Dogs roll in things… often very smelly things! My dog loves nothing more than a good roll in animal poop. But why do dogs roll in fox poo specifically?
Your doggo may look adorable rolling around on his back with his tongue flopping out and his little paws in the air. But it’s a different story when he’s rolling in fox poo!
Pooch parents everywhere often ask why their dogs insist on rolling in such muck. Find out why dogs roll in fox poo and the risks of this behaviour. At the same time pick up some suggestions on how to stop your dog from doing this, along with tips for removing fox poo if your dog rolls in some.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Dogs Roll in Fox Poo?
- Masking Their Own Scent
- Leaving Behind Scent
- Bringing Home Fox Poo Scent
- They Enjoy the Fox Poo Scent
- The Risks of Rolling in Fox Poo
- How to Encourage Your Dog Not to Roll in Fox Poo
- Tips for Fox Poo Removal
- Summary – Why Does My Dog Roll in Fox Poo?
- Related Posts
Why Do Dogs Roll in Fox Poo?
Experts aren’t entirely certain why dogs engage in this off-putting behaviour. However, there are a few key theories that may help to explain it. Each of these theories stem from a time when dogs roamed wild before they were domesticated.
However, despite being domesticated for thousands of years now, our canine companions have, in theory, kept some deeply rooted instincts.
Masking Their Own Scent
Fox poo might be a stealthy camouflage for our furry friends, protecting them from more dangerous animals. Perhaps in their ancient wild environments, smelling like foxes protected them from would-be predators. It may have allowed them to be overlooked by animals that could threaten them. For instance, the small, adorable arctic fox would want to be overlooked by their natural predator, the large red fox.
Another theorised reason behind masking their scent is to help dogs hunt more effectively. Smelling like a fox could make more territory and prey available to them. It’s possible that this foxy scent conceals them more to prey than their own scent, making it easier to snag the next meal. Of course, with such a wide lineage and multiple worldwide ecosystems, it’s tough to validate these particular theories for every breed.
Leaving Behind Scent
When dogs stop, drop, and roll in a mess of fox poo, they could be acting on primal instincts to leave their scent for other dogs. It may have been their way of communicating with pack members or marking their territory back when they were wild. They may be trying to say, “I’m here, too!”
If so, this behaviour would align with dogs’ tendencies to use urine as a scent marker. Have you ever witnessed your pooch sniff and mark a spot where another dog just peed? Canine scent marking helps your dog seem like the most dominant pup around. When he replaces another dog’s scent with his own, it’s a message to other dogs. Perhaps poo-rolling falls in line with this behaviour.
Bringing Home Fox Poo Scent
Pack instincts may tell your dog to take note of his travels and communicate them to his pack by picking up exciting smells like fox poo. When all dogs roamed wild, they may have used scents like fox poo to show off to their fellow canines. Perhaps it helped them boost their rank in the pack or track their territorial patrol.
Dogs Enjoy the Smell of Fox Poo
A simple reason, although unconfirmed, is that dogs simply love how fox poo smells! While humans gag at the scent, dogs might find it attractive. It may help them attract more desired attention from other dogs, too. This theory may also explain why your dog rolls on dead animals or other foul-smelling things like other types of poop.
The Risks of Rolling in Fox Poo
Foxes themselves present a risk of numerous health issues such as mange (a skin disease caused by mites). As nocturnal critters, though, you and your dog may never come face-to-face with foxes. Fox poo may be the only sign they were in your area. For identification purposes, note that fox poo is typically tan or brown, two or three inches long, with pointy ends.
Tapeworms and roundworms may be present in fox poo. These parasites might even infect the ground beneath the poo. Prevent health issues in your pooch by thoroughly washing off the fox poo using dog shampoo with an antibacterial component.
Call your local animal control if you believe a fox has taken a liking to your yard. And do your best to stop your pooch from rolling in fox poo in the first place!
How to Encourage Your Dog Not to Roll in Fox Poo
So, now that you understand your pooch’s behaviour and the risks behind it, how can you possibly put an end to it? As you learned, the reasons behind rolling in fox poo are likely instinctual. Therefore, it’s tricky to train your dog to avoid the temptation.
That said, training your dog the “leave” command is one way to stop him from rolling around in that fox’s smelly stuff. It will involve lots of patience! But when your pooch knows to “leave” something, it helps him stay safe and clean.
Consider checking your backyard for fox poo before letting your dog out. If you’re going on a walk, use a short leash to keep him from straying off and indulging in this unwanted behaviour. Do your best to safely manage your dog’s behaviour and environment to avoid soiled fur.
Tips for Fox Poo Removal
Smeared fox poo is incredibly potent. It’s certainly not a smell you want on your beloved pup! If your dog rolls in fox poo, it’s best to give him a full wash and rinse. Use a water sprayer to remove the big stuff. Lather up dog-safe shampoo and consider rinsing and repeating a few times to thoroughly remove the smell.
Even after bath time, that musky, pungent fox poo scent might linger! If so, consider a deodorising shampoo. There are even dog shampoos designed specifically for fox poo removal if your dog is a repeat offender!
Be mindful of other surfaces your dog may have left behind fox poo residue, and ensure you thoroughly clean and disinfect those, too. Wash your hands well after your dog’s bath time. Remember, the goal is to avoid transmitting diseases or parasites from the fox poo.
Summary – Why Does My Dog Roll in Fox Poo?
From scent disguises to pack updates to doggie perfume, we may never know the exact reason your particular breed is so set on rolling in fox poo. Responsible pet parents can only respond accordingly to this stinky behaviour to protect their beloved pups. No matter what, our canines’ quirks are part of the reason we love them so much!
Does your dog roll in fix poo? Perhaps you have a theory about why it does so? Please tell me about it or ask me a question in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
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