Guest Blog Post: Steve Duno, Modern Dog Magazine
Though dogs truly are our best friends, they can sometimes be, well, a bit weird about things. Let’s face it—our partnership with them has only lasted for twenty thousand years or so; before that, they’d had millions of years of experience under their belts. Evolutionary studies suggest that the first identifiable members of the dog family, Canidae, appeared about 40 million years ago during the Eocene epoch, with today’s modern wolf appearing nearly two million years ago. We Homo Sapiens, however, have only been around for about half a million years. The dog’s “pre-human” time created a unique species and unique behaviors that some of us humans might find a bit odd.
I’m certain that things we do baffle them. Traffic jams, fireworks, reality television—we too are an odd bunch. But, as they seem to take us in stride, so must we do for them. And after all, what seems odd to us (or them) can often be shown to be perfectly normal relative to the species’ needs and desires. Let’s take a look at some of our canine companions’ strangest behaviors, and then try to understand them from a dog’s perspective. Most often, there’s a good reason for an odd behavior if you just look closely enough!
I know; why on earth would any animal eat its own waste or that of another animal? It’s a bizarre behavior from our perspective and one that can sometimes be detrimental to a dog. So then, why would your beautiful little fur ball stoop to such a vulgar level?
Several reasons exist for a dog eating what would seem to be such a poor food source. If you have ever raised a litter of puppies, you’ll know that their mother will normally clean up after them by eating their feces. This is not only a sanitary solution, but an age-old survival mechanism. In the wild, predators hungry for a bit of puppy could locate the den simply by the scent of feces. It became necessary, then, for the mother to get rid of this evidence. Good canine mothers today do the same thing, even though those nasty predators are by and large no longer a threat.
Read more at Modern Dog Magazine-Bahaviors