Dogs are great! They're loyal to a fault, always happy and they seem to genuinely care for their owners. However, they're also a little bit wacky from time to time and do more than their fair share of things we don't understand, which drives us to question their behavior. Have you also ever wondered if it was just your pet, or if other people wanted to know exactly the same thing?
why does a dog | why do dogs | why is a dog | why are dogs | why does my dog | why is my dog
In general, things dogs do with their mouth are incredibly popular, including the sounds they make, followed closely by all the different ways they move. I'm going to warn you, there's a fairly large amount of questions that involve, well... 💩. But before we get to that, though, let's start with a category of questions where just one word is so popular it deserves its own section—licking.
By far the most popular dog-related search topic is about what they lick. Not surprisingly, many questions that involve licking are about why dogs
lick parts of us so much. Particularly popular are questions about dogs licking our
legs and feet. Maybe because they're in easy reach for most dogs?
Try bold text or circles in the visual
People are also asking (in all kinds of ways) why dogs just
can't seem to to stop licking or why they like to lick items such as
blankets, pillows, cushions, bed, carpet, or
furniture in general.
If you want to see the cat version of any of the visuals, blue circle in the lower right of the page, when visible.
on the little
Visual Explanation | The colors are random | Circles are sized according to question popularity.
Eating & more
Questions about why dogs eat so many strange things aren't far behind licking in terms of popularity. Specifically, eating-related questions are dominated by why dogs like to
eat lots of unsavory things. Especially
poop..., and not only their own! Apparently
charcoal is also a dish that some dogs can't stay away from.
Dogs do lots of other things with their mouth, such as chewing, nibbling or drooling. Although I would imagine dogs
nibbling on your kitten, or
drooling in your car isn't what you like to see happen.
Interestingly, for cats biting is a lot more popular than what they eat, while for dogs it's the other way around. I wonder if that says more about cats or dogs?
Why would dogs eat grass?
Ignoring the elephant in the room for now (→ eating poop), let's instead go into why dogs like to eat grass from time to time. Dog diets do not officially include grass, but it's actually quite common and considered to be natural dog behavior.
Even so, the reason why so many dogs eat grass is not understood. There are a few widely different theories. For example, it could be as simple as your dog liking the taste or texture of grass, or maybe they are trying to add some fiber into their diet.
There are also less fun theories. Perhaps your dog is bored and just doesn't have anything else to do to pass the time. Some also think it could be a sign of an upset stomach and that dogs eat grass and then vomit to sooth the stomach; however, research doesn't seem to support this theory.
Sure, dogs don't mind sleeping, but most prefer being up and about a lot more than cats. I for one have always wondered why dogs like to
shake their heads when holding toys. Apparently they also shake...
other animals around? What about why dogs
roll over when they know that they're in trouble?
There are some other lovely quirky questions in this group—from those that ask why dogs sit on a variety of
other living animals to why dogs love to
rub their bums on the ground, or your carpet. Also, why do they
follow you into the bathroom? Or try to hump stuffed animals, or even
another dog's face?!
Why do dogs shake?
The most obvious reason is to shake off excess water when dogs are wet, but I'm guessing this is not the “shake” for which most people are searching. Perhaps they are referring more to the shivering kind of movements?
On the good side, a dog can get really, really excited! Shaking can help them get rid of some of all that happy energy. Some may have learned that their owners will show them affection when they shake, so if they want more love, they'll try to shake; smart dogs!
Shaking can also be a sign of discomfort. Interestingly enough, being cold seems to not be the most common reason. They could literally be shivering in fear (fireworks ring a bell?), from being anxious, nervous, ill or in pain. If you're worried about any excessive shaking of your dog, be sure to see your vet!
Howling is a sound that is uniquely associated with dogs and their wolf cousins. Therefore, it’s probably not surprising that out of all the questions that are asked about the sounds dogs make, why they
howl is the most popular overall. Even the more mystical
howling at the moon is asked pretty often. With dogs being such social animals, they also like to
howl with us. Although... maybe
not all dogs...
Additionally, people tend to be curious about the barking behavior of dogs. For example, why do dogs like to bark at
the mailman, at
inanimate objects or, well, at
nothing at all?
Sadly there's no geographical information in my data to check if all the questions about why dogs are
panting so much come primarily from searchers living in hotter climates. After all, panting is the way dogs “sweat”.
All dog questions
Now that we've explored some of the topics of the “why”-related dog questions, let's put all of the ~2150 questions together so you can search and discover them even more freely.
To make sure that this doesn't take up an excessive amount of space, but also to look at the questions from a different angle, all questions have been grouped to create “sentence trees”. A sentence tree combines sentences that start with the same word and creates new branches whenever the next word in the sentence has multiple options.
Let me explain with an example. Take all the questions that “start” with the word dig, meaning the first word that comes after any of the “why do/does/are (my/a) dog(s)” variations:
Why do dogs / Why does my dog dig, Why do dogs dig at the floor, Why do dogs dig at the beach, Why do dogs / Why does my dog dig holes, Why does my dog dig in her bed, Why do dogs dig in the bed, Why do dogs dig inside, Why do dogs dig lots holes when they are sick, Why do dogs dig their face into you, Why do dogs dig their head into you.
There are two sentences in the list above that all have the words at the right after the word dig: dig at the beach and dig at the floor. We can, therefore, combine these two sentences one level deeper and only split them apart from the word where they start to differ; beach and floor. Doing this for all the questions that start with dig gives the following sentence tree:
If we now make the size of the circles depend on the question popularity, shorten all the lines, and make them spread around the first dig circle, we get following small package of all the questions that start with dig:
When we repeat this process for all ~320 unique words that follow “why do/does/are (my/a) dog(s)” we get the collection of sentence trees below.
Perhaps you'd like to learn why dogs are
man's best friend, or just
the best overall? Or maybe you're more interested to know some interesting and useful facts? For example, why is it that dogs are
allergic to chocolate, or
grapes (in case you didn't already know). And ever wonder why dogs are
called K9? Although that last one is easy, just listen to the whole “word” while saying K9...
In case you don't see anything happen when you hover over the bold text examples, try clicking it to be taken down to the visual below.
And what about wanting to understand very specific aspects of a dogs behavior? For example, why are they so
obsessed with balls? Why do they like to
bite the water when they swim? Why do they like sticking their
head out the window? These questions stem from many endearing moments shared with our pets.