Buddy has just gotten his THIRD bath this week. He stood at the door to come in and I could tell from the goofy smile on his face that he had rolled in shit again. Sure enough, it’s literally dripping off of him (it’s raining out). To top it off, he acts genuinely surprised that I am upset with him again.
You’d think the dog would learn that shit = bath, no, I’ve got the dimmest dog ever born. Thank God he’s cute or he’d be put out in the recycling bin.
Is this fetish enjoyed just by beagles or do all dogs like to do this? And does anyone know why? I can’t believe this is a natural inclination in dogs…surely the prehistoric canines would have tossed him out for smelling up their cave.
My mom’s previous dog would roll in dead things. The deader, the more appealing to Johanna. Decayed squirrel is right up there with shit on the “Horrificly Scented Things You’d Rather Not Wash Out of Dog Hair” list!
I don’t know why they do it, but it’s not just beagles. And Johanna, like Buddy, never did catch on to the roll in crap= get a bath equation. We’d drag her into the bathroom and she’d look at us as if to say, “But I just got the right mix of Parfume de Yuuuch! You can’t wash it off!”
All breeds of dog can do this, but I do think some are more prone to it than others.
The generally accepted theory of WHY they do it is the instinctual desire to cover up one’s own scent, thereby making it easier to capture prey. On the surface, it may seem silly for a dog to roll in his own poop, or another dog’s - one would have to assume that the scent of dog poop wouldn’t be any more likely to fool a prey animal into thinking there is no danger than the scent of dog - but since that’s the smelliest thing that most domestic dogs come in contact with, they make do with what they can find :).
I used to live near the Atlantic Ocean, and it was not uncommon to see dogs attempt to roll in the dead sea life that would get washed up on shore. I believe this is more like what Mother Nature had in mind when She installed the Cover Your Scent With Something Else module in the ancestors of the domestic dog.
There’s two things you can do to help the situation:
Pick up the dog poop in the yard every day and dispose of it. It’s a hassle, but no more hassle than having to bathe the dog all the time.
Go outside with your dog and when you catch him starting the roll, tell him no, take him by the collar and draw him away from the poop. Give him a toy or something to chew on instead, and praise him for playing with the toy or using the chewy. This will direct his energies into something more constructive :). This needs to be done immediately upon encountering the unwanted behavior. The time between rolling in the poop and getting the bath is too long an interval for a dog - they don’t understand the connection between the two because too much time has elapsed between the action and its consequences.
it could be worse. my dog has had explosive diarehhea [can’t spell, sorry] for two days. my roommate came home from class yesterday and she had to mop the kitchen, wash out his crate, wash the walls, not to mention washing the damn dog. i’m kinda glad she got home before i did.
Barkmagazine had an article in their last issue pondering why dogs roll… regarding rolling in really stinky things to cover their scent, paraphrasing loosely: “…but if you found an eighty pound dead squirrel coming up on you, wouldn’t you run?”
I think the author settled on the idea that this is a dog’s idea of perfume, and no worse than some of the elements in what we put on: civet, ambergris–yuck. And I think I’d rather be caught in an elevator with a dog that’s just rolled in poop than someone who thinks cologne is a good substitute for soap and water. Ugh, at least I’ve never become dizzy and nauseated from smelling dog poop, although the scent can occasionally provoke some unusual reactions in me. Once, at the dog park, I stepped in a pile that actually smelled like wonderfully rich and expensive cheese. But I couldn’t find any crackers anywhere, so in the end I just had to wash it off my shoes.
To answer the OP question though, our dog does not roll in it, but at the dog park he has wrestled with dogs who have rolled in it (and they weren’t beagles) or have just stepped in it, and that’s always a fun ride home.
And just in case the poster with the poop eater comes back, you can buy some diet supplements that make the dog poop taste distasteful to the dog. I think one of the brands is called Distaste, in fact.