Why Does my Dog Roll in Poop

By Max. D Gray. Updated: February 18, 2021
Why Does my Dog Roll in Poop

Sometimes it is very difficult to understand some of our pet's behavior which, to humans, can even be repulsive. However, in the animal world everything has an explanation, even the fact that our dog loves to enjoy a 'fun' roll around its own feces. If you have ever seen your furry companion in that situation, chances are you have wondered: Why does my dog roll in poop? Well, pay attention because we reveal the answer in the following OneHowTo article.

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According to experts on animal behavior, there are three main reasons why dogs roll in poop. The first two are related to the ancestry of our pets, wild wolves, and have to do with one of the genetic traits that is still rooted in their depths: the hunting instinct.


Although now our pets do not need to hunt for food they still have that instinct tattooed onto their DNA. It is the same instinct that makes our dogs love to pursue moving targets such as balls, birds or cats. And, like any good hunter, a dog knows how to go unnoticed by its prey and will hide its smell to avoid detection by wallowing in their own feces. Thus, it will be muddy and covered in a different smell from its own. And so this action is a special form of camouflage.

Why Does my Dog Roll in Poop - Step 2

Continuing with heredity behavior, one of the reasons that a dog keeps such a close relationship with its feces has much to do with one of the methods of communication between wolves. These tend to rub on things to get that object's smell and then return to the pack and, through that smell, communicate what they have discovered, either a good hunt or a sign warning of danger. This feature is maintained in the genetic trait of our dogs, whenever they impregnate themselves with strong odors they come to us, as part of their pack, so we can smell them.


The third and final reason that our dogs wallow in their feces is due to us, their owners, who are responsible. And it is because the soaps we use to bathe our pets and the sprays with which we perfume them often leave a scent that is pleasant for us, but not for them. Dogs have hypersensitive smell and the smell of the soaps we use can be unpleasant and annoying for them, and so they will not hesitate to run out and look for something more 'pleasant' to wallow in.


Though it is a natural instinct, if your dog rolls in his own poop, clean him/her up immediately after. To avoid your dog from rolling in poop you should disencourage it by doing something you know he doesn't like, so he associates this action to something negative.

If your dog rolling in its poop is not your only worry we advise you to read our article Why does my dog eat its feces.

Why Does my Dog Roll in Poop - Step 5

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does my Dog Roll in Poop, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
Richard Eldridge
Great article, it makes it clear to wye they roll in their own feces.
Is there some thing we can get other than soap ?
Thank you for your article
Richard Eldridge
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Richard,

You can buy specialized dog soaps from the pet store and vet. These have a pH which is ideal for your dog as not all human-use products are suitable.
Candis Dawn Brendler
My roommate put her baby's dirty diaper in trashcan and I found my dog and she pulled the diaper out and was rolling on it.
Lions do that and she has no lion in
OneHowTo Editor
Oh dear, what a mess! Thanks for sharing and hope it got cleaned up with little hassle.
How do I stop my dog from rolling in her poop?
“And, like any good hunter, a dog knows how to go unnoticed by its pray and...” It’s “prey” not “pray”.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Irene,

Thank you for pointing out this typo, it has been fixed accordingly.
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