Why do dogs like to roll in dung and dead animals?

Why do dogs like to roll in dung and dead animals? Is it a territorial thing?

Glinda from Glendale, KY

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August 20, 20060 found this helpful

My dogs have always done this. My vet tells me we can blame it on their ancestors who, of course lived in the wild and in packs. The habit of rolling in something with a strong odor helps to mask their scent so that other pack animals could not track their scent. Dogs no longer need to do this, but something drives them to do it! Hope this helps!

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August 20, 20060 found this helpful

well, it doesn't always have to be something awful smelling, as my little bichon loves to roll around in fresh cut basil, I found this out one day when I was snipping off the flowers so it wouldn't bolt, and there she was rolling like crazy in it, when I picked her up she smelled like a pizza! Crazy Dog!!

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August 20, 20060 found this helpful

I think it depends on the breed. I have working dogs who never have done this, but my friends who have "sporting" dogs face this problem.

I can't explain why, but when we take them to the dog park, some will roll, but mine have never done so. Maybe a Vet could shed some light and also if there are ways to prevent them from rolling.

Jennifer

Northern Virginia

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August 20, 20060 found this helpful

According to:http://www.barkbytes.com/b4ubuy/q&a1.htm

" Answer: I am afraid that this is an old instinct of the wolf that is still in your pet. When wild dogs or wolves hunt they will roll in the dung of their prey. They are in fact trying to get the smell of the prey on them. This way they can get closer to kill the prey. I think we have all suffered from this instinct !"

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