Dogs, like people, can be quirky. If you’ve ever wondered why your dog behaves in a way that seems odd, you’re not alone.  

Welcome to the first edition of Why Does My Dog Do That? !

Disclaimer: The writer of this blog and the volunteers and staff at CHN are not veterinarians. The answers to these pressing questions have been gathered from a combination of internet searching, personal experience, and common sense. This post is intended to entertain and perhaps educate, but is not intended to be authoritative. Please consult your vet if you have concerns about your dog’s behavior. 

Why does my dog eat grass? 

Many people think dogs eat grass to induce vomiting and alleviate an upset stomach. Yes, he may be eating grass because his stomach is upset, but according to WebMD, fewer than 10% of dogs feel unwell before they eat grass.

It could be a nutritional deficiency, or it could be that Fido just thinks grass tastes yummy. He could be like many humans, and is munching on the lawn because he’s bored. Give that guy some exercise! And monitor grass intake since many lawns are treated with harmful pesticides. Speaking of grass…

Why does my dog kick up grass and dirt with his hind legs after urinating?

This behavior is not likely to please your neighbor with the immaculate lawn, but your pup is simply letting the world know he was there. He’s leaving his scent behind with his feet pads, and the clumps of disturbed grass and dirt are also visual markers to any other pooches who may saunter by.  

Why does my dog circle before settling down? 

It’s widely thought that this behavior is a throwback to wolf ancestors, who didn’t have plush dog beds on which to snooze. They walked in circles to pat down brush and smooth out the area for themselves and their pups. Circling also provided the opportunity to survey the area for dangers. So even though your pooch may have a bed nicer than most college students, old habits die hard. 

Why does a belly scratch make my dog’s leg twitch? 

You would think this is similar to our knee-jerk reflex, wouldn’t you? You would be correct. Just like we can’t help kicking out our leg when the doc taps below our knee, dogs can’t help twitching that leg when you scratch that sweet spot on their belly. It’s still amusing though! 

why does my dog's leg twitch when his belly is scratched

Why does my dog take her first piece of food out of the bowl and eat it somewhere else? 

I had a dog that did this…she’d take one piece of kibble, walk into the other room, put it down, sniff, then eat it. Only then would she return to her bowl and eat the rest normally. 

This seems to be instinctual. In the wild, a dog is more likely to hold onto his food if he takes it away from the feeding frenzy of the pack. Moving it away means he doesn’t have to fight for it, and this instinct may still be present in domestic dogs, even those who are the only pooch in the home with no worries about sharing. 


And now you know why your dog does that!