It may happen, during your walks with your dog, to see him come back happy and content but with an unbearable smell on him; your dog will probably have rolled over excrement or carrion.
Rolling in the grass is a fundamental necessity for your dog, who often likes to replicate the gesture on rubbish, feces and dirt.
Anything that inspires disgust or horror to your dog is a godsend: faeces, corpse carcasses, rubbish or anything that gives off a disgusting smell.
The important thing is that it stinks consistently, so that even the most refined grooming will be thwarted.
For animals it may have a precise meaning, but as is often the case with our four-legged friends, several explanations are possible.
Why do dog roll on strong smells?
- Rolling in the dirt, the dog sends a signal to his pack leader, a message both visual and olfactory.
If the dog considers the animal that has defecated bigger and stronger than him, he may decide to adopt this attitude to show his loyalty and thus protect himself in the event of a possible encounter.
- It is a reference to the primordial instinct, which indicates the presence of food that is still edible.
- The dog derives from the wolf of this one and preserves atavistic gestures and attitudes.
With this practice the animal could hide its own smell, so as not to be tracked by any adversaries, or it could be an olfactory disguise for hunting, so as not to be detected by the prey.
- If it takes place in the presence of female dogs, a sort of very intense scent that is likely to attract the other party.
It is important that the animal defines its presence precisely through its body odour.
Our four-legged friends can roll around even just to shake off a smell that they feel is not theirs, especially after grooming: rolling in excrement outside will remove this “unpleasant” clean smell for him.
This is why it is important that the dog is not washed too consistently and covered with spray and perfume.
However, we learn to distinguish “rolling over feces and carrion” from simply “rolling over for joy or stress”.
In the first case the dog starts to roll starting from the muzzle, then from the neck and finally involving the whole body. In the second case, these steps are skipped.
And why do dogs eat poop?
Again the explanations for this behaviour are different, some talk about diet, others about simple pleasure.
In any case, coprophagia is a natural behaviour in dogs which, although disgusting for us humans, should not cause alarm except in certain pathological cases.