Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Real Reason Dogs Roll

Here's an interesting tidbit from the latest Iams newsletter:

The real reason dogs roll

It's an all-too-familiar story: You're at the lake with the dog. Suddenly he disappears into some reeds by the shore. You hurry to investigate, but alas, you're too late. He's already happily rolling in the foulest-smelling fish carcass imaginable.

So why do dogs do it? Why do they love to roll in anything foul?

The answer lies with their wolf ancestors. For eons, wolves have been rolling to mask their scent as they stalk prey. Unfortunately for us, this primal instinct lives on in most dogs today.

For most rollers, anything dead will do, especially fish. Bird poop is a big player in the doggie perfume world, as is another dog's poop and yes, your neighbor's rotting garbage.

Now that we know why dogs roll, the next challenge is to keep them from doing it. Start by using a scentless shampoo. Dogs tend to want to mask any unnatural odors. Next, be vigilant when you're outdoors. Look for the telltale signs that he's on to something awful: first, he noses a spot, sniffing it furiously. Then he circles the spot a few times, eyeing it the entire time. Finally, he dips his shoulder and dives right in.

A sharp word to your dog will usually stop him before he starts. But if your buddy does get a roll or two in, don't punish him. After all, it's just a dog's natural instinct. Or should we say, instink!

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