Why do dogs roll in dirt

Why Do Dogs Roll in the Dirt?

It’s a fresh new morning. You have collected your pet supplies and are ready to give your canine companion a good bath. However, the same level of resentment is present on your dog’s face as your unwavering commitment. After a little struggle with your dog, you are able to give him a warm shampoo while enjoying the lemony fragrance of the dog supplies and are now ready with your hairdryer to imitate a real pro. All this dog-bathing routine only sounds pleasing to us, because we know it is important, and we all love our dogs. On the other hand, the case is not the same for the dogs, who immediately after a long hair of bathing, drying, and combing, leap into the mud and roll themselves properly with dirt. But, have you ever thought why your dog does that? If your answer is no, below are some reasons that you must check out.

Reasons for your Dog to Roll in the Dirt

No matter how surprising it looks, nearly all the dogs are not a fan of cleanliness. They do clean the place where they sit and lick each other to remove dirt, but this is where their efforts end. The very next moment, you can find them rolling in the mud. Now, carefully note that not all dogs do that, only a few do, which can be because of various reasons.

1. To Maintain Their Smell

Shampoos and perfumes aren’t something that naturally exists for animals. At best, water is the stuff that they have used to clean themselves since their origin. All other things are man-made tantrums made to please men (Ouch!), which is an undeniable fact. Just as the way you like the smell of cherry blossoms or vanilla essence, dogs also have a smell that they very much appreciate. They don’t like it when you take away this smell for them as they feel quite different. Therefore, to reunite with their unique smell and feel like themselves, dogs may rock n roll in the mud and gravel after a shower.

2. To Mark their Prey

Do you know what dogs do to mark their territory? They urinate around all the borders. It tells the other dogs to stay away from him or his pack. Similarly, dogs also like to mark their prey and guess what they use to mark it this time? Not their urine, but their smell. Yes! It is true. Dogs roll around small prey to celebrate and mark their prey. The smell tells other dogs that someone already is preying on the small animal, and hence, it shouldn’t be their target.

My dog is well domesticated. I feed him properly, so why would he like to mark his prey?

The answer is instincts. When you adopt a stray dog, it only changes his habitat. The instincts remain the same. No matter the amount of food you feed to your dog, his instinct to roll around prey will remain the same.

3. To Camouflage

Another hunting instinct that dogs have learned from the wildlife is to camouflage their small. Originally, this behavior is more common in wolves, but dogs have learned it too. Whenever they are around the prey, to blend in with the environment and hide, dogs rollout in the ground and cover themselves with dirt. This organic smell helps them in covering their presence and successfully completing the hunt. Again, stray dogs will carry along this instinct with them no matter where you take them.

4. To Spread Information about the Prey

Too much hunting talk we are discussing today, ain’t we? You can go fishing if this blog cheers you up. Nevertheless, if a dog wants to hunt in a pack and has to spread information about the prey, then he may roll over it, which we will conceive as him rolling in the mud. Once he has done that, he will return to the pack and wait for the decision of what should be done with the prey. If the decision is to hunt and eat, then that’s how all the dogs proceed.

5. To Enjoy the Smell

Astonished? Humans are not the only creatures who relish different kinds of aromas and smells. Sometimes dogs also want to enjoy different sensations, which can be the smell of food or any other smell. If the mud is different near your house or let’s say, there’s some cow dung, your dog might roll into that just to enjoy the smell. For him, even things like that are the alternatives for aromatic fragrance.

6. To Earn Praise

For dogs, there can be several reasons for which they think they deserve praise. For example, after finding a prey, a dog also wallows in it to show the pack his superiority about finding prey, and he also expects some praise in return for doing the same. Similarly, your dog can be rolling in the mud with the idea to earn your praise. For him, you are not any different to the pack in the matters of hunting, and thus your dog is eager to tell you that he has found something praiseworthy.

What Can You Do?

It is obvious that unlike your dog, you don’t like the dirt. Your dog can bring it inside the house and sit at various places that you will need to clean later. Not to mention that this behavior is not safe your dog, who can hurt himself while rolling in the ground. Then, there are also the chances of infection. Therefore, it is necessary for you to do something to change your dog’s behavior. You can try the following:

  • If your dog likes to roll in the mud specifically after a bath, you can take him on a walk on a leash and make sure he doesn’t do that. Also, you will need to reward him generously while doing that otherwise, he’ll not let go of this habit.
  • As the problem is in the fragrance, you might want to change your product to a fragrant free shampoo. Several shampoos are available in the market today that are safe and sensitive for dogs with little to no smell.
  • Another option that you have is to keep your dog busy after a bath. You can play with him for an hour, or brush his fur coat. The only aim is to distract him from the smell, which may encourage him to roll in the dirt again.
  • If your dog injures himself or scrapes the skin, clean his wound, and treat him immediately to prevent infection.
  • If the commonplace for your dog to roll is your yard, clean your yard before bathing him. You need to pick up any sharp object, or dead animals on which your dog can roll himself. 
  • If your dog rolls up on his own feces, clean it up immediately so that he does not get the chance to do that. 

We are here to help dog owners understand their dogs better and how they can create a more humble environment for them. For more interesting articles and blogs, feel free to explore our website anytime you want.

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