Why are these puppies doing front handstands while eating?
January 8, 2012 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Why do these puppies raise their hind legs off the ground while eating?

I saw this video yesterday of a puppy that was so pumped to be eating that he stood on his front paws and raised his hind legs in the air while he ate. YouTube had several other videos of the same phenomenon and it looks like it mostly occurs with puppies of smaller breeds. Boston Terrier, Maltese, pug, sweater wearing puppy, etc. Why are they doing this?
posted by Frank Grimes to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Could it be a balance thing? Puppies can be pretty goofy, and if they thrust their snouts into their food with enough gusto their heavy stupid heads could be upsetting their equilibrium.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:37 PM on January 8, 2012

Could it be something to do with their lack of tails? I'm not sure if they were docked, but the pups in those vids seem to have no tail, or if they do it's either really short or one that curls over onto their back. Tails are pretty important when it comes to dogs balancing and cornering, right?
posted by hnnrs at 4:41 PM on January 8, 2012

I'm not sure about all the other breeds, but when I had a pug puppy, she did this, and it was totally about the center of gravity being somewhere near her great big wrinkly head and the neck/shoulder musculature that kept it attached. I would think, but cannot confirm since there are no puppies about, that a puppy with a smaller head wouldn't necessarily do this as much.
posted by mittens at 5:18 PM on January 8, 2012

it probably has something to do with crawling over other puppies to get at momma's boobs.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:22 PM on January 8, 2012

Their necks are too short to allow their mouths to reach the bottom of the dish, and they can't bend their front legs.

So they rotate their their entire bodies around their front legs to be able to reach all the food.
posted by jamjam at 7:59 PM on January 8, 2012

My chihuahua has a normal tail and a small head and he totally did this. Even just eating off the floor (no dish to get his head around). There were times when his little butt was almost vertical and he could stay up for an impressive length of time.

(I'm just posting as anecdata because my example runs counter to some of the theories floated so far. I have no idea why he did this and hope that someone else has the answer!)
posted by ella wren at 8:35 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had a daschund mix who i bottle fed from 2 weeks, he did this when he was drinking bowls of milk and the first couple of weeks of squishy foods... but eventually stopped. I actually had assumed it was because when I started teaching him to take milk from a bowl I would hold him over it so that just his mouth was in reach (otherwise he would climb in for a swim, lol) and he had thought eating at an angle was normal.

At about 3 months i noticed he wasn't doing it anymore, and he never did it again
posted by myShanon at 9:27 PM on January 8, 2012

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