Why does my dog roll in poo?

dog poo roll

While this may seem unpleasant to humans this is actually a normal behaviour for dogs and can be quite common.

While there is no definitive reason found for why dogs roll in poo there are a couple of theories:

Scent masking

In the past our canine’s ancestors may have rolled in poo as a way to mask their scent to help them sneak up on prey when hunting.  Dogs today don’t need to hunt for food but the behaviour may still be present.


Dog’s are known to spread their scent through urination but rubbing against things is another way for them to leave their scent behind.  It may also be a way of communicating with their pack as they will be able to smell where the dog has been when they return home.


While this behaviour may be difficult to stop there are ways to help prevent your dog from rolling in poo. The simplest way to prevent this is by picking up your dog’s poo in the garden as soon as they do it, this removes any opportunity for them to roll in it later.  Keeping your dog on a lead when out for walks in an area where they are likely to come across animal faeces also helps stop this behaviour occurring.

Training your dog to respond to a ‘leave it’ or ‘come’ command is best as a solution for this problem. This will take time but will be worth it in the long run.  Some dogs may have certain behaviours they perform before rolling in poo so watch your dog and learn their cue so you know when they are about to do it.

For dogs that just insist on rolling in poo there are shampoos available at your local pet shop.