It may have happened to many people and if it has happened to you it is difficult to forget the nauseating smell of a dog that has just rolled over the excrement of another animal, or worse on a dead animal’s carcass. Not all dogs do this, but those who have this habit will not miss a chance to do so. Why is this happening?
Frequent Reasons And Advice
To be sure of the exact reasons we should ask a dog, but the most accredited opinions among humans are these:
Hunting instinct: According to many, the main reason would be to camouflage your scent. A sort of olfactory disguise for hunting, so as not to be detected by the prey.
Reverse hunting instinct: also here, the dog wants to camouflage its smell because it doesn’t feel safe in its environment. It may have smelled the presence of a danger in the air and does not want to be discovered by the predator.
Signal to his herd: in the case of animal carcasses it would be, according to some, a primordial instinct to indicate the presence of still edible food
Take on a more natural smell: you’ve just had your dog washed and brushed by a gold weight groomer and at the first available poop in the park it turned brown. In this case you may not like the “clean” smell he has on him and would rather prefer a more “natural” smell like poop.
These explanations are all plausible, but the theory of reverse hunting instinct seems to be shared by many.
A possible alternative explanation could be that for the dog, what for us is a good smell, is a horrible smell and vice versa.
A very strong smell of aftershave could be the equivalent of the smell of vomit for humans. Consequently an unpleasant smell for us (like poop) could be perceived by the dog in exactly the opposite way.
Whatever the reason, to avoid having to wash your dog too often, keep a close eye on your dog if you are in open spaces with possible “scented” areas (for him).
The attitude of a dog that is about to roll over excrement can be easily spotted at times. Smell a spot, and look for the best way to “smear” the source of the horrible smell.
If you can spot the fateful moment, try to call it to yourself. Run in the opposite direction, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to distract him from his smelly project, but he may not choose to come.