Why do dogs roll on dead animals?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Mr. Waggles

save a life. - www.petfinder.co- m
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 1:19pm PST 
Hey everyone! I was wondering if anyone knows why dogs like to roll on dead animals (I have now seen him do this several times). I really can not understand why Mr. Waggles would find it enjoyable to roll around on a dead squirrel he found in our backyard and I was thoroughly grossed out after witnessing this. I would like to understand it better and/or know if anyone else has a dog who does this! shock

I am the queen.- You must bow- before me!
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 1:23pm PST 
my dogs do this all the time, especially sarah, and not just on dead animals either. It just has to be something putride smelling. The reason a dog rolls in the vile stuff is because to them the smell is so wonderful its almost like an aphrodisiac and they feel that they need to smell that wonderful for as long as they can.

Edited by author Tue Apr 24, '07 1:23pm PST


The Pride is- Worth The- Prejudice
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 1:34pm PST 
It is a primal instinct. They roll in other animals or poop to disguise their own smell so they can sneak up on prey more easily


Wishbone aka- wiggle butt
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 2:10pm PST 
Don't worry Mr. Waggles this is very normal behavior. I loooove rolling on dead animals or anything else that stinks to high heaven whenever I can. snoopysnoopy

Too smart for my- own good!

Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 2:12pm PST 
Because they are dogs!!

My personal favorite is dead snake... yummy!

A DOG is for- LIFE.
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 2:13pm PST 
I roll on dead animals becuz it makes me smell pretty . . .

Really, it does!cloud 9
Bradley- Shamus

Gotta watch out- for PIRATES!!!!
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 2:21pm PST 
Because they're easier to catch and roll on than live animals???

(I know, Mom says I's a silly boy!)
Goofball - CGC, CL1

Just Goofy.
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 4:02pm PST 
The book "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia B McConnell, Ph.D actually talked about dogs rolling on dead animals, feces, and otherwise smelly things. Was a good read I tell you.

"... just maybe, they also do it for the same reason we put on perfume."

"What must dogs think of a species that grinds up jelly from deer bellies (Musk), a squishy liquid from sperm whales (ambergris), secretions from anal glands (civer), and the genitalia of plants (flowers are reproductive parts, pure and simple) to smear all over our bodies?"


we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 4:18pm PST 
Hey Goofball, I liked that part of the book too. When I put froofroo puppy perfumes on my dogs, they roll around and try to escape the awful stench I just sprayed on them. But boy-oh-boy, do they love to smell like dead worms (or poop for that matter)!
Rudy- 1994-2008

rub the butt- please.
Barked: Tue Apr 24, '07 5:23pm PST 
It is like Everest. They climbed it cause it was there.

Rudy will roll in the unrine markings of certain other dogs. I do not know who these dogs are or what hold their urine has on my dog, but oh yeah he likes it.

And he once found something off the trail in the woods and by the time I noticed what he was up to, he smelled like death. Like a zombie had possibly barfed on him. And it was pouring down rain so eh was wet and stinky on top of the new, more hirrofic smell. And it was Thanksgiving morning...house full of people coming over in a few hours and I had to bathe the large dog inthe garage and try to dry him and cook the meal before anyone showed up. And he had managed to really really grind whatever it was into the fur around his neck which is doubly thick and impenetrable.

It took three goes to get the stink out AND I still managed to make a rather lovely centrepiece from items picked up on our stroll.
way to go

Despite this, some days when I see him doing it, I just let it happen...he looks so darn happy.
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