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Seven Dog Mysteries: Solved

Behavior and Training  •   Mary Shaughney  •   Jun 21, 2018


How much farther can my dog hear than me?

It’s believed that dogs can hear sounds roughly four times better than humans. A dog’s outer ear is made up of 18 muscles that rotate to capture sound far more efficiently than the human ear does. Dogs also can hear a frequency (low to high pitches) ranging from 20 to 60,000 Hertz, while humans can only hear 20 to 20,000 Hertz. However, it should be noted that your dog’s hearing ability is also based on his breed. Breeds with ears that stand up can capture sounds better than those with floppy ears.

Why does my dog eat poop?

There are several reasons why your dog might choose to eat poop, but the most common is that he isn’t receiving enough nutrients to satisfy his nutritional needs. This will lead your dog to seek out and consume poop as a supplement to his diet. A dog who is restricted to his yard for long periods of time may eat poop to clean up his territory or to give himself something to do to pass the time. Dogs with health problems, such as parasites, may have an increased appetite leading them to seek out food in whatever form they can find. Regardless of the cause, it is possible to train your dog not to eat poop.

Can my dog’s leg fall asleep?

Just like people, dogs who lay in a position that restricts blood flow to their legs will experience the pins and needles sensation upon standing! While most dogs walk off the feeling, more sensitive dogs may react by crying out or licking the leg that feels off. Your dog’s leg falling asleep shouldn’t happen every time he gets up from laying down. If your dog wakes up from naps unable to use his leg multiple times a day or is unable to recover within 20 minutes, you should head to the veterinarian as this may be indicative of injury.

Why do dogs tilt their head?

We all love when we make a sound that causes our dogs to cock their heads to the side adorably. But have you ever wondered why dogs react that way? There are a few reasons researchers believe a dog may tilt his head after hearing a new or strange sound. Your dog may be tilting his head to hear or see better. Angling his ears to the sound, or his eyes in a way that gives him a new perspective, may be the reason for the head tilting response. Your dog may also be tilting his head as he concentrates on what you’re saying to pick out the key words or phrases that he understands. Your dog is smart, and if you give extra attention to your pup every time he tilts his head, eventually he will learn to do it just to get your attention!

In some cases, your dog may be tilting his head due to a medical condition that is causing him to feel dizzy. This head tilting looks different from the normal quizzical tilt. If your dog keeps one ear closer to the ground regularly and has trouble balancing, you may need to visit your veterinarian.

Why does my dog get hiccups?

Hiccups in adult dogs are generally attributed to your dog eating too quickly. Puppies seem to be constantly hiccupping, when they’re cold, too excited, after eating or drinking too quickly, or even when tired! Researchers still don’t know why mammals hiccup, but they theorize that it is a leftover function from development in the utero when hiccupping is a way to test-drive breathing muscles. Dog hiccups can be pretty cute, but if they don’t go away for more than a few hours or the hiccups turn into wheezing, you should see your veterinarian.

What is a reverse sneeze in dogs?

Although a normal, healthy occurrence in dogs, reverse sneezing can be scary to watch if you don’t know what is happening. If your dog stands, extends his head and inhales repeatedly through his nose making a loud snorting sound, he probably is reverse sneezing. Your dog may sneeze a few times and then go back to whatever he had been doing before the episode. Reverse sneezing is normal in dogs as a way for the body to remove an irritation from the nasopharynx. However, if your dog has several episodes it may be indicative of a health concern and you should visit your veterinarian.

Why does my dog circle and dig before he lays down?

There are many different reasons why dogs “prepare” the spot they’re planning on sleeping in. In the wild, dogs gather leaf litter to make a softer place to lay. Dogs also dig into the dirt to find a warmer or cooler place to lie down. Dogs have glands on their feet that release their personal scents, thereby labelling the sleeping spot as their territories. Female dogs, whether pregnant or not, have an instinct to provide a nest and will often gather blankets and push them into a comfortable position. Providing your dog with plenty of clean bedding will allow him to create a comfortable sleeping spot without destroying his crate or your floor.

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