Doggy Training

O no not fox poo!

As a dog owner I bet you have said that a few times!

We have all been there having a lovely walk in the country, our dog running happily along having fun when suddenly they stop, throw themselves on the floor and start to roll in something horrible! By the time you get there it’s too late the smelly deposit is well and truly rubbed in their coat.

Why does my dog roll in smelly things?

No one knows for sure the reason why dogs like to roll in smelly things but there are a few theories why it could be: -

  • For fun! Yes, I know not our idea of fun, but some dogs enjoy having a good roll and add that to something that is a new sensation with texture and a smell that is pleasing to them and they are in heaven, rolling can help increase your dog’s dopamine levels which makes them happy and if they are also snorting while rolling around, they certainly are having fun,
  • A way of communicating, dogs communicate through smell and the act of rolling in something can be a way of them telling other dogs that there is something exciting over there and to have a look or to claim it as theirs or just to say I was here,
  • Some believe it goes back to their ancestors – the wolves. Wolves would roll in dead animal carcasses in order to cover up their own scent when they were out hunting, so that they could sneak up on their pray and it also helped disguise their scent from their predators too! It was always a way of communicating to the pack where to find the food,
  • Its mentally stimulating, a dog has a powerful sense of smell their noses are always going and new smells are enriching and attractive to them. Sniffing is the best enrichment a dog can have.

Things dogs like to roll in.

  • Poo – poo of any type, you name it some dogs like to roll in it. Fox poo, other dogs’ poo, their own poo, rabbit poo, deer poo, the list goes on!
  • Dead rotting carcasses - Dogs have a strong instinct to scavenge, and a rotting carcass can be an enticing smell to them,
  • Mud and dirt – although it might not be smelly, the texture can attract dogs to roll in it and soil contains all sorts of left over bits from leaves rotting to bits of left over picnics,
  • Grass, especially fresh cut grass can be very appealing, lawns hold lots of different smells from us walking across them to the many animals that wonder through your garden on a night,
  • Some dogs like to roll on their toys, it could be that you have just washed them, and they want them to get back to smelling like they are theirs to make it comforting and it is also a way of making it smell like them so other dogs know it belongs to them.

The majority of the time while it’s frustrating for us the worst that happens is that we need to give them a good bath when getting home to get rid of the unpleasant smell, some of which can be difficult to get rid of, like fox poo! However, it’s always worth checking your dog hasn’t rolled in anything that could be toxic or cause any health problems. Some wild animals carry fleas and other parasites so it’s always worth checking your dog over and giving him a good bath!

How to stop my dog rolling in smelly things!

Depending on how bad your dog is for hunting smelly things out to roll in, you may consider keeping him on a lead or a shorter lead when in that area to avoid it happening.

Work on your recall – check out our blog on recall here.  Having a good recall is really important and you need to make yourself a lot more interesting and exciting than that tempting rotting carcasses your dog has just found, make sure you have a stash of very smelly treats and your dog knows you have them, or take a special toy which is reserved for play on recall.  We have a range of very smelly training treats here.

As said in the reasons why dogs roll it’s mentally stimulating for them, so if you find that your dog is rolling all the time it could be that he needs more mental stimulation to keep him from getting board.  Look at things like snuffle mats, licky mats, playing games such as hiding treats under objects in the house and getting your dog to search for them, also just spending time with them and giving them a brush will help.

Does your dog like to roll?