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Why Do Dogs Roll on Dead Animals and Poop?

Ellie Sullivan
June 7th, 2006, 12:56 AM
My Norfolk Terrier mix does what we call "ectasy rolls". He finds something that smells good on the grass and rolls himself on it with a silly look on his face. We noticed he will dive and roll on other dog's poop as if it were a bed of flowers. Last weekend at the beach, he went headfirst into a dead seagull and started rubbing himself on it. Yuck!!!!!!! Why do they do this???
-Ellie

erykah1310
June 7th, 2006, 01:15 AM
I swear its to freak us out!!! LOL, seriously though I think they are claiming it in some way??? Just a guess!

greaterdane
June 7th, 2006, 01:22 AM
Here are some very interesting answers to this question


http://www.manuelsweb.com/poop_rolling.htm

pxxiegirl
June 7th, 2006, 01:23 AM
My Norfolk Terrier mix does what we call "ectasy rolls". He finds something that smells good on the grass and rolls himself on it with a silly look on his face. We noticed he will dive and roll on other dog's poop as if it were a bed of flowers. Last weekend at the beach, he went headfirst into a dead seagull and started rubbing himself on it. Yuck!!!!!!! Why do they do this???
-Ellie

So glad you asked this question! I've always wondered that too!

LM1313
June 7th, 2006, 07:34 AM
I read a theory that said that in a pack, a strong smelling dog/wolf can stand upwind and thus drive the prey towards the rest of the pack waiting downwind! Whereas cats are solitary hunters and therefore keep as clean and odorless as possible.

~LM~

Lucky Rescue
June 7th, 2006, 08:21 AM
My Norfolk Terrier mix does what we call "ectasy rolls".

That's a good name for it!:p

Whatever the reason, they do seem to be in ecstasy!

My dog only rolls in the poop of wild animals - rabbits,ducks (never cat or dog) but she hurls herself on it and wildly rolls, with all her feet kicking in the air and a big grin on her silly face.

She likes dead animals too. Last week I caught her just as she about to fling herself unto a dead skunk.:yuck:

jawert1
June 7th, 2006, 08:25 AM
You just described my Pointer, if it's dead or stinky or a combination, he's in heaven and I'm up to my elbows bathing him. Peaches however can't be bothered, I swear she's part Cat like that.

Frenchy
June 7th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Bailey got 3 baths in the last 8 days.....dead bird,poop or something else that looked/smelled like it.Yesterday I caught him with another dead bird BEFORE he had the chance to do the "i wanna smell like him" thing.:eek:

jessi76
June 7th, 2006, 12:07 PM
lol... ewwwwww... I totally lucked out w/ Tucker... being mostly basenji, he really IS more of a cat than a dog. If he remotely goes near anything dead or smelly (poo) he gets this look on his face like "GROSS!" tip-toes slowly away from the offending pile of ick, then runs the opposite way - like "EEW! IS IT ON ME?! ICKY! GROSS! DON'T GO NEAR IT!"

I love it. he's the cleanest dog I've ever had or known.

Lucky Rescue
June 7th, 2006, 01:23 PM
gets this look on his face like "GROSS!" tip-toes slowly away from the offending pile of ick, then runs the opposite way - like "EEW! IS IT ON ME?! ICKY! GROSS! DON'T GO NEAR IT!"


My dog does that if she accidentally steps in dog poop. Once she came flying out of a ditch, holding one paw up and running in circles. I thought she had stepped on broken glass but when I looked it was poop. I had to clean it all off before she would continue our walk.:rolleyes:

Dog Dancer
June 7th, 2006, 01:58 PM
LOL That's funny - my lab is the same way. If she's walking along sniffing and steps on something she doesn't recognize she'll go straight up in the air about one foot and then sideways about one foot. Like she's spring loaded. But if she see's it first and smells it and it's gross - down goes the neck for a good rub.:yuck:

Jackie467
June 7th, 2006, 02:19 PM
Candi can not possibly get anything on her little princess feet. She doesn't like water, puddles, poo, or dead things. She will do anything to avoid them. But Italian Greyhounds are known for being more like cats than dogs.

PetFriendly
June 7th, 2006, 06:52 PM
Charley is a roller too... The stinkier the better, but he'll settle for gross stuff too like worms, etc

I had heard that dogs roll in dead stuff so they blend in better with their surroundings and have a better shot at getting the prey

glasslass
June 7th, 2006, 07:21 PM
Den-Den will smell an Earwig in the grass and immediately rubs his shoulder on it. Fortunately, there's not much there to cause a stink - not that we can smell anyway.:D

Dogastrophe
June 7th, 2006, 07:26 PM
My Jack (Yorkie / Silky) does this with shoes, particularily mine. Guess it might be time to deodourize them. :o

mummummum
June 7th, 2006, 09:05 PM
Bridie has taken to digging in the dirt until she finds a worm, biting it in half then flings herself down for the roll and wriggle. I just don't look anymore if I can't catch her in time...wriggling...oh, the wriggling - and I'm not talking about Bridie.

Shamrock
June 8th, 2006, 04:21 PM
Thanks for that link, greaterdane, that was very interesting reading.
I've always wonderd about this behaviour that is revolting to us...but clearly delightful to them.
My small dog doesnt bother will poop too much...but if there is any dead little creature hiding in the long grass... he's hit paydirt!:crazy:

Puppyluv
June 8th, 2006, 06:48 PM
I would like to thank all of those dogs out there who don't like to roll in dead animals and poop, because you obviously gave your desire to Layla, who is of the mind that, the stinkier the better.
Mmmmmm dead rotting fish... her favorite! We live near a pond/lake and there are so many dead fish that end up on the rocks. She rolls across sharp jagged rocks in order to embed the scent of those fish in her fur..:yuck:

meb999
June 8th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Buster may not look like a dainty dog, but he kinda is. He's never rolled around in something stinky, although I think if he found a dead animal he might try and eat it --- he once found a fish carcass (in a baseball field !!??:confused: ) and pranced around with it in his mouth, seemingly singing : 'you can't catch me! You can't catch me!!' But he was never tempted to roll around on it. He even hates water puddles and will make a big deal out of going all the way around a puddle, to make sure his little pitty-pattes don't get wet. If he accidentally steps in a puddle, he'll jump back and hold up the wet paw : 'MAAAA! Get this crap offa me!!!'

JessXx
June 10th, 2006, 05:45 PM
Well, Shyla loves to be a neat freak... she loves being clean... but loves rolling in grass. Pepper will roll in mud or anything that stinks... so thats how he is.
Sometimes a dog will do it after a bath... sometimes the reason they do it after a bath is because they don't like the way the shampoo smells on them, even though it smells good to you it might really stink to your pup.
Sometimes the reason they roll in stuff is to sort of 'advertise' what they've found to other dogs passing by... just to say 'i've found this' to them.
Things to do about it
Even though its a pretty undesirable behavior, don't punish your dog for doing it because its only natural. Try to prevent the chances of the behavior by just keeping an eye on your dog. Usually it lessens as the dog gets older.
And if it happens a lot with baths, try a different shampoo that doesn't smell at all.
If your dog rolls in their own poop then it may be attention seeking...

Good luck...

Brat
July 2nd, 2006, 05:17 PM
I thought I'd bring this thread back up cause we had one nice experience today. We bring Prince to this field near our place every day. It's all high grass and he absolutely adores it. He bounces like a bunny through the field until we can't see him anymore and then when we call for him he comes bouncing back.

This time, he didn't come back so fast so my boyfriend went to go see what was keeping him. He found Prince upside down, in heaven, rolling in something. With a closer look, he realized it was some sort of dead animal.

It was the most disgusting thing EVER. The stench was HORRIBLE. We brought him home and stuck him the bathtub right away.

The whole apartment stank. I would have rather he got sprayed by a skunk for the third time than roll around in whatever that was. I can do the skunk smell. This smell however, was......ughhh..there just aren't any words for it. My boyfriend is so sensitive to smells, he was gagging and practically throwing up the whole way through the wash.

Prince was just happy as can be though!

Prin
July 2nd, 2006, 05:19 PM
lol sounds pretty terrible! :yuck: