Why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden?

  • By Saif
  • January 23, 2022
  • 14 minutes read

Have you been worrying about your dog acting weird lately?

dog acting weird

Don’t worry, every dog owner goes through it at some point in their life. There’s a certain behavior of our dogs that we get used to as they grow up. The moment we see a change in that behavior, or we notice something that’s not usual, we think our dog is acting weird. Dogs are one of the purest forms of blessings in our lives. We simply cannot even begin to imagine our lives without them. We consider them a part of our family. So, if we see anything unusual in their behavior, we’d be alarmed.

But the question “why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden?” does not point to anything specifically. Your dog’s changed behavior can have a number of possibilities. For example, your dog can be sick, could have had an injury that went unnoticed, or might be bored. Moreover, they can also be having issues related to their diet or it could even be due to a change in their environment. Having new people or pets in the house, stress, or fear can also add up to it.

Some of these options can cause great concern, while others indicate small problems. Therefore, it is very important to understand your dog’s unusual or strange behavior so that you can seek treatment. We have narrowed down some of the most common weird behaviors which will help you out. This information will allow you to better understand your dog’s behavior. In addition, you can decide in time and take your dog to the vet.

Has your dog started to hide all of a sudden?

dog acting strange

Well, this is one of the most common weird behaviors your puppy can exhibit. Of course, some dogs get scared and hide behind a piece of furniture. But if your dog hasn’t done it yet, then it’s a unique trait. There can be many different reasons for this.

Some of the most common reasons for this odd behavior are:

  • Loud noises
  • Environmental changes
  • Fear of something
  • New pets
  • New people

Does your dog yelp or scream?

To help you define what is a yelp or a scream, let us give you a simple explanation. It happens when something painful occurs. For instance, when you accidentally step a foot on your dog’s paw or tail, you’d hear them yelp or scream. So, if your dog is yelping or screaming without any prior reasons, it should be thoroughly checked by a vet.

Have you noticed your dog whining or crying?

As compared to their yelps and screams, whining and crying aren’t as loud. But you should still act upon it as it can be a cause of several major to minor issues. It could most likely be due to stress, boredom, anxiousness, or pain. So, it’s best that you observe it closely. If you are unable to find the source, it’s best to get professional help.

Is your dog barking more than it normally does?

Well, it’s quite normal for a dog to bark if they sense something unusual. It could be anything. Maybe a person outside your door or a vehicle passing through nearby. However, if the barking is consistent without any noticeable reasons, it’s definitely not normal.

Some of the reasons which can trigger this weird behavior are:

  • Fear
  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • An underlying illness

“My dog has been shivering, shaking/trembling”

If you have noticed that your pooch shows such behavior, it does not come from the cold. There can be many reasons for this. Such as excitement, pain, nausea or it can mean a more serious problem – such as kidney disease. Or your dog could be suffering from generalized tremor syndrome or distemper.

Last but not the least, fear can also trigger such behaviors amongst dogs. Loud noises like gunshots, fireworks, or slamming doors can also be a cause of this.

Is your dog being shy from making contact?

This should not be a cause for concern unless your dog does so unusually. Some dogs are naturally friendly, others are just shy or scared and avoid contact. Shyness and fear are likely due to a history of past abuse or stress.

If your dog is not one of them and started behaving weirdly, then it is a cause of concern. There is a possibility that you might have been rough with your pooch, unintentionally. But hey, that’s just an assumption, it could totally be due to stress as well.

However, if your dog behaves oddly in front of a new person, then it’s only because your dog is not comfortable around them. They will take some time getting used to it.

Has your dog been licking its paws more often?

In most situations, if you catch your dog licking his paw, there is nothing to worry about. But is he doing it more than usual? This is something that is hard to notice. However, if you find that your dog is licking his paw excessively, it may be due to allergies or parasites. These allergies can cause severe itching.

Another common reason for excessive paw licking can be an injury. If you notice your dog licking one of its paws, then it can be due to a cut or abrasion. Or it could even be a thorn. So, you must inspect the paw thoroughly and see if you can find the cause of irritation.

“My dog has been rubbing its butt on the floor”

A dog sliding on the floor trying to rub its butt is one of the most common sights to witness. But is that a problem? Yes, most likely!

Mostly, this odd behavior can indicate a problem with your dog’s anal sac – which can be injured or clogged. Your dog’s anal sack can be easily injured or clogged due to which they would exhibit such behavior often.

What can be the cause of your dog’s anal sac issues? Allergies, skin irritation due to excessive grooming, parasites in the intestines, or trauma to the area.

Is your dog being aggressive all of a sudden?

When our beloved dog suddenly starts behaving aggressively towards us, it points to a number of factors. Your dog may be in severe pain or fear for some reason.

Moreover, a major change in their environment or a traumatizing situation, such as a trip to the vet, can be one of the causes of their aggressive behavior.

Does your dog lack energy & activity? Or is your dog acting weird?

dog acting sad

You probably know that some dogs are generally lazy. It would rather cool down than expend energy. While on the other hand, dogs don’t just get tired. If your dog does not get tired easily, but suddenly begins to describe a lack of strength and fatigue, it can be a serious problem.

There can be a number of causes behind this behavior but the most common are:

  • Underlying disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver problems
  • Heart problems
  • Infections

However, if your dog is on some sort of medication due to some reason, it can also cause lethargy. This behavior can also indicate trauma, depression, or poison.

Has your dog stopped eating? It could be the reason your dog is acting weird.

This is one of the definitions of your dog acting weird. Dogs love food, but if your dog suddenly stops eating, you should try to replace it with food. Dogs can get bored of the same food and meal replacement can help. But if that doesn’t help, you should take your dog to the vet and get him diagnosed.

“My dog has stopped drinking water”

If you notice that your dog has stopped drinking water, it is due to excessive stress. Stress can be caused by anything from trauma, to change in the environment or lifestyle of your dog.

If your dog drinks less water compared to most of what he normally drinks, don’t worry. Dogs drink less water in winter and more in summer. However, if your dog has completely stopped drinking water, then it is a cause of concern that requires professional help.

Has your dog been drinking water excessively? Why do you think your dog is acting weird?

Anything being done excessively is never good. If you find that your dog drinks more water than normal, this may be a sign of a hidden problem. It can be caused by dehydration or it can be a more serious problem, such as liver or kidney disease. In this scenario, you should seek professional help.

Has your dog been showing excessive affection towards you?

dog seeking attention

There are many pets who are very affectionate. It isn’t a problem unless it’s unusual. If you see your dog being overly affectionate, then it could be due to stress or anxiety.

Separation anxiety is the most common cause of this behavior and most dogs suffer from it. You might see them clawing at the door or act whiny.

Has your dog been coughing and hacking?

Like humans, dogs can cough sometimes and you don’t have to worry about that. But if your dog starts coughing and hacking all the time, you can’t ignore it.

There are a number of reasons which can cause your dog to cough and hack. While some of them can be mild, others can be severe. It could be something as little as a sore throat. Or something that has been stuck in their throat, causing irritation.

Or it could be something much worse such as Kennel cough. Kennel cough can result in mild to severe coughing fits and can even lead to pneumonia. Another one of the reasons can be Tracheal collapse. It can cause severe coughing that sounds as if your dog is honking.

Is your dog chewing excessively? How is your dog acting weird?

Since dogs cannot use their paws for interacting with the world, they would use their mouth. Chewing can be a completely normal behavior that your dog might exhibit. But if your dog has started to chew excessively, then it can have a few underlying causes.

Some of the most common reasons include; Hunger, teething, stress. Even separation anxiety can also cause your dog to chew on anything.

Does your dog run away from particular objects?

This is another definition of your dog acting weirdly. You wouldn’t know what kind of traumas your little one had to face before becoming a part of your family. Many dogs have had to deal with trauma in the past. This can cause them to get scared and distracted from a particular thing. But it doesn’t always have to be a trauma.

Some dogs can just be naturally scared of an object. For instance, dogs are scared of vacuum cleaners. Anything that’s loud or big can scare your pup. But if you see your dog being afraid of an object that it has never seen before, there’s a possibility that your pup could have experienced mistreatment which included that object at some time, in the past. Which is why they would be scared of it.

My dog is suddenly bumping into random things in the house

While your dog is still a puppy and going through the house training phase, accidents are absolutely normal. However, once your dog is completely familiar with the house, he shouldn’t be having any sort of accidents. If he does, he could be truly sick.

This type of weird behavior can often indicate stress or major anxiety. Or could be the cause of other underlying medical issues.

Why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden? What to do if your dog is acting weird?

Now that we have briefed you about various things due to which your dog could be acting weird, let’s go into a bit more depth of the causes.


Injury can be one of the reasons why your dog behaves strangely. The location of the wound plays an important role. This has a huge impact on the kind of strange behavior of your dog. We will give you a few examples;

If your dog’s paw is hurt, you will notice them licking their paw excessively. If your dog’s anal sack is injured or clogged, your pup will be dragging its butt onto the floor.

What should you do?

Try to examine your dog for an injury in that particular area. But you must be very careful while doing so as your pup will already be in pain and would not want you to touch the injured area. Observe if your dog bites scratches or licks a particular area. That area could be injured.


When it comes to illness, we cannot be specific as there are numerous diseases ranging from mild to severe. Some of them can even be fatal. The strange behaviors your dog exhibits can be just as diverse as the illnesses.

If you suspect that your dog might be going through some underlying illness, you should consult a vet right away as it could be something serious. The sooner you react, the better it is!

Routine changes

Your dog’s weird behavior can also be a result of a major change in your dog’s life. Accepting a major change can be a hassle for the dog. It can cause it to behave in an odd way. Dogs love to follow a specific routine every day. Whether it’s going for a walk, eating, or even playing.

But if you suddenly decide to change the entire routine, it can have a bad impact on your dog’s life. If you are planning to change a routine that they follow, make sure to change it step by step. Do not do it drastically.

Although it appears to be easier said than done. At times, you don’t have an option but the least that you can do is, go easy on them initially. They surely will adapt, in time.

Dietary changes can be the cause of your dog acting weird.

Did you know, a sudden change in your dog’s food can cause your dog to exhibit weird behaviors as well? Dietary changes are one of the most common causes for dogs to just stop eating which can often result in your dog losing or gaining weight. It will have an impact on your dog’s energy levels as well.

Change of food can also cause gastrointestinal problems. It can lead them into depicting odd behaviors such as lethargy, whining, refusing to drink water, or not eating.

Inadequate amount of Nutrition

If you see your dog being lazy, depressed, or lacking energy, it could be due to insufficient nutrition. Just like us humans, if your dog isn’t getting enough calories or nutrition, their bodies won’t have much energy. So, make sure that your dog gets enough of it.


Humans are not the only ones who have anxiety issues, dogs have them too. There are several types of anxieties that your furry companion might go through. The most common anxiety amongst dogs is age-related anxiety, separation anxiety, and fear-related anxiety. However, a majority of the dogs are mostly affected by separation anxiety which can lead them to exhibit odd behaviors. Such as destroying furniture, barking excessively, and chewing.


Whether it’s a human or an animal, excessive levels of stress can cause many reactions which include weird behavior too. It’s not like dogs are the only ones who go through it. We can relate to it as well! However, if you see your dog shaking or shivering, it could possibly be due to stress. You might also see them barking or whining. Excessive licking, hiding behind the objects, or bumping into random objects can also indicate that your little one is stressed out.

What to do if your dog is acting weird?

If you notice your dog is stressed, make sure to calm him down first. Making them follow their routine commands can help a lot, like asking them to sit and stay. A game of fetch can also relieve stress levels.

But if you have tried everything and nothing appears to be helping, then you should seek some professional help. Let the vet examine your dog for any underlying medical causes.

Environmental changes

The environment can have a great impact on your dog’s mental health which can result in your dog acting weird. Loud noises or changes in the weather can be one of the factors of environmental changes. You must know that dogs are more sensitive to these things than you are. Some dogs would just adapt to these things easily but some would react to them. That reaction could be strange which you would describe as your dog acting weird.

In some cases, you might also notice your dog growling at nothing but that’s rare. And when they growl at nothing, there’s always something that you are unable to see or perceive. It could be an internal pain or fear or it could just be a mistake about what they see. However, if you see your dog growling while staring at a blank wall, it could possibly be a ghost too.


Technically, the environment can play a role when it comes to allergies. It can be caused by dust, pollen, and other environmental changes. Apart from that, food and flea allergy dermatitis are some of the most common ones.

Allergies can result in your dog having a skin problem that will cause him to itch, scratch, or bite himself, excessively. It can also make your dog act weird. Ears and paws are the most common areas that you should notice.

New pets or people

Having new people in the house or new pets can certainly have an impact as well. You can’t always tell how your dog would react to it. They could become scared, stressed, or anxious but that’s not always the case. They might just go along with it as well. It all comes down to how your dog will react to it so you must be observant enough for clues.


Just like us humans, dogs can also get bored which results in your dog acting weird. If you notice your dog whining excessively or if you see him depressed, boredom could be one of the reasons. Maybe your dog isn’t getting enough playtime or perhaps you are not taking your dog to a walk more often. It could be any of these reasons. You must not take your dog for granted, ever. There’s a possibility that you’d be away at work or studying while your dog is at home, alone. It will cause him to suffer from boredom.

So, as soon as you come home, make sure to give plenty of time to your dog. Buy toys for him that will keep him engaged. Or you can even get him a companion which will help him in getting rid of his boredom. But make sure that he’s comfortable with another pet in the house.


Not all dogs are brave. Dogs can exhibit fear of certain things, which is completely natural. But that could also lead to your dog acting weird. Do you know that dogs can also have phobias just like us, humans? They can be afraid of various things such as loud noises, thunderstorms, fireworks, etcetera.

Not to forget, most of the dogs are also afraid of going to the vet. Does anyone like to visit a doctor? Nope. No one feels comfortable and the same goes for your dog as well. In order to help your dog, try to find the source of his fears and help him calm down accordingly. Let him know that you are by his side and you won’t let anything happen to him. Just like your dog would console you whenever you are scared or low.

Mistreatment in the past.

Did you notice your dog acting weird?

Even though you might have given the best to your dog, there’s a possibility that they could have been treated badly in the past. But if you have had your dog since he was a little puppy, then this scenario won’t apply to you.

Unfortunately, there are many people who would treat their dogs badly. If you have adopted your dog from a shelter, then he might have suffered mistreatment. It can certainly trigger his traumas at random times too. It can be difficult to overcome those traumas and they can be triggered anytime. So, you must remain patient and shower them with lots of love.

What to do when your dog is acting weird?

We have discussed various scenarios which could be the reason for your dog acting weird. The first thing you should do in any of these scenarios is to find the actual source. Observe your dog’s behavioral pattern and see the causes that you can associate it with.

If you are unable to identify the problem yourself, take your dog to a vet. It can be an underlying medical cause as well. A professional will examine your dog thoroughly for any underlying health issues and treat him accordingly!

Discuss your dog’s weird behavior with the vet but make sure to be as specific as possible. You can’t just expect the vet to get to the root cause if you are not being specific enough. For that, you must be observant enough. Write down the behavioral pattern on a piece of paper before seeking professional help.


why is my dog acting weird

When your dog starts to show strange behavior, it can be stressful. Because it’s not something you usually see your dog do. Dogs are one of the greatest blessings of our lives and we should never let them go. Make sure you give your dog enough time and be with him at the worst of times. Because you know that your dog will give his life for you!

Keep checking their strange behavior. Most people suddenly get scared. They started asking “why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden” instead of finding out the cause. There can be many. It can be something very small, but it can also be something deadly. So you shouldn’t ignore it when your dog starts doing something weird. Strange behavior is always a reaction to something that is going on with him. It’s not something out of the blue. Dogs can’t talk, so you need to take a good look at them and find out what the possible cause is. Write it on blank paper and try to relate it to the above.

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