Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Rob Swatski

Ever wonder why your dog does certain behaviors around you? Are you curious why do dogs like to look at you sideways or why they roll around in smelly things? You probably have never consumed yourself with these thoughts, but maybe your children have. After all, they are still curious and these types of interesting dog facts for kids will be fascinating to them.

However, that is not to say that these interesting dog facts for kids will not appeal to adults.

Canines are much more than our loyal companions and friends. They are truly interesting and fascinating creatures, and when we take a second to actively observe a dog's behavior, there are many things to notice, including some of these interesting dog facts for kids and adults alike. You will quickly notice how many questions are being raised whenever you pay attention to your pooch's behavior for a very long time.

Let’s take a very brief and quick look at some of Top Dog Tips interesting dog facts for kids that apparently fascinate adults as well. Personally, I found a lot of curious information on why dogs do the things they do which I didn't know about while researching this post. Here we go!

11 Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior

Did you know that when dogs are…

Resting their head on paws

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Stefan

When a dog rests his head on his paws, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's sad or lonely, even though it might look like this. This position can mean that he's bored or trying to look adorable, especially if you are eating something that your pet wants you to share with him. They can also make that stance when they are trying to understand what you are saying to them. Perhaps your pooch wants you to say his favorite words: “walk,” “treat” or “let’s go for car ride!”

“A dog who is lying down with its head on its paws will have a closed mouth, which always makes a dog look less happy. The eyebrows often move as the dog looks around, which can make a dog look pensive, and the dog doesn’t look that energetic, which can be confused with sad. However, a dog who is lying down is likely to be pretty comfortable in the situation since dogs rarely lie down if they are scared or otherwise agitated.” – Karen B. London, PhD.

Showing their belly

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Aine

Do you know what it means when a dog rolls over and shows off his belly? Demonstrating their belly could mean a few different things. Your pooch could be asking for some love and attention, or he may need some help scratching a hard-to-reach itch. This could be a sign of submission, too.

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If your dog looks relaxed and staring at you, then it’s perfectly fine to give them attention. However, if your Fido's body seems tense and he's not making any eye contact with you, beware! The dog might not be recognizing you, your superiority or isn't too friendly with you. Exposing their belly to other dogs is also a sign of submission, which shows that he does not want to challenge the other dog.

Raise their front paw

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Nikky Stephen

When a dog raises his front paw, it can also mean multiple things. If he raises his front paw and look at you in that cute manner, he probably wants you to stop what you are doing and pay some attention to him. Some dogs (and certain breeds especially, like Beagles and German Shorthaired Pointers) raise one paw to show hunters where animals or birds are. They are trained to do this sort of thing.

“Raising front paws appears to be a sign of friendliness or appeasement in dog body lingo. Actually, the telling sign is all about bent elbows. A play bow, single paw raise, double paw raise (yes even as when jumping up), batting with paw, tap dancing etc. all are meant to convey friendliness and sociability.” – Open Paw, a non-profit pets organization.

Obviously, dogs might also raise their front paw because there is something wrong with their paw. Maybe they stepped on a sharp object, have something stuck in their toes or even a pulled muscle. Your dog can even lift his paw when he's meeting a new dog or person or finds himself in a new place and feels uncertain.

Chase their tail

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Tim Mowrer

What is the big deal about dogs chasing their tails? This is quite possibly one of the most popular and interesting dog facts for kids. So why do dogs do it? The reason your dog chases his tail is because he can! Sometimes the answer is as simple as that. However, there can be many other reasons as well.

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Your pooch might be chasing his tail because he has an obsessive compulsive disorder, or just temporary OCD behavior. OCD in dogs is actually a thing, and many dog researchers are currently investigating this field.

Another reason your Fido is chasing his tail is because he thinks that his tail is prey and he must catch it. Dogs can also be bored and simply want to have some fun by amusing themselves with some tail-chasing, which is especially true for young puppies who do that sort of thing very often.

“For some dogs, the behaviour will disappear naturally, for others veterinary intervention may be required to properly diagnose and treat the underlying conditions. As a rule of thumb, if the behavior is getting more frequent or persists longer than a week, see your vet.” – VetWest Animal Hospital.

Twitching while sleeping

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Garen M.

There's a lot of effort that goes into analyzing dog sleeping behavior and canine brain in general.

Scientists like Alexandra Horowitz and Gregory Berns spend their entire lives figuring out what is going on inside of a dog's head, and there are some really fascinating and interesting dog facts for kids and their parents that science has brought forward.

To answer simply, just like us, dogs can dream. Twitching probably represents the exact same thing it does in humans. The reason we say probably is because even with people, scientists still aren't sure what exactly that twitching is, but we do know that it represents the action you think you're doing in your sleep. For all you know, your dog could be chasing a squirrel, because sometimes he actually looks like he's running on all fours, doesn't he?

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You need to be careful though, and observe your Fido closely. Sometimes, twitching can be a health condition called involuntary muscle trembling or tremors in dogs. Here's what PetMD has to say about this condition:

“Tremors are involuntary, rhythmic and repetitive muscle movements that alternate between contraction and relaxation, usually involving to-and-fro movements (twitching) of one or more body parts. The tremors may be rapid, or they may be slow vibrations, and they can occur in any part of the body. Tremor syndrome usually affects young-to middle aged dogs, and has been known to primarily affect white colored dogs, but a variety of hair-coat colors have been found to be affected as well.”

Head tilting

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Rob Swatski

Isn’t it so cute when your dog looks at you with his head titled to one side? Very. But why does he do this? The reason being is usually because your Fido is trying to understand what you are saying.

He might also be trying to read your face more clearly or attempt to hear your voice and commands. There are several theories on why do pets do this, but no hard proven facts.

Maybe your pooch is listening in to hear the magic words: “treats,” “walk,” “food,” “car ride.” Maybe he's trying to figure out where a certain sound is coming from and what to do with it (with that command or word). We still can't say for sure, but Stanley Coren, a famous dog psychologist and author, has a very interesting theory on this which he came up with after conducting a survey online.

“We know that dogs continually scan our faces for information and to read our emotional state. Hence it is likely that one reason why dogs may tilt their heads when we talk to them is because they want to see our faces better, and to compensate for the way in which their muzzles obscure part of their vision.” – Stanley Coren, PhD.

Now who's up for some pug head tilting session?

Destroying their stuffed toys

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Rob Swatski

This probably drives you crazy – buying expensive dog toys every single time just so that your dog can destroy it in a matter of days yet again. This is even more maddening if the dog is destroying your toys (if you have any), or your kids' toys! Why are canines acting so destructive on occasion? Truth be told, we can put majority of blame on their hunting instincts, and there's nothing we can do about it. They're dogs, after all.

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We have to remember that canines were once wild animals, a very long time ago before they became our pets and loyal friends. Dogs destroy toys because they are putting their hunting skills into action; it's a prey to them. Chewing toys also helps to keep your pooch occupied when they are bored or even anxious, as it can be relaxing for them, which is why most dog owners consider dog toys to be a must have purchase on day one. Destroying toys also helps your canine to feel as if they accomplished something.

Note that sometimes, this type of destructive behavior in dogs can grow out of proportion, at which point you might want a dog expert, animal behaviorist or preferably a veterinarian to take a look at it. Your dog can be experiencing severe cases of anxiety, which needs to be treated and cannot be left without attention.

Eating grass

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Sampo Pihlainen

Another popular question and one of the very interesting dog facts for kids is why do canines love eating grass so much? Is it so tasty for them? Old adage is that grass helps dogs with upset stomach or something related. Fortunately or not, this was found to be not true and simply an old myth.

Again, there are multiple theories on why dogs might do this. Maybe they get bored of eating the same old dog food day in and day out, and now they're looking for a little variety in some greens? Probably not, but it could be the case. Sometimes, your dog just likes the taste and texture of the grass and will eat a whole lot of it simply because it's there. Once again, Stanley Coren has stepped in to shed a little light on why dogs eat grass using some scientific evidence:

“The researchers conclude that grass eating is a common behavior that usually occurs in normal dogs and is generally not associated with illness or dietary needs. They go on to suggest that grass eating may reflect an innate predisposition inherited from dogs' wild ancestors.” – Stanley Coren, PhD

Eating things that shouldn’t be eaten

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Tambako The Jaguar

All the grass stuff aside, dogs are known to eat all kinds of random things that ideally you wouldn't want them to eat. Essentially, your dog, especially if he's young, can eat just about anything: clothes, bags, plastic, wood, toys – you name it. Why are dogs doing that?

Sometimes the reason can be that your furry friend is curious about the environment and likes to taste things around him to get to know things. This is why “eating everything around” is most often attributed to puppies. Other times this can actually be a common behavioral problem and your dog will need to go through training so that you can stop him from obsessively eating everything in sight. Finally, this can also turn out to be a medical disorder called Pica, which means you would need to visit your vet to see what is going on.

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ASPCA warns about this well known disorder among many dogs, and gives you a few hints on how to treat it or what to do if you encounter this problem in your four legged pal:

“The consumption of nonfood items is a disorder called pica. Although pica can be a sign that a dog’s diet is lacking in some nutrient, when pica occurs in puppies and young dogs the most common culprit is boredom. Occasionally, eating nonfood items develops into compulsive behavior, resulting in a dog who’s highly motivated to find and consume specific objects.”

Peeing on other dogs' pee

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Jorge Fernández Flores

Why in the world do dogs pee on other dogs' urine? They do this because they are “over marking”. If your pet is doing this, that means he's covering the other dogs' urine smell with his own to show that he's now in charge here.

Contrary to popular belief, males and females both do that; however, male dogs do this more often than female dogs.

There are also many other reasons why dogs might be urinating over someone else's urine. It can be a social trigger: your pal or gal is attracting another dog for interaction or mating. It can be to note something new in the environment: if you pooch has notice a new smell in the environment he's usually in, he will mark that spot with his own smell.

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Other reasons can include some medical causes too, such as anxiety, urinary incontinence, infections and other things. These need to be taken care of as soon as possible, ASPCA and WebMD warns:

“A small number of dogs urine mark when distressed or anxious. Typically, this kind of marking is prompted by some perceived threat, such as an unfamiliar person or dog in the home, or the introduction of something new, such as a pet, a baby, new furniture, suitcases, grocery bags, etc. Other events and situations that cause stress and trigger urine marking include the absence of a family member, whether human or animal, or conflict between pets or family members within the home.”

Rolling in smelly things

Interesting Dog Facts for Kids on Dog Behavior
Photo: Christopher Mitchell

Last but by no means least popular among interesting dog facts for kids is the reason why dogs love to roll in things that smell bad to us. Some dog experts suggest that this canine behavior can be blamed on your dog’s ancestors, really.

Back in those olden days when dogs were wilder, they had a dog that was the “scout” dog and he would go out looking for food, then bring information back to the rest of the dog pack. If he found something dead, like a stinky fish, then it would let the pack know that there is fresher fish nearby the stinky fish that the “scout” dog rolled in.

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Another reason for this behavior is attributed to “bathing.” Dogs may roll in gross smelling stuff to get rid of the smell that is on them. Perhaps you just gave him a bath with some good dog shampoo that smells of roses, and your four legged friend does not appreciate this smell. Most likely it smells nice to you but not to your Fido, and the first chance that he gets, he will try and get rid of that “stinky” smell by rolling in something that smells better to your pet.

Note that VCA Hospital warns about this behavior turning into something beyond simply being annoying and smelly. Pay close attention to your dog's behavior to prevent or sort out any mental or physical issues:

“Whatever the reason, pet owners must make sure that this behavior doesn't end up putting their canine at risk. If you see your dog not just rolling in, but eating feces, then you have a more serious problem on your hands. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, dogs who eat feces may be exhibiting medical issues that will require a visit to one of the nearby vet clinics.”