You have probably already taken your dog out for a walk and you have surely seen him rolling on the ground, in the grass, in the snow or against animal excrement. Why do dogs roll in dirt like that? There are different reasons that may explain why your pet rolls on the ground at certain times and in this article, we will introduce you to the most common causes of this behavior so that you better understand your dog.
To prepare to hunt
You should not forget that dogs are the descendants of wolves, animals that live in the woods and that must satisfy all their instincts to survive in the wild. So, although dogs live peacefully in your home, a series of behaviors are genetically entrenched in their instincts, which is why they roll on floors that have a particularly strong odor to show the rest of the pack that it has gone to the hunt.
The smell that permeates his body when he rolls on excrement, for example, indicates that he has gone hunting and, therefore, he changes his behavior and acts as if he were someone important in the herd. In fact, for your dog, human beings are part of his pack, and we are still far from having understood their nature. This is why, when you scold them when they roll over on the ground to make sure they don’t start again, we are going against their ancestral instincts and it will be very difficult for you to change their behavior.
Why do dogs roll in dirt? To mask their smell
In addition, dogs may want to mask their smell, which is why dogs roll on the ground since all hunting animals that must survive in the wild are also hunting animals that go in search of food while wanting to protect from possible injuries. To achieve this objective, wolves usually brush with faeces to camouflage their natural smell and not be detected by their prey: it is a hunting technique.
It is for this reason that dogs act in this way and roll on the ground following this same hunting instinct, although they no longer use it for food. You can observe this instinct when your dog starts chasing pigeons, when he runs after cats or when he goes to get the balls that you throw at him: although your dog is domesticated, he continues to have these innate characteristics.
So, in the same way that a hunter rolls in the mud to mask its odor and deceive its prey, the wolves and, consequently, the dogs, do it. So, if your animal acts in this way, you should not get angry at him, since he only follows his natural instincts and you will find quite difficult to change this habit.
Because their skin itches
This is another reason that explains why your dog rolls on the ground, his skin may itch or burn. In addition to that, you will notice that it will roll over any surface it finds to relieve its discomfort. It will therefore roll not only on excrement but also in grass, rough soils, etc.
So if you notice that the animal systematically rolls on the ground, it may be itchy. The only way to relieve it is then to see a veterinarian to examine your dog. Certain pathologies such as dermatitis or certain parasites such as ticks can give your dog intense itching.
Also, remember that if your dog has long hair, it is recommended to brush it twice a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent itching.
Why do dogs roll in dirt? For the simple pleasure!
Your pet does not necessarily roll on the ground for health or genetic reasons. In many cases, the animal only wants to express its happiness and joy by rolling on the ground, which is why it usually does so when you walk and rarely when you are at home.
He wants to tell you that he is happy, that he wants to have fun and play. So prepare yourself to have a great time with your canine friend. It may also be a method of stretching or relaxing, because if your pet has spent the whole day at home, he will try to relax his muscles and stretch before engaging in more intense activities.
To lose its own smell
It is not uncommon when you bathe your dog to use cleaning products that have a scent that may seem pleasant to us, but can annoy the dog because he will not recognize the odor and will want to get rid of it at all costs.
Remember that a dog’s sense of smell is extremely sensitive and that it is one of the tools they will use most to orient themselves. If you camouflage their natural smell with cologne or particularly strong scents you may confuse or disorient him. Therefore, if they roll on the ground after being impregnated of this new scent, it is only to get rid of it and regain their natural smell.