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It seems as though everyone and their mother got a pandemic puppy. With many new households experiencing the joy and absurdness of living with a dog, there have been more Google searches trying to figure out their behavior. Unless your dog is like Bunny from TikTok, there probably isn’t a lot of two-way communication going on. If you want to know why your dog gets the zoomies, or why your furry friend acts the way they do, here’s a guide on canine behavior.

Zoomies

In short, zoomies are a great way for dogs to get a burst of energy out. Although zoomies are not as common in older dogs, they are a great way for dogs to get their energy out so they can calm down. Dogs are most likely to get the zoomies after the bath, during playtime or around bedtime. If your dog gets extra fast after bath time, it’s because they are celebrating that bathtime is over. After all, it makes them nervous. A reason for late-night zoomies may be because your dog didn’t get enough exercise that day. Another source on the zoomies mentioned that certain breeds of hunting dogs run wildly back and forth to signal to their owner that they have found their prey. The reasons for zoomies varies—it could be happiness, nervousness or just a way for dogs to exert themselves when you’re on your fifth zoom call of the day. But don’t worry! Only happy and healthy dogs get the zoomies.

Tilting their head

Your furry friends can often be seen tilting their heads. This signals that they are interested in the noise and are waiting to hear more. This could be as simple as a truck driving down the road, or during training when waiting for a command. It is also a really cute pose to snap a picture of so you can update that doggy Instagram.

Walking around in circles before lying down


Chocolate lab licking face
Photo by James Barker from Unsplash

If you see your dog walking in circles before lying down, it’s so they can find their most comfortable position. Dogs can even dig at their beds to ensure they are at peak comfortability. Think of it as the equivalent of you organizing your pillow before bed.

Growling

If your pup starts to growl at a low or medium volume, they are protecting you from a received threat. This means she or he either sees the mailman, Amazon delivery truck or a vacuum. If the growl progresses, it could mean that your pup is about to attack whatever they think the threat is. But, because dogs are complex creatures, it could also mean they are alert, anxious, happy or in a playful mood.

Exposing the belly

If your dog lies down and exposes their belly, she or he’s trying to show respect, or she or he is being playful. Dogs only show their bellies if they trust you and think they are in a safe environment. Dogs who sleep on their backs are very comfortable in their environment, so keep it up!

Digging


Husky and Puppy playing in snow
Photo by Karl Anderson from Unsplash

A dog digs to bury or uncover their valuables. Digging is normal, albeit annoying. Dogs can bury their toys, bones or dig to mind small animals underground. Digging is also attributed to the instinct dogs have to create a den for their babies.

Sniffing butts

One of the most common, and uncomfortable behaviors dogs can exhibit is sniffing butts. Dogs sniff human and animal butts to determine whether you are a friend or foe. Since dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, they can sense if other dogs are healthy, friendly or potential mates. Because dogs have anal glands that are easily sniffable through their rears, it’s rare for pups to encounter a new dog and not sniff their behind. This ability is also what makes dogs fantastic support animals. Since they can determine character traits with one sniff, they can also let you know if your insulin is low or if you are about to have a stroke.

Dogs are wonderful and love their owners unconditionally, so make sure you keep an eye on your furry friend and let them engage in their strange behaviors; after all, it is instinct!

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Morgan is a senior at Florida State University, majoring in International Affairs and Political Science. She is originally from the Atlanta area but loves to travel in America and internationally. She spends most of her time studying, spending time with her dog, and working at her part-time jobs. Morgan is motivated to end mass incarceration, inequality, and global issues, and hopes to run for an elected position one day.
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