Perfume For Dogs
When we want to smell pleasant we will apply perfumes, body sprays or aftershaves and we immediately feel better and more appealing. Now when our dogs want to smell pleasant they roll in something unmentionable and immediately they think they are wearing an expensive, sweet smelling scent!
Now this is great for them but the behaviour receives a big thumbs down from the owners. So why do our delightful dogs do this? To be honest with you there has never been a 100% confirmed answer to this long-standing question, however there are theories.
The main one points to the fact that most canines do not appreciate smelling nice and ‘pretty’ after a shower or bath which has been lovingly administered by their owners, they desperately roll in just about any foul smelling substance they can discover to regain their ‘earthier’ more natural smell. Do not forget either that a dog’s sense of smell is much better than ours and much more sensitive, the mild and delicate shampoo that you applied to offer a light, spring bouquet aroma probably smells like a whole poppy field to your dog!
Another idea behind the whole rolling behaviour is that your dog is simply carrying out an instinctive behaviour which has been naturally inherited from its ancestor the wolf. Wolves will very often roll to mask their own scent as this allows the element of surprise when hunting, if their prey smells them it is enough to alert them and they will run but if all their prey can smell is just a general, natural scent then the wolf is presented with a better chance of catching it.
Now I know our dogs are not exactly involved in a hunt and they do not need to mask their natural scent from their food bowl as they sneak up on it but it could be that they are just following the behaviour of the wolf.
Your dog may roll as a signal to other dogs he/she encounters along the walk, a bit like a newspaper announcing where the best substance is located to roll in. This is a pack behavioural trait, or your dog could be leaving his/her scent all over the unmentionable item to lay claim to it and to let other dogs know that he/she has already been there before them.
So what can you do to stop this behaviour? Not a lot to put it bluntly, the problem is that it is a natural action and your dear little pooch is just following instincts. You can try to minimize the times it happens by studying when the behaviour occurs, if it is after a bath or shower then try a non-scented shampoo. If you are walking in a certain location when it always happens then change your route out of curiosity and monitor the times it occurs again.
Remember when your dog rolls he/she is not doing it out of malice or just to annoy you they are doing it because it feels good to them and makes them happy, they do not think ahead and consider any consequences of their actions so telling them off will not really help the situation. So smile sweetly, take a deep breath, count to ten and march your dog home for an unscented wash!
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