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Why Do Dogs Roll on Poop and Like Stinky Nasty Schtuff

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Dog Training & Care | 4 comments

why dogs roll in poopDoes your dog roll in poop? We lived on the river when I grew up, and our Shelties always loved to find dead fish and roll in the stink. Here in Texas, our German Shepherd loved to visit the next-door neighbor horse, and not only roll in nasty stuff, but sometimes even EAT the crap, ew! Learn why dogs eat poop and how to stop it in this post.

Why Dogs Roll On Their Backs

I’ve written about why dogs roll on their backs before. This behavior signal can be used during play, or as way to diffuse a perceived danger. Rolling on their back to expose the tummy and genitals, with submissive urinating, signals “no threat” like a canine version of crying uncle. Here’s a fun Ask Amy video covering the topic.

Why Do Dogs Roll In Poop and Other Nasty Smells?

Dogs live through their noses, and certain pungent scents prompt rolling behavior in some dogs. This scent ecstasy is like what cats experience when exposed to catnip. Doggy indulgence is a good bit more noxious and tends toward offal.

When a dog finds what he considers an attractive odor, he rolls to rub his shoulders, back, and neck into the offering. Nobody knows for sure why dogs roll in nasty things like rotting garbage, dead animals, or feces. Experts theorize that perfuming themselves with strong, pungent scents may allow the dog to carry the smelly message home, so other dogs can “read” all about it. Here’s also a fun Ask Amy video on the topic with some suggestions how to manage the nasty habit.

So, do your dogs roll in (ahem) crappiocca? How do you manage the situation? Please share your tips in the comments section. Oh, and for more doggy MUST KNOWS with a deeper dive into the information, get the discounted paperback of my Dog Facts book.

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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

4 Comments

  1. Frank Steele

    Now I know. I thought my dog did that was because he saw me doing it. Crazy world! Actually, that’s you. I have wondered for years about why my dog did disgusting things.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Copying your bad habits eh? Not going to touch that comment!

      Reply
  2. Andrea Dorn

    This is especially irritating when your dog is white! My first Eskie loved to go out into the horse pasture and roll in the manure. Sometimes I fretted that she was green more than she was white! On her worst days she even showed up with a pile of green on her nose.

    Now Blizzard doesn’t have any horses to supply him with green but he still manages to find green stuff in the back yard. And he is FAST! If I let him out while I work in the garden and turn my back for just an instant he is down on the ground rolling in what I’m guessing is rabbit-poo. This is really no fun when your dog is an indoor dog. It’s even worse when I plan to take him to the retirement center to visit! TIme for another bath.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Magic had this neighbor horse friend and I think he still looks for “Romey” when we go for car rides and he sees a similar looking horse. But Magic ate the stuff…didn’t roll. Not sure which is worse! Since we live on what’s known as “cottontail mountain” there’s plenty of rabbit poo here, too.

      Reply

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