Why Do Dogs Roll in Poop? Stinky Habits of Our Beloved Pets!

why do dogs roll in poop

It’s something most pup parents know all too well. Your dog comes bounding over to you covered in something suspiciously brown with a whiff of something definitely brown. It’s gross and one of the weirder things our beloved pets do. So why do dogs roll in poop? Is it natural canine behavior? And how can you stop it?

In this blog, we’re going to cover all the reasons why your dog rolls in poop and the couple of things you can do to stop them from doing it!

Is It Normal for Dogs to Roll in Poop?

Unfortunately, yes. It’s normal dog behavior for pups to roll around in stinky stuff. Whether it’s fox poop, something foul in the garbage, or even just bad-smelling mud, dogs love to cover themselves in things we humans can’t understand. But why?

Why Do Dogs Roll In Poop?

It’s not just rolling in poop. Dogs do some really odd things (some pups even eat cat poop)! Whilst this may seem really odd to us there are a couple of reasons why this behavior is completely normal for our canine friends.

Hiding Their Own Scent

Whilst some pups nowadays are fed delicious fresh dog food, that wasn’t always the case. Dogs are descendants of wolves and, just like other wild animals, they needed to hunt. This hunting instinct is still present in many domestic and wild dogs. They’re given an advantage when they don’t smell like a pup on a hunt.

This is why your pup may roll in poop, dead animals, and other smelly things. They can get closer to prey animals when they don’t smell like themselves.

They Like The Smell

It’s hard for most dog owners to accept (especially when you’ve bought them expensive, nice-smelling dog shampoo), but your pup might like the smell of poop more. Dogs have much more sensitive noses than we do and can smell very different things. What might be awful for a pet parent, might be appealing for more furry animals.

Marking Territory

Scent rolling is a great way for pups to spread their own smell so that other dogs know where they’ve been. Similar to how dogs urinate to mark their territory, rolling in poop can help to show other animals who’s boss!

Delivering a Message to The Pack

Again, this is a behavior typical in wild animals which has been passed down to our domestic pooches. Whilst a smelly dog may be a nuisance for most pet parents, other members of the pack may find them very useful.

Wild dogs often deliver messages of scents they’ve picked up hunting. For example, if they roll in poop, the other dogs will be able to follow the scent to the food nearby. It’s a way for dogs to communicate!

muddy dog

How Can You Stop a Dog Rolling in Poop?

For many dog owners, this is a more important question than why do dogs roll in poop. How can you stop it?

There are a few theories, but one of the simplest ways is to keep your pup on a leash. This is especially true if you know there is a lot of dog or fox poop in the area. Getting them one of the best retractable dog leashes can give them some freedom and you the control you need.

It’s much more difficult to stop dogs rolling in poop when they’re off-leash. Your best bet is to teach them the leave it command and reward them every time they return to you rather than roll.

You can practice this in your own backyard. Take out your dog’s favorite squeaky toy or a treat such as coconut or watermelon and train them to leave it. You can reward them with something equally as fun or delicious when they do (and lots of praise and cuddles)!

It’s also good to pay attention to your dog’s behavior before they begin to roll. Most dogs sniff intently trying to find the source of the interesting smells. If you notice your pup doing this, try to bring them back with the promise of a ball or a treat.

Bathing Your Dog

Even if you do all that, it’s possible your pup will roll in the stinky stuff. It’s just too appealing to them! If you’ve driven to take your pup for a walk, leave a couple of towels in the car. This means you can give them a quick wipe-down before they jump in.

Once you get back home, you’ll want to give your pup a good bath. Make sure you use a sensitive shampoo that won’t irritate their skin. Always ensure they’re fully dry by using a doggy dryer or hairdryer to keep their coats looking glossy and healthy.

dog rolling in poop

Conclusion – Dogs Rolling in Poop

Unfortunately for us pup parents, it’s totally normal for them to roll in poop. They do it for many reasons, most of which they’ve inherited from their wild wolf ancestors.

There are some things you can do to minimize the risk of a stinky roll but if you have a pup that’s particularly fond of foul-smelling things, a good bath is going to be your best friend.

Does your dog like rolling poop? How do you stop them? Let us know!