Why does my dog do that?
We all know that dogs evolved from wolves and wild dogs, and some of their behaviours still persist in our modern pets.
Scraping the ground after toileting
When your dog forcefully scrapes the ground and kicks it behind him after pooing or peeing, he’s not trying to cover it up. Dogs have scent glands on their paws which leave behind a long lasting scent to tell other dogs he’s been there. The scrape marks themselves may also show be a visual show of how big and strong he is. It’s honestly not just to give you a face full of mud when you bend over to pick up the poop.
Turning in circles before lying down
Most of the suggestions as to why a domesticated dog spins in circles before lying down come from thinking about his life in the wild – maybe checking for predators or vermin, or more likely flattening down an uneven surface into a nest. That gets my vote as Boots does this as he settles down on my bed at night – carefully making a little nest on the duvet, before plopping down right on my hip bone!
Pushing food with his nose
Another remnant of wild behaviour is when your dog makes those adorable attempts to push his kibble along the carpet with his nose. This shows he wants to hide or cache the food for later and if it wasn’t on your kitchen tiles, he would be pushing dirt and debris over the food. He may be too full or stressed to eat, or the food or venue is unfamiliar and he’s going to come back to it later. Shame the instinct is still there, but not the realisation that the food is still completely visible!
- Jo Smith