Why Is My Dog Acting Weird?

Do you ever look at your dog and wonder “Why is he acting so weird”?

It’s a common dilemma among owners – our canine companions often act in odd ways that we don’t understand.

Is it something wrong?

Are they just being playful or fearful?

Before we conclude, let’s take a closer look into why your pup might be displaying strange behaviors and explore some tips for calming them down.

Read on to discover what might be behind those quirky doggy antics!

Why Is My Dog Acting Weird? – The Reasons

white brown dog sitting on floor looks into the camera

Beloved by many worldwide, dogs are often known for their loyal and playful personalities.

However, sometimes they can start acting strange in ways that are puzzling to owners.

We all know those funny (and not-so-funny) moments when our beloved fur babies work in the most unconventional ways.

While it can often seem like they’re working out of character, there may be a deeper reason for your dog’s strange behavior: 

Injury / Illness

When a dog acts weird, it can often indicate that something is wrong medically or even physically. Injury or illness can cause changes in behavior, and if your pet is acting funny, it might be time to take them to the vet.

If your dog has recently suffered trauma or surgery, it may still be feeling pain, discomfort, or unexpected fear of its surroundings.

These are all frequent side effects and could explain why a usually well-mannered youngster seems off-kilter.

Dogs who act strangely for no reason should also see a vet; they may have a health condition.

Any unexpected behavior change may require treatment.

Changes In Routine

black dog face from near looking sad

A dog acting weird due to changes in routine is something that many dog owners have observed.

But why does this happen?

The reason for such behavior is quite simple – it all comes down to increased stress levels dogs experience when their routine shifts.

Dogs thrive on routine and predictability so any sudden changes can be a source of anxiety.

To avoid acting out, dogs need to be given time and space to adjust to new things and comfort when feeling overwhelmed by the change.

When approached, most dogs come to terms with modifications in their schedule as long as some aspects remain the same.


Dog acting weird is one of the telltale signs of anxiety in dogs, as it is in humans.

Nervous or anxious behavior can include trembling, quivering, and acting skittish.

Other signs that your dog may be acting out due to anxiety are: excessive panting, refusal to eat, acting clingy, or urinating inside the house even after established potty training.

If any of these behaviors persist, it usually indicates that your pup is overwhelmed by a situation and trying to cope with their anxiety.

It’s essential to identify these signs early and seek veterinary help to determine the best course of treatment for your pup.

Cognitive Dysfunction

brown dog laying picture from side

Unusual change in dog’s behavior could signify a severe medical condition, one of them being Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).

CDS is a neurological disease. Dogs may be more susceptible to it if they are over eight years old, as symptoms worsen over time.

It’s essential to recognize the early signs: forgetfulness with familiar commands, disorientation in tight places, changes in sleep habits, loss of house training, and altered social interaction.

Consulting your veterinarian as soon as possible is critical for developing an effective plan to help your dog.

To Get Attention

Dogs acting weird can be due to a simple yet powerful reason: looking for attention.

From the moment they come into our lives, they want and need our love, care, appreciation, and more.

Some dogs will go to extremes by acting strange to get their owners’ attention.

Whether it is barking when no one is around, bothering guests, or working evasive towards family members: these behaviors can all stem from an animal’s desire to be acknowledged.

Next time your pup starts acting out of the norm, take a moment and try to understand where they are coming from.

That way you can give them the attention they seek.

Dietary Changes

white dog laying on his side

Dogs acting weird can often be the result of a dietary change.

Whether it is a sudden transition to different food or a lack of quality in their diet, even the slightest changes to their daily intake can cause dogs to act out of sorts.

Behaviors such as begging, eating strange objects around the house, or acting unengaged are signs that they need more than regular dog’s food.

It can be a sign that they may not get all the nutrients they need.

Dietary changes should always be made using dog-specific products to ensure their health is not compromised.

Inadequate Nutrition

Without critical nutrients, a puppy may respond differently owing to lack of energy.

Extremely low-quality pet food might cause nutrition-related behavioral problems.

If your dog acts strangely, check to see if their food meets quality guidelines.


dog looking weird to the camera

Dogs acting weird can be a sign of stress.

While dog’s weird behavior is more expressed than humans, signs of stress in our four-legged friends are similar to the symptoms experienced by people.

Be on the lookout for changes in dog body language and demeanor, such as refusing to eat its favorite snacks or acting passive or aggressive.

A stressed dog might also show excessive panting, pacing, or trembling, indicating it is uncomfortable with its surroundings and needs extra love and attention from its beloved owners.

While it might take time to reverse these actions, approaching your furry friend with plenty of compassion and understanding should help reduce their stress.

Environmental Factors

Is your pup acting a little strange? Well, it could be due to environmental factors.

Dogs can act out in weird ways if their environment is uncomfortable; they may act oddly because they don’t feel safe.

If a dog has been introduced to a new environment recently, this could result in dog’s weird behavior and behavioral changes.

Maybe shivering, hiding, or barking excessively.

Outside factors like loud noises and unfamiliar people can also provoke unusual behavior in dogs.

Make sure your pup feels secure and provide a calm atmosphere – both of you will feel better as a result!


Allergies may be another reason why your pup is acting weird.

Certain materials, dust, and pollen can irritate dogs and induce allergic reactions as well as odd behavior.

It may be helpful to take your dog to the vet so they can assist you establish whether allergies are the cause when they act strangely.

If you suspect your dog has allergies but is not showing any symptoms of concern over them.

New People Or Pets

white dog looking weird to the camera

Another possible reason dogs can act weird is the presence of new people or pets.

Whether it’s a guest in your home, walking by your house on the sidewalk, or even a new pet you bring home to make it part of your family.

When faced with changes in their environment and routine, many dogs will react with confusion or even show signs of aggression as a natural defense mechanism.

Since dogs rely on habits and a sense of routine, any sudden changes or unfamiliar faces can cause them to display some unpredictable behavior.

How you handle these situations is important.

So make sure you are calm and confident around your pup when new people enter the scene or when introducing another pet into your home.

This way, you’ll be better able to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone around you.


A bored dog may bark for no reason, dig and chew on objects, pace or circle around the house, jump excessively, become destructive and exhibit a decreased appetite.

It’s like when we’re bored; we can’t help but release our energy somehow!

Therefore it is important to provide your pup with enough physical and mental stimulation based on their age, breed, and size.

Give them interactive toys to keep them occupied while you are away from home.

When you’re at home, take them for long walks, frequent trips to the park, or enroll them in agility classes so that they never get bored!


Depending on the situation, weird behavior can take on various forms.

If your dog is acting scared and the dog’s behavior gets strange, it may become subdued and cling to you or display shaking and trembling.

They could be “freezing”.

That means they stay very still because they feel trapped, or they might display more outward aggression like growling or nipping.

In these situations, it’s best to comfort them with soothing words and gentle petting while finding ways to reduce their fear triggers of the situation they are in.

Paying attention to subtle behaviors that your dog displays can help you identify when fear might be causing .

That way, you can give appropriate support and reassurance.


Dogs acting weird can be caused by the mistreatment they experience during their lives.

Our four-legged friends may suffer from physical and psychological pain due to abuse or deprivation of necessities like food, water, shelter, and love.

This kind of mistreatment can cause dogs to shut down mentally, resulting in them acting out in strange ways.

It’s important for owners to take time to inspect the behavior of their dogs and find out what is causing it, so appropriate steps can be taken before the situation becomes worse for both dog and owner.

If you think that your pet may have been subjected to mistreatment, then don’t hesitate to contact a professional veterinarian immediately.

Ways Your Dog Can Act Weird

two dogs playing funny together

It’s no secret that dogs can act strange sometimes, and it can be amusing or confusing for pet owners.

In some cases, the behavior could even signal an underlying health issue.

A pup may show weird behavior by fixating on something outside – like a leaf blowing in the wind – for long periods.

When dogs smell or see something unusual, they may look fascinated.

Growling, yipping, and howling might signify a dog’s fear, happiness, or communication.

After eating something weird, your dog may roll around to disseminate their scent as an olfactory marker.

Dogs have their own ways of playing and napping that may seem peculiar to humans, such as when a pup takes frequent naps, sleeps in weird positions, or imitates a human’s behavior.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Is Acting Strange?

If your beloved pup is acting strange, it can be a concerning situation.

If the strange behavior is out of the ordinary for your pet, it could be a sign of something being wrong.

It’s important to take note of any physical symptoms like lethargy, lack of appetite, and/or changes in bathroom habits that might accompany this odd behavior.

If your pup is displaying these signs, it’s best to reach out to a veterinarian to assess if there’s anything further to worry about.

It’s better to console them with soothing words and gentle caressing while reducing their terror triggers.

What To Do When Your Dog Shows Strange Behaviors?

If you’ve noticed your dog acting differently and wondering what to do, the first step is to try and identify the reason for their weird behavior.

It could be a change in environment, diet, or something more serious like illness.

Common signs can include increased barking, withdrawal from people, or destruction of property.

If this behavior persists despite your efforts to modify it, seek professional help so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Depending on the situation, removing or minimizing triggers may be necessary after veterinarian care.

Outdoor activities and mental stimulation help lessen some behavioral disorders.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Why is my dog acting weird?”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.