Sudden Strange Dog Behavior

Dogs are lovable, friendly companions that love to spend time with us. However, sometimes a sudden strange dog behavior occurs that makes us worry.

This is commonly due to some emotional issues that our dogs can experience. On some occasions, sudden strange dog behavior can be a sign that something is seriously wrong health-wise.

When should you become concerned?

Why Do Our Dogs Change Behavior Suddenly?


The most common reason why there’s some sudden strange behavior is emotional. People don’t realize that dogs can experience feelings such as anxiety or stress the same way humans do.

We don’t always understand why we’re anxious; we just have this terrible feeling that something’s wrong. Dogs are the same. Also, chances are they didn’t just become stressed overnight.

Something was probably troubling him for a long time, and the symptoms have become severe enough to show.

Strange behavior might be a coping mechanism, or they just want attention. This unusual acting is just a way of them letting you know they are unwell.

Below are some of the most common sudden strange dog behaviors and what they mean.

Your Dog Forgot Where to Go Potty

Most owners potty train their dogs. This is the first thing you should teach your new friend when you bring him home. Once a dog learns where to go potty, he’ll continue with this behavior.

When a dog pees inside the house, this is a sign that something’s wrong.

Peeing or pooping inside is the most telling sign that your dog is anxious. For example, if you return home from work just to see pee all around your house, he has separation anxiety.

Also, something might have scared him, so now he pees because he’s afraid.

Keep in mind that this should be separated from incontinence. If your four-legged friend can’t control his bladder at all, you should contact your local vet immediately.

This might be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Your Dog Can’t Seem to Focus


If you have an intelligent dog that suddenly can’t focus, this might be due to stress. For example, he can’t keep his mind on one task, such as a game of fetch.

Another sign is if a dog suddenly stops what he’s doing and starts to sniff the ground or licks his paws. If this isn’t typical behavior for your dog, then he’s likely having a problem with anxiety.

Think about recent changes that might have occurred in your house. Did you move furniture around or brought home another pet? Any changes might stress your dog out.

If this is the case, try to help him restore a usual way of life as much as possible.

Sudden Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

A common sign of stress in dogs is sudden obsessive-compulsive behavior. They might start licking their paws obsessively, or scratch themselves until they bleed.

Obsessive dog masturbation is also very common, and it’s quite different from normal humping or mounting.

These acts can end up being very harmful to your dog, and you need to help him overcome them.

Common obsessive-compulsive behaviors in dogs are:

  • Obsessive masturbation
  • Licking
  • Scratching himself
  • Sniffing
  • Flank sucking
  • Spinning
  • Fly chasing
  • Rhythmic barking

A dog might experience obsessive-compulsive behavior if there’s something neurologically wrong with him. However, if this change was sudden, the culprit is probably stress.

Maybe there were fireworks the night before, or someone was tossing firecrackers. Perhaps you’re planning to go on a long trip.

Dogs can sense that you plan to leave them, and they won’t be happy about this. Obsessive-compulsive behavior can be a coping mechanism, as your dog has to find some way to feel better.

They Became Clingy

We imagine most dogs as clingy, but some canines need more personal space. Even though this is what makes dogs lovable, too much clinginess can become annoying.

Especially if your dog never needed all that affection before! If your dog has suddenly decided that he can’t live a minute without you, this is a problem.

He will likely whine if he can’t be with you all the time, or he might even become destructive. You have to address these changes as soon as possible.

If you pander to his constant need for reassurance, you’ll only make matters worse.

They Became Aggressive

The most dangerous sudden strange dog behavior is aggression. When a dog who is usually calm and docile starts lashing out, he is likely in pain.

The first thing you should do is contact a veterinarian who can check for injuries. If there is nothing physically wrong with your dog, but the behavior continues, he is probably afraid of something.

Dogs become aggressive when in fear, and once again, the culprit is stress. You have to find out what’s causing your dog to behave in such way as soon as possible.

How to Overcome a Sudden Strange Dog Behavior



Most sudden changes in a dog’s behavior are caused by stress and anxiety. If you’ve ruled out any possible health issues, you need to think about helping your dog calm down.

Decide on the future steps and think of the best method that might help his particular case. Keep in mind that a combination of tactics works better than sticking to a sole strategy.

1. CBD Oil

CBD oil is an excellent alternative remedy that is very powerful in treating anxiety or pain. Many kinds of research have been done that prove the effects of this natural oil.

As time goes on, new proofs tell us that CBD oil can treat more and more issues. In the following years, we can only expect more positive results.

Using CBD oil for dogs who are stressed is a well-known and tested method. CBD oil is safe for dogs, as it is entirely plant-based. Also, it’s proven that CBD has various anti-inflammatory properties.

This makes it perfectly healthy and even beneficial. Some of the things CBD helps with include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Cardiac issues
  • Nausea
  • Bad appetite

People usually buy CBD oil for dogs around the Christmas holidays. Fireworks and firecrackers are common causes of stress, and owners love to be pre-prepared.

CBD oil allows you to have a calm evening with your furry companion, no matter the commotion outside.

Of course, not all dogs react the same way to this remedy. While it calms most dogs, on some, it doesn’t have any effect. Also, make sure to contact your vet before giving CBD oil to your pet.

2. Crate Training

You should consider crate training your anxious dog, especially if he’s aggressive or destructive. A good crate gives your dog comfort and a place where they will calm down.

Despite what many think, dog containers aren’t cages.

On the contrary, they are a sort of safe haven where dogs don’t need to experience stress. A crate will also prevent your dog from being destructive, as he only has a limited number of items available.

Getting your anxious dog inside a crate is a great way to save your dog from harming himself. Crate training a dog isn’t hard, but it can help you with sudden strange dog behavior.

3. Behavioral Training

If there doesn’t seem to be an excellent way to calm your dog down, consider leaving him to professionals.

Consulting a behavioral therapist might be a good idea to deal with a particularly stubborn dog.

Not only will it reduce bad behavior, but it might give your dog a sense of accomplishment. This reduces stress levels and can help a dog with anxiety.

Canines are pack animals, and they must have a pack leader.

If they don’t see you as one, they won’t listen. This is why working with a behavioral therapist might help both of you. Just make sure you pick the right one, as you want to see results.

4. Proper Diet and Exercise

Eating a balanced diet and having high activity levels are excellent helping hand to any tactic. Providing your dog with appropriate nutrition probably won’t cure stress on its own.

However, if done in combination with some of the tactics above, it can help you see results much faster. Of course, don’t change his entire diet without consulting with the vet first.

Not just that, but lazy dogs aren’t obedient dogs. They’re filled with excess energy that they need to channel somewhere.

If your dog is active and gets enough exercise, he won’t have enough energy for destructive or aggressive behavior.

Make sure you take him on many walks and spend a lot of time playing games. You’ll likely see changes immediately!

Read Also: Can I Put My Dog Into A Regular Backpack

Bottom Line

If you have noticed any sudden strange dog behavior, there is no need to worry right away. Some health issues can cause your dog to behave unusually, but the most common culprit is stress.

Think about changes in your dog’s environment, or if something happened that might’ve frightened him. Try to help him restore balance in his daily life.

This can be done by using some of the methods we’ve listed or returning everything to its initial condition. Before you do anything, make sure you have contacted a professional.

Also, talk to the local vet to eliminate physical or neurological problems.

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