It’s a typical situation, one that you’ve undoubtedly had before.
You and your dog are out for a stroll or a hike. Before you know it, your dog is rolling around on something as you glance down. And it’s crap, naturally. Just as you were getting ready to jump in the car for the long drive home, your dog rolled in excrement. (This is truly what happened to my dog Burgundy and I after a night trek with our backpacks on.)
Your dog has undoubtedly rolled in something unpleasant before as well. What causes dogs to roll in excrement, and how can we prevent it?
Is It Normal For Dogs to Roll in Poop?
Rolling in excrement is largely considered to be a dog thing. It is really frequent, and most dogs typically engage in this activity shortly after a wash, right before company arrives, or as you’re leaving the house. It is not just typical; it is also common. Even wild canines like wolves and foxes wallow in other species’ waste.
Reasons Why Dogs Roll in Poop
Here are three common causes of dog faeces rolling.
They like the smell.
It may be difficult to believe, but it appears that dogs may just enjoy the scent of other animals’ faeces. Consider how people apply perfume; for some, the stronger the aroma, the better. Dogs don’t seem to vary from humans in this way.
Many dogs will spend a significant amount of their time when out for a walk simply searching for the most repulsive object to roll in. Like my dog Toupe, other dogs could like rolling in anything dead. Your dog could turn over in response to anything as basic as a dead earthworm on the road. When it comes to dogs rolling in stuff, there is no accounting for taste.
They are covering up their own natural scent.
Many people believe that because wild dogs are predators, they have an edge while hunting, for instance if they don’t smell like coyotes. In this regard, they could have a tactical advantage by concealing their identities.
Despite the possibility that this is the case, several studies have revealed that when given the option, wild animals would roll in substances that are inherently strange to them, such as perfume and motor oil. It doesn’t seem like a very effective concealing tactic to cover oneself in these potent odours to avoid being discovered by your target.
They’re telling the story of where they’ve been.
This is similar to sending postcards from your holiday home. Dogs who return to their pack do so carrying with them the scents of the places they have been. The other wolves in the pack may now follow the route back to its beginning and any adjacent food sources. As a result, rolling in excrement is a means for a pack to communicate—think of it as the canine equivalent of a social media post.
This may be the common question for many pet owners. They are more concerned with how to put a stop to it than why the dogs do it. Unfortunately, it may be quite challenging to teach this concept.
It’s lot simpler if you have your dog leashed. You may prevent the chance from ever occurring by simply leading your dog away from the problematic area. The difficulties increase if your dog is not on a leash, though.
Many behaviourists advise teaching your dog the command “leave it,” which teaches them not to touch the target object. This training might start at home with an intriguing but forbidden object like a sock.
Until you relax the “leave it” condition by providing another cue, such as “OK,” which signals to your dog that they may now take the reward, you can progressively raise the value of the object up to treats.
Once your dog consistently responds to the cue to “leave it” within the home, you may take the training (and fun things!) outside into the yard while keeping your dog on a leash. Eventually, you can go on to training off-leash. With my own dogs, I have found this cue to be helpful in a variety of situations.
The challenge becomes timing once you’ve figured out how to instruct your dog not to touch the offending poop. Most dogs will communicate with you in some way that they are preparing for the deep dive. Your dog’s habits can be seen if you pay great attention, however many animals start by rolling on their heads before progressing to a full-body roll.
They frequently adopt a certain stance or mannerism, such as intensively sniffing a particular region, softly shaking their heads, then shifting their faces to one side and rolling into the offending pile.
There may never be a completely “clean record” for certain dogs since they are simply intrepid poop rollers. However, if you have some practise, are patient, and pay great attention, you might be able to reduce the frequency of surprise washes.
Despite a little dip in the creek, I can attest that the lengthy trip home after my dog Burgundy rolled in crap on our walk was one I will never forget!