Things Dogs Do

Have you ever wondered why dogs do the things they do? Here is a list of the things my dogs do.

I have shared my life with many dogs. They each had their own personalities and traits. Each one was special to me and will forever have a place in my heart. My husband and I are now the proud humans of Kole, a mixed black lab and Katie, our little yellow mutt.

We find they can make us laugh when we are sad, sometimes just by doing the things that dogs do. But have you ever wondered why dogs do some things?

Here is a list of a few of the things our dogs do that we wonder about.

  1. Why do dogs look down the hall or in an empty room and wag their tails? Is there someone there we can’t see? Can dogs see ghost?
  2. When dogs dream why do they always move their feet? Do they only dream about running?
  3. Back on sleep. Why do some dogs howl in their sleep? Katie is notorious about doing this, at least once a month or so we are awaken to her wolf man howl.
  4. Why do dogs chase their tails? Don’t they know it belongs to them? Doesn’t it hurt to bite it?
  5. Why do dogs turn in circles before they poop, and then scratch in the dirt? Are they looking for the best spot? Do they want to cover the poop with dirt because they are embarrassed?
  6. Why do dogs chew your shoes, stuffed animals, paper cups or just about anything their humans have touched? Why do dogs take your clean underwear off the bed while you shower and place it on the living room floor? Well, maybe that is only what Kole does to me.
  7. How do dogs know you are sick or had surgery? When I had surgery, Kole never left my side and he was very gentle. As I recovered he slowly became less protective.
  8. How do dogs know their humans are almost home? My two are waiting at the door before my husband has even turned his truck down our street, much less in our driveway.
  9. Why do dogs have to have a certain special tennis ball to play with when they have a box or yard full?
  10. And finally, why do dogs lie? Kole and Katie tell me all the time they have not eaten all day, have not had any treats, did not take a walk, have not played outside and No, they did not lay on the living room couch?

This is written with love for my special companions, Kole Dog Mace and Katie Mae Mace. No matter what you dogs do we will always love you. Thanks for being a part of our pack.


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Published in: Pets


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  1. Sorry about the broken sentence structure. I did not write or submit it this way. I have submitted a fix.

  2. nice article Pam, Why do dogs turn in circles before they poop, and then scratch in the dirt? well,it’s a trait of dogs way back from their days in the wild, they would clear the grasses first by turning in circles before they poop,thanks again

  3. Great article. I’ve often wondered about such things too.

  4. Dogs do have a 6th sense. There is no doubt about it. A dog senses a death in the family. Some dogs go to the grave and lay on it untill forceable removed. I have heard dogs howl at a death in the family.

  5. such a very informative article. I do love pets specially dogs. keep on sharing ..

  6. We have a donkey who also does #8.. she must know the sound of our vehicle compared to the others… its great. good fun article

  7. Very nice article. I am shamefull I didn’t think of it myself…lol In answer to #5 my educated guess is since movement stimulates their bowels and when they deficate they are also marking their territory, the circling gets them in just the right position for both. Have you ever noticed that when your dog just can’t quite get the pooh to come out they walk a little further and out it comes! The scratching of the ground is the final marking of their territory. Sometimes they will do it without doing the pooh. Again thanks for a GREAT article, and introducing us to your pack! :)

  8. P.S. I love your other articles too!

  9. Pam,
    I’ve often wondered about the same things with our two dogs. But our youngest, the mix, not only gets my underwear off the bed, he chews big holes in them. Then runs and hides under the bed.But one good thing about him, He’s one hell of a foot warmer. When he’sd not being a foot warmer, he gets between me and my wife and keeps us both warm. Excellent article, Pam!!! You did a great job. Keep up the great work!!!! I love reading your content.


  10. Sorry the stories still have broken sentence structure. I have submitted another fix and sent a message to the editor. Thanks to everyone for your support.

  11. Good article but something seem to be missing, maybe a lead in

    As I sit and watch my dogs I wonder what they are thinking, feeling and do they see things we don’t. As I sit watching them one peaceful morning with a cup of coffee my mind wonders. Have you ever wondered, as I did:
    1. What ——

    As we come back from the dog world and back to reality let’s not forget the joy they put in our busy lifes

    Or something like that. Kind of led us into a peaceful dream world, out of reality, and then back into reality.

    Not being critical, just sharing my thoughts as I read it. Hope these comments are helpful

  12. Hey…aww..I missed her–my dog. anyways…, great article…, I must write about something for her too—tribute to her…thanks for this…

  13. I never thought so much about dogs before :)

  14. Dogs are very intelligent and sensitive creatures. They can be sweet and loving, but loyalty is their best trait. They really deserved an article like this one. Thanks.

  15. i love this…i saw this mentioned in reading them forward by lindalulu,i am a dog lover myself,i like all animals but i prefer a dog anytime! they are so loyal and protective,they seem to be almost human like at times and they can add longevity to an elder persons life I once read that,great article,gabbi

  16. I enjoyed this – I am a friend of Karen’s and was reading her stories of her cats – I have met a few of these crazy characters. That is where I saw you mention your dog article…so I ended up here. Our family just got a dog – our children have been asking for a dog for a long time – especially our 14 yr old daughter. Boy, I am learning a lot about life as we enjoy our rescued 12 month old shepherd/collie cross. Maybe I should start writing about it to share with the public.

  17. Well, I don’t exactly remember which number this one was but it’s about the howling. My dog is getting to be older and he has just started howling in his sleep. It doesn’t happen often but about 2 or 3 times a month. He sounds exactly like a wolf. I’ve heard that it was from being lonely, hot, or hungry. He has only ever howled in his sleep and when no one is around him. When he is sleeping and there are people around he doesn’t howl. It could also be that he senses something outside that shouldn’t be happening, like bunnies running acrossed the yard. Dogs ancestors have been doing this for a long time and it helped them to locate their pack or alarm other dogs of something.

  18. What a fun article! I’ve had the pleasure of befriending several dogs in my 58 years (mostly Great Danes) and had never had a sleeping dog howl until we adopted our current rescued Dane/Lab mix, Cosmo. He will whimper while he’s sleeping and then it goes into a full blown howl sounding like a lone wolf. Since he sleeps in our room, sometimes even on our bed, when this 160 lbs guy sings his song… well, it’s certainly an eye opener!

  19. What a great article. We are loosing our gsd to cancer at the moment, she has been diagnosed earlier this week & been given a couple of weeks to 6 months. She is only 8 1/2 years & has been my baby for 7 years. This article is so true i read it to my girlfriend & it has made us both smile.

  20. cool article

  21. interesting article about dogs! v. nice share!

  22. I think you’re anthropomorphising your dogs. Dogs don’t ‘feel embarrassed’ or ‘think’ or ‘have ideas or expectations’. They are animals, they react to outside stimulus and repeat learned behavior they have observed.

    If your dog ‘looks guilty’ its because they are reacting to your scolding body language with the natural submission pose; You can observe this in a wild dog pack, if the alpha growls at a pack mate, the pack mate adopts body language that says “you are dominant, I am submissive, you would win a fight, don’t hurt me” and since dogs view their owners as alpha they express submission when you ‘growl’ at them.

    Dogs don’t ‘know’ it’s their tail because dogs are not aware of themselves as an entity the way humans are. “I think, therefore I am” does not apply to dogs. They don’t ‘think’ in terms of “my tail” or “my favorite toy”, its more like a wordless instinct of ‘chase’ or ‘play’, though they are capable of forming preferences based on smell, texture, and stimulus of different toys, clothing or surroundings.

    If your dog gets excited everyday before your husband gets home, it could be because of two reasons: 1, because they can hear him LONG before you can with their hyper sensitive hearing or 2, because after a few instances of him coming home at the same time they learn to expect him based on repeated observation. This can be observed in Ivan Pavlov’s bell experiment or an even simpler example; your dog gets crazy excited when he sees you with a his leash.

    On the injury/surgery question, dogs can sense fragility and illness the same way humans can. They know how you normally move, walk, sound, smell, talk so when they notice changes it’s their instinct to guard you from predators who would harm you in your fragile state. Its a pack thing, not a love thing. If a predator eats you then who will feed them, play with them, who will be the leader of the pack? It’s a survival instinct and though it feels like love it’s not, it’s self preservation.

    I hope the science of it all doesn’t make you love your dog any less, but it’s pretty silly to apply all these human emotions and ideas to your dog. A dogs brain is tiny. I’m not saying a dog can’t ‘love’ but he most certainly does not have cognitive, self-aware, problem solving capabilities.

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