Remember That One Time My Dog Rolled in a Dead Animal?

Mowgli rolled in this last week:

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I’m still not sure what animal it is. We were at our favorite park that allows off-leash walking, and as we walked back to the car, we rounded a corner and came upon this lovely thing. I caught Mowgli mid-roll– but I’m pretty sure he got some nasty rotting animals germs on his face. I was out of dog shampoo, so we drove straight to the pet store, and then went straight to a bath when we got home. ICK.

I have seen plenty of dogs enjoying a nice roll in goose poop, or just smelly dirt, but this was my first experience of a dog rolling in a dead animal. And this is what I want to know: FOR THE LOVE, WHY????

A little research [read: asking google] revealed a few theories, although none are proven. An article at Psychology Today suggests that perhaps dogs are trying to leave their scent on the object– which would explain why dogs rub up against humans or furniture. Another website suggests that dogs just really like it; they want to wear odors the way humans like to wear colorful clothes. Everyone seems to agree, though, that the most likely explanation is that dogs are trying to to camouflage themselves in another smell to make them better hunters– a trait inherited from their wild ancestors. Unfortunately, rotting dead animal smell has the opposite effect of hiding them from humans.

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So now the question is: What do you do to prevent your dog from rolling in dead stuff?


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