Dogs exhibit some interesting behavior, and sometimes it makes us scratch our heads and wonder what’s behind it. Well wonder no more, we have the explanations behind 8 common dog behaviors.

1. Tail Chasing

Your dog chasing it’s tail is a fun way for them to burn through their excess energy. However, if you notice your dog doing this on a constant basis, it’s possible they may have a flea allergy or anal gland problem. It can also be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If your dog chasing their tail interrupts daily life, then contact your vet.

2. Circling Before Lying Down

Dogs circling several times before lying down is an old behavior carried over from their wild ancestors. They perform this action to try and make their bed more comfortable. Some dogs will even kick beds or blankets around to make the perfect nest.

3. Eating Their Own Poop

Now this is a behavior that is downright gross. Also known as coprophagia, there could be a number of reasons why your dog enjoys this not so savory snack. Your dog might be hungry, and they eat the poop for some form of nutritional value. They may even just like the smell and taste. In nature, often times dog parents would eat the feces of their young to prevent predators from being alerted by the smell, making it one of those innate animal instincts. If your dog makes a habit out of it though, reach out to your vet.

4. Head Tilting

A dog cocking their head to one side has to be one of the cutest behaviors. The jury is still out on the exact reasoning, but behaviorists theorize that dogs are trying to make sense of what they see or hear. Another potential reason is that your dog may be trying to determine the accurate location of a sound.

5. Sniffing Other Dog’s Behinds

Dogs sniff each other’s butts as a way of greeting, and it’s actually the polite way to greet. A dog that is comfortable and friendly will immediately go to the behind of the other dog, who should repay the action. It’s basically the way they say “hello” to each other. Dogs who meet face-to-face, in a stiff posture, with their heads up and ears forward will likely end up in a fight.

6. Humping You, Other Dogs or Objects

You may be wondering why your dog does this if they are fixed. However, it’s not usually for sexual reasons, and it’s likely not an attempt to dominate. The most probable reason spayed and neutered dogs hump is because they are seeking attention or excited. To prevent this awkward and embarrassing behavior, try to redirect it with a toy, or simply ignore it.

7. Staring at You

It’s never easy to resist puppy-dog eyes. When your dog stares at you, odds are they’re hoping you’ll shower them with affection or give them a treat. Before gazing back into their eyes though, keep in mind that some dogs consider direct eye contact threatening. Before staring back, make sure they aren’t showing signs of aggression or fear.

8. Licking You

Your dog’s licks are a way of them showing affection. Additionally, your dog has most likely figured out that licking you tends to get your attention. Besides the obvious, some researchers believe that licking is a sensory tool for dogs. Another possibility could be that canine mothers lick their puppies, and puppies as well, lick their mothers and litter-mates for grooming and social reasons. Because of that, this natural behavior continues into adulthood.