If you own a dog, you’ve probably observed that dogs have some peculiar evening routines, such as circling in a circle repeatedly before falling asleep or cuddling up with their favorite blanket. Even worse, you might have caught your favorite dog digging and scratching at their beds (you might even have a pile of dog bed filling on the floor as evidence!).
But have you ever thought about why dogs itch their beds in this way? Ever pondered the seemingly universal behavior of dogs?
It’s a natural instinct for dogs to dig at their beds to create a cozy, warm area to sleep down, which is why practically all dogs do it.
Why does my dog lick his bed before going to sleep?
Dogs of all ages like to occasionally scratch at their bed, whether it’s just a little or a lot. At times, you might even see them scrubbing at the unfinished floor. Usually, we have a natural instinct like this. 1
In the wild, the ancestors of your dog frequently scratched at the ground and leaves to form a makeshift bed. They were better hidden from predators by shifting the leaves and soil about. In warmer locations, their ancestors may have also scratched at their beds to remove the warm soil and grass on top and access the colder earth underneath.
Dogs also use scratching to indicate their territory. They identify the bed as their own by leaving a fragrance behind using the glands on their paws. 3 In addition, a pregnant female dog may scratch as a maternal “nesting” drive.
Yes, your pet family member is claiming his territory on your new bed by clawing it.
Dogs have smell glands on the bottom of their paws, just like many other animals, and these glands release a pheromone that signals to other animals that it is their domain.
Same reason they collapse on your feet. They will scratch at the sheets and the bed as they arrange them for comfort due to their territorial tendency.
Curiosity Isn’t Just for Cats
Your dog may be digging as well since he’s looking beneath the pillows and covers to see what might be there. Dogs may have ‘hidden’ a toy or some leftover food under your blankets, and now they’re digging to get it back. This scratching activity typically drives dog owners insane.
Why does my dog dig in my bed? Anxiety.
Your dog may be experiencing anxiety if his or her digging behavior appears compulsive or excessive. It could be wise to think about getting him a soothing dog bed to help soothe him down in addition to contacting your doctor.
Why do dogs recognize their bed as their own?
That started the process of figuring out how to create a dog mattress that speaks to their innate instincts. The end result is a dog’s ideal sleeping area.
Understanding that dogs approach the environment nose-first is one of the most crucial aspects of how they choose a spot to sleep. Dogs have more than 220 million olfactory receptors in their nose, despite the fact that they cannot detect colors as vividly as humans can (humans only have five million).
They frequently seek out a place to rest that smells like their owner (or other members of their “pack). We have to take into account this important sensory experience when designing a mattress for them.
Environments play a huge role as well. A scientist who studies animal behavior spoke with us about the history of dogs and how their ancestors slept in dens. This is one of the reasons why you might see modern dogs nowadays lounging under a table, tree, or other such enclosure. Our conclusion was that we would need to create a mattress for them that feels secure.
Dogs enjoy making their bed once they have located a suitable sleeping area. Dogs may occasionally scratch your couch before taking a snooze on it, as you may have noticed.
Another long-standing practice is the lovely ritual of going to bed. In order to reach the cooler, drier ground below, wild dogs would scratch away warm topsoil or wet ground cover. It’s how they feel at ease.
Just like their human counterparts, dogs have sleeping positions. For instance, a well-known dog position known as “super pup” is mentioned frequently in books and articles. Maximum heat transfer between a dog and the chilly ground is made possible.
When a dog paws at you, what does that mean?
Pawing at you is one of the most frequent ways your dog will try to communicate with you, along with barking. The majority of dog owners have probably had their dog paw at their legs. This is your dog’s attempt to communicate with you, even though you may find it bothersome at times.
Your dog may be expressing his love for you by placing his paw on you. To show our love and affection for our pets, we pet them. Evidently, they act similarly. He is extending touch and showing you affection by placing his paw on you while you are patting him. Your dog’s pawing at you may be seen as a display of love, but there are many other emotions that could be at play. He may be in pain, agitated, or he may just want to play or eat. While it is usually a form of encouragement for your dog, it can also be a tiny cry for assistance. It’s important to watch out for the various cues your dog is giving off through body language. Be sure to monitor your pets’ vital signs and look for any observable behavioral changes.
Your dog can seem needy and trying to get your attention, which is a hint that you should give him a little more affection. Another possibility is that your dog is attempting to express his hunger. What is your dog actually trying to communicate, and how can you tell? Everything hinges on the viewpoint.
Consider your dog’s other body language as well. It’s likely that your dog is merely expressing love in return if you’re just cuddling up on the couch or massaging his belly. When your dog exhibits anxiety symptoms like lip-smacking, yawning, and flat ears, it’s possible that he’s insecure and seeking attention.
It’s kind of like your dog is stroking you back when he places his paw on your arm or leg when you are patting him. While most dogs are unable to really stroke you, they can express affection, proximity, and trust by placing their paw on you. He does this to build a unique connection with you. If you’ve been petting him for a while and stop, especially if he reaches for your hand and says, “Tell me more, please,” it can also mean that I like it; don’t stop.
Their pricked ears, wagging or upright tail, alert gaze, and relaxed mouth are a few instances of their body language signals. This indicates that they want to interact with you and probably play. They want to do something, like play with their chew toys, chase their ball, or even go on a walk, since they are excited.
Prickly ears, a lowered tail, a shifting of the gaze, a tight jaw, and panting may be signs of anxiety or a hint that your dog is experiencing pain, particularly in relation to a paw. Consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any additional odd behaviors or indications that your dog is in pain.
A puppy who wants your love and attention will probably exhibit relaxed ears and mouth, a low tail wag, and a soft look. Giving your dog your full attention will strengthen your relationship and build trust, plus it’s just the cutest thing ever. You’re the one crying, not I am!
Why do dogs poop and then kick?
It’s simple to assume that when you let your dog out to relieve itself and you notice grass, sand, or dirt being kicked behind them, it’s just a way for them to keep their area clean. In actuality, it serves as a safety mechanism and an essential aspect of how they interact with one another as a species.
Your dog is likely marking their territory if you see them feverishly scrapping the ground or kicking up trash behind them. This activity was originally called as “scrape behavior.” Your dog may not always be caught in the act, but their bodies are constantly working to create a crucial chemical reaction that enables them to communicate with other dogs.
A Sophisticated Communication Network for Dogs
Dogs’ paw glands secrete pheromones that encourage social interaction with other canines. When used as a communication technique, these pheromones from dogs’ paws are more effective since they remain longer than the smell of urine or excrement.
If you’ve ever smelled your dog’s paws, you may have noticed a certain odor that isn’t necessarily an obvious indication that they want a bath or other grooming services.
Your dog has probably lately stimulated the paw pads to release pheromones and distribute their “scent. Even while these chemical processes are invisible to the naked eye, they are just as effective at staking a claim to property as putting your last name on a mailbox in front of your home.
Thousands of years ago, when dogs lived in the wild and had to defend themselves against prey, this behavior was common. The act served as a form of defense when there were other dogs around.
Your dog is simply asserting their dominance over other dogs, not trying to destroy the lawn. However, it’s not always a caution to “back-off Canines can also inform other dogs of the absence of a threat by using this method of communication. They will be aware if another dog of the same species is nearby if one approaches. It’s common for this behavior to intensify when a dog is surrounded by other dogs in a dog park.
When Kicking Becomes a Problem
Dogs naturally kick the grass, but they also frequently do this on other surfaces, such as the concrete floor, the carpet in the living room, or the sofa. In addition to potentially harming your stuff, doing that repeatedly on unforgiving surfaces can be extremely bad for your dog. If your dog exhibits this behavior frequently, check their paws for any indications of damaged pads. The pads may ache, sustain damage, or even break or bleed in the long run. Some creams and balms can offer wounded paws momentary relief.
Additionally, it’s crucial to pay attention to when it turns into an aggressive behavior or an indication of nervousness. If your dog has started kicking the grass more regularly, take into account any potential triggers. Your dog may be experiencing anxiety because of a recent change in your household, a new neighboring dog, or something else entirely.
Training to Help Curb the Behavior
Fortunately, you can teach your dog new coping techniques to help them develop better manners and social skills if the behavior has grown problematic. Your dog can learn useful behaviors (such as sit, come, down, and stay) through Canine Good Citizen (CGC) training that can be used to control your dog’s behavior. When your dog repeatedly kicks the grass, you can tell her to do something else. Additionally, CGC will build your relationship with your dog.
Purebred and mixed breed dogs of all ages are welcome to participate in the Canine Good Citizen program. Anyone is welcome to join, but the AKC does provide special puppy training. Younger pups are taught the fundamentals of Canine Good Citizen through the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program.
By finishing this training, you might be able to reduce your dog’s urge to kick things both inside and outside your home. AKC will assist you in locating a local CGC evaluator who offers instruction and testing.
Canine Body Language
Dogs largely use their body language to express their needs, wants, happiness, and fear. Are you prepared to understand what your dog is trying to say? For more information, download this e-book.
Why does my dog keep moving his bed?
You’ve probably observed your dog making and remaking their bed if you’ve ever owned one. Some individuals think of this as much of a nightly ritual as brushing your teeth or washing your face, while others upload recordings of their dogs on online discussion boards to see whether others think they’re strange. However, because of their own intrinsic urge to nest, dogs generally don’t care what you think of them.
Nesting can appear in a variety of forms, some of which we’ll discuss a bit later on in this article, but first we need to grasp what the term actually implies. When we consulted our on-staff veterinarian, Alison Lambert, she said:
Dogs frequently circle in their beds before deciding to lay down and take a nap. This behavior is assumed to be an innate trait of self-preservation from their progenitors in the wild. It is thought that the animals would have marked their territory by mowing down some grass to make it clear that they had already claimed it. Circling and leveling the grass would leave their scent behind to fend off others while also driving out any insects or snakes that could be lurking nearby. The place would become more comfortable just by removing stones and thorns and leveling the vegetation.
Additionally, before settling down, the process of circling offered wild predecessors an opportunity to look out for other pack members and to scan the area for potential threats. According to some experts, the wolves would eventually settle in a wind direction that would enable them to immediately detect any potential danger.
Circling and nesting before settling is a typical behavior, but if your dog is doing it a lot and appears to be having trouble finding a comfortable position, it may be that they are in pain. A vet checkup could be able to reveal potential causes like arthritis.
Okay. Dogs naturally circle their beds, which is helpful to know, but why do they do it? Well, many of the behaviors your dog may exhibit before settling down have a fairly similar basis. Now let’s look at a few of them.
However, if your dog is dragging their bed from room to room, it may also be because they’re trying to discover a change in temperature. Most of the time, dogs fuss with their beds and blankets because they’re nesting and using their ancestors’ natural inclination to locate the safest position possible. Given that dogs can sleep up to 14 hours per day, it makes sense that they would want to be comfortable before getting 40 zzzs, adjusting to a cooler or warmer position as needed.
Or, perhaps a more endearing explanation is that your dog wants to be near you. They are, after all, pack animals, and by bringing their beds into your bedroom, they are letting you know that they value you as a member of their pack as well as expressing you affection. Once more, this is a holdover from their ancestors who used to cuddle up for warmth and security, but it’s also old puppy behavior. Your dog may be trying to imitate the warmth of a litter by snuggling up next to you right now if you’ve ever seen a litter in action.