Whether you have been a dog owner for years or just starting out, you may have found it hard at times to understand what your dog is trying to say.
Knowing how to read them is important as a dog owner in helping you understand them better.
One way you can know how they are feeling is through their body language.
Through interpreting their body language, you can assess how they are feeling and know how they will act next.
If your dog happens to do weird actions, such as crawling on its belly, you may wonder if it is a cause for concern.
Understanding more about this behavior can help you know when your dog might need medical care.
There are many reasons as to why your dog may be dragging themselves on the ground, from being submissive to looking cute.
Read on to find out the many possible reasons why your dog may be doing this and when it is a cause for concern.
The Reasons For The Crawl
Like humans, puppies first learn to crawl before they walk.
Crawling is typically their first movements, to get milk and stay warm by their mother’s side.
As this is also known as a vulnerable state, many dogs resulting in adopting this crawling behavior as a cute trick.
This action also allows dogs to use muscles that they do not usually use, helping to tone their core too.
1. Looking Cute
As mentioned, crawling is embedded in dogs, and depending on your reaction to their crawls, they may adopt it as a cute trick.
If your dog tends to crawl across the floor while looking at you, it may mean they want attention.
However, if you notice that this action is habitual and if your dog shows signs of pain, there may be an underlying factor for this action.
If your dog starts crawling around and did not do this before, it may be a sign of irritation.
There are different types of irritation which you should look out for:
You can start by checking for any irritability on his belly — looking out for signs of rash, bites and scratches.
If there are patches of red around the belly, this could also be a sign of skin irritation.
These skin irritations can result in them crawling on their belly to alleviate their itchiness.
Bites and scratches may be caused by stinging or bugs.
These bites should go away with time, but creams can also be used to help relieve their itchiness.
If your dog has fleas, you will notice that its skin is red and bumpy.
You may also notice tiny fleas that jump. Fleas can be relieved through over the counter flea solutions.
However, if this problem continues, you may need to visit the vet for stronger medication.
Another possibility of irritation is due to allergies.
While rare, dogs may be allergic to certain materials and chemicals which they may have touched or rubbed against.
The irritated area should be recognizable and easily treated with over the counter creams.
If this problem reoccurs, you should visit the vet and remove these chemicals causing the allergy around your home.
Dry skin is common for dogs during the winter seasons.
Dry air from winter can rob your dog’s skin of moisture, resulting in dry and sensitive skin.
This can make your dog itchy and uncomfortable at times and rubbing their belly on the ground may help them relieve this irritation.
To relieve this itch, you can also make changes to their diet to relieve the itch.
If you are considering this method, you should approach your vet for advice.
3. Submissive Behavior or Separation Anxiety
Other than irritations, your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety, resulting in this behavior.
When dogs become anxious, they might army crawl as a coping mechanism.
Separation anxiety may also lead to destructive behavior, a sign you should note especially if both happen concurrently.
If this is the case, it is important to identify the source of their anxiety and help them through it.
Other reasons as to why your dog may be crawling on the floor include
- Marking their territory on a new carpet
- Crawling closer to you
Teaching Your Dog To Army Crawl
Training your dog to army crawl on command is simple.
If they have already been doing this action, you can give them a treat when they do so.
This will help them understand that they will be rewarded when doing this action.
If your dog has not done this before, you can follow these steps to help teach them:
- Put your dog in a down position while holding a treat in front of them
- Help them crawl to the treat by placing your hand on your dog’s back gently to ensure they are moving while in a down position
- Continue giving them treats luring them forward
- Once they understand, place a treat further away from them and command them to crawl to it
Army crawling is not typically a cause for concern and may even be beneficial for your dog.
Knowing more about the different causes why dogs do this can help you to understand your dog better.
Do note that while army crawling is common, not all dogs are able to and are suited to army crawl.
You should seek expert advice to help you determine if your dog is able to learn how to army crawl.