Why do dogs roll in things?

Why do dogs roll in things?


Why Do Dogs Roll? by Ciara Birch


We get it, you take your dog out for a lovely walk and they find the SMELLIEST of things to roll in. 

Sometimes it feels like they're doing this on purpose, and they just love to wind us up!

BUT there could be more to this behaviour than meets the eye. Plus, we have some handy tips for making clean up that little bit easier. 

Why does my dog roll? 

Dog's often roll for a number of reasons. Firstly, they may just have an itch they can't quite reach. Or, if there is another dog around, it could be their way of showing that they are willing to play. 

It is also thought that dogs often roll to mask their scent. Have you ever wondered why your pup is having a good old roll in the grass? Well, grass is covered in lots of different smells (from wildlife, other animals and humans).

Rolling in all those smells would've been a great way for your dog's ancestors to mask their scent, and help them to sneak up on their prey. 

But this doesn't explain why they roll in the smelly stuff... 

Why does my dog roll in poop and dead animals?!

No matter how much you love your dog, if you see them stop, drop and roll in something gross you immediately question WHY you decided to get a dog in the first place. 

I promise, they're not just doing this to wind you up and there are reasons behind these behaviours. 

Whilst the jury is still out on the exact reason why dog's roll in such smelly things, there are a few good explanations for this behaviour. 

1. Again, to mask their scent by making themselves smell like something else (even if that is a rotting carcass) 
2. Their ancestors would've done this to 'trade information' back to the pack (think of it like them letting their gang know there was a good meal to be found...) 
3. Scent marking! Yes, this sounds SO backwards but dog's can roll in things to cover it with their scent instead (even if the poop smells stronger!)

Making clean up easier!

Whilst you may be able to train this behaviour out of your dog, it's a very difficult job when it comes to instinct! 

So, we have a few ways you can make clean up that little bit easier.

Firstly, get some poo-proof accessories! Our range of wipe clean collars are not only super easy to clean up after a rolling incident, they're also stink proof. This means whatever you're dog has rolled in won't stay on their collar for long. 

Make sure you're prepared with pet wipes and a good shampoo! 

And finally, once they're smelling fresh again, dry them off with our brand new drying mitts


As always, if your dog is acting out of the ordinary or behaviours seem to become excessive - always consult your veterinarian. 

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