professionals to track their progress and monitor their location.

The lions are three years old today. They have been closely monitored via radio-tracking and their behavior and their progress have been deemed normal and healthy. They have not strayed from their optimal environment, and have not threatened any human habitations.

The lead researcher in the project to follow the animals said, “The white lion cubs have shown a level of awareness of their strange coloration that we did not expect. They did not behave like properly camouflaged lions. They behaved as if they understood that they would be spotted by their prey immediately if the engaged in a chase over a long distance. Instead, they survive as ambush predators, something we see more of in crocodiles. But these four cats have managed to make it work for them too.”

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Animals

Care to Play With the Lion?

Mackenzie Freeman

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Everyone needs exercise to be healthy, even animals. If you’re a pet owner then you are probably aware of your pet’s need to be taken for walks, be played with, and to get to stretch his or her legs once in a while. Well, it’s no different for large wild animals like lions. In fact, the team of animal carers at San Diego Zoo needed to figure out a clever way to get their lion, named Mazinger, into more physical activity.

Mazinger had been rescued some months prior to the video from would-be poachers who had injured Mazinger’s front left leg. After healing up over a few weeks, Mazinger started feeling like his old self again, and the enclosure he was kept in didn’t have the space or the activity he needed to be satisfied.

The animal carers started by discussing ways to help the lion to get some activity in while he was kept in the relatively small enclosure which is only about 40 by 50 square feet in size- big enough for a smaller animal- but not for the king of the jungle. So zoo staff started with a system of ropes that they would pull through the enclosure with a piece of meat or something that would catch the lion’s attention. Then they would try to pull the rope through to give Mazinger the feeling of having chased something.

Of course, the fun was short-lived as even rehabilitating full-grown lions are quite strong. Mazinger would seize the rope, and that would be the end of the game. The animal carers knew that he would need to be given more of a challenge.

Lion exhibit staff, Brian Carr said, “We had to keep him in that enclosure until a larger and more suitable one could be made ready. But that was weeks out still. So we needed to help Mazinger to feel more like himself in the shorter term. In the end, we found a simple solution.”

The solution they found was to secure a large piece of meat to a strong length of rope and to feed that into a small opening in the strong iron fence. The end would be flicked out with a stick from above to give it some range and to catch Mazinger’s attention. Before long, several of the exhibit staff were engaged in a hilarious game of tug of war with a fully grown African lion. They did this every day for about a week before they decided they could invite members of the public to play tug of war with Mazinger.

The event was short-lived, but it was a great success. Dozens of people came each day just to play tug of war with the lion. It did seem to boost Mazinger’s spirits to have a little competition.

Sometime later, he was moved to the larger exhibit, where he has been seen “tugging” things like tree branches. The staff at the new exhibit still occasionally manage to get Mazinger into a friendly game.

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