Why does my dog roll in anything that has a smell?

My chihuahua loves to roll in weird things. My other dog will roll in poo and dead animals, normal things (for dogs), and he rolls in toothpaste, carpet cleaner, orange juice, etc. - anything that's on the floor that has a scent - but doesn't roll in "natural" things. I've never heard of a dog doing this. It's not really a problem, I'm just wondering why he does this when most dogs roll in dead things and poo.

Asked by Member 853184 on Jul 9th 2009 Tagged rolling, scents in Other Behavior & Training
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Gypsi Rose

they roll in stuff to cover up there own smell and to doggs all dat stuff smelz GOOD!!

Gypsi Rose answered on 7/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Some dogs do it to itch their backs, but the more likely thing is he probably just wants to play.
My dogs roll on her back alot and every time she does it she wants to play.
hope i helped

Dixie answered on 7/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You know those sprays and plug-ins you use to make the house smell fresh? Your dog is not impressed. If your dog were choosing a scent to make the house smell perfect, she might pick Old Dead Squirrel or Pile o' Cat Poop.

If it makes you feel better I do have a chihuahua who also rolls on anything weird he can find. He rolls on that carpet fresh powder the second I put it down. He sees the container and comes running like its a treat box. I think its their normal reaction to rubbing in something that smells good to them. So maybe those are things that smell good to your chihuahua. Yes poop smells bad to us, but to a may smell awesome like those cleaners do to us...and obviously our chihuahuas hehehe My dog rolled on a dead bird once and then brought it in the house and rubbed it on the couch...and sat there sniffing that spot after I took the bird away. Dogs are all different...but you should be happy, he likes to help you clean the floors up!!! :o)

Sandy answered on 7/10/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Dogs evolved from wolves over 15,000 years ago, and their DNA make up is almost identical. Many innate behaviors, like 'rolling.' relate to skills that were necessary for hunting.

Your dog's instinct is to mask his own scent with the odor of the environment so he won't be detected by his prey. Some behaviorists state that dogs roll in things to communicate what they have found to other dogs and to mark the territory with their own smell.
My Chihuahau does this as well.

Member 860027 answered on 7/23/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The reason for dogs rolling in feces or something else smelly has instinctive roots, perhaps going back to wolves. I don't think anyone really knows for sure. There are several theories on why a dog will roll in something smelly.

One theory is that dogs are attempting to mask their own scent.
Another theory is that rolling in feces or a dead animal’s remains is a way for a dog to communicate that he’s found something interesting.
A third theory is that the dog may not be trying to absorb the scent; instead she may be trying to impart her own scent onto the object of her interest, for the same reason that a dog may urinate on a tree.

Other theories:
*Cover up perfume
*Mask own scent for hunting
*Advertise to the pack
*Calling card
*To get attention

Tiggles (CGC, SILIF) IN LOVING answered on 3/10/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer