Updated: May 12
If you own a dog, we have all been there,
we are out on a nice country walk, the sun is shining overhead, a few clouds float dreamily in the sky. The trees and hedgerows flutter gently in the cool summer breeze, squirrels chase each other high in the trees bouncing from one branch to the next.
Then we drop our gaze down to see our dog about 100 metres away happily on his back, moving like he is back in the 80's break dancing to jam on it!
We instinctively know this isn't going to be good. We build up a pace shouting "Boris, stop", eventually breaking into a full sprint, "Boris, NOOOOO! ," we shout, red faced as he carries on twitching and rubbing himself with the joy Baloo the bear has in the Jungle book as he rubs against a tree and sings "The bare necessities!
We arrive at the source of what our dog has found and look down in disgust as we see their head, shoulders, knees and toes are covered in poop. Another animals poop! "why?" we scream, "why!" as we have the vision of getting them into the car and driving them home stinking.
I have put together the top 3 disgusting things our dogs love to roll in.
First though, we need to understand why they even do this despicable act of pet owner betrayal!
Many think that our dogs do this as a throw back to their ancestors, it is thought that by scenting themselves in the scent of another animal it would disguise them for the hunting process and confuse the prey they are targeting, enabling them to get close without detection. That is one theory.
Wolves were studied in America and they found they wouldn't roll and cover their scent in animals they traditionally hunted, they in fact would scent themselves in other predators droppings such as cougars or mountain lions and were even seen scenting themselves with man made products like oil and food waste.
This contradictory behaviour maybe showed a totally different reason as to why canines put scent on them. It is thought that the reason they have other predator scent on their bodies is for a couple of reasons; The first being to disguise themselves as a bigger predator to avoid being hunted themselves and protect the young of the pack and the second reason to leave a marker to other packs and predators saying " We was 'ere"
It's fascinating stuff to think of the adaptive DNA process of canines history has handed down to our pets and they still do this act, to let other dogs know, who has been before them or they are disguising themselves from potential predators or maybe they just love to coat themselves in stink just as we do with deodorants and perfumes.
So with no further ado lets countdown the top 3 stinks our dogs love to scent in!
In your heads you need to have the top of the pops chart theme now!
In at number 3 we have COW dung:
Those flat packed turds sit nestled into the long grass hiding themselves from our eye line and they are crusty on the outside but very wet and juicy on the inside. Perfect for our dogs as they crack the outer shell of the cowpat and let the warm stinky poop go through their fur, right down to the skin!
At number 2 (literally :) is Dead things:
We are out walking and there it is, the carcass of a poor dead rabbit or other creature. Our dogs go up to it, sniff it, circle it, processing what it is and why it is there. They do that little look up at us before diving in there and putting the smell of death all over them with a big smile on their faces. One gorgeous dog I work with, Mabel has a particular set of skills when out on her walk. She will always find the most gross thing to bring back as a present on her fur. A few weeks ago we were having a relatively clean walk when she veered off to a ditch and did her "bare necessities" roll. she followed it up by dragging the intestines of a poor unfortunate animal up to in front of me, almost asking me if it was okay to eat it!
I shouted " Mabel, NOOOOOOOO!" and in slow motion like in a scene in the movies where a hero throws himself/herself onto a grenade to save the day, I ran towards her, stopping her from not only re-coating herself in dead animal but from eating it too. I picked it up and launched it over a fence to safety, doing that gagging motion that we all do when our noses and brains connect!
SO coming in at number 1 on the charts of doggie perfumes is:
FOX poop. obviously this would be at number 1, it is the most pungent smell going and even when you have washed your hands, clothing, car and dog, it still hangs in the air!
What do foxes eat to have their poop smell so bad? (see number 2 in the chart!)
Our dogs don't just like fox poop, they LOVE it. It's like they are getting ready for a night out, they have bathed, blow dried their hair, put on their best collar and lead and then the final touches, poo!
They roll like no one is watching, starting at the head and shoulders, applying enough but not too much as they wont get to the tail with any left otherwise. They roll as if they are having 100 belly rubs all at once, pure joy.
I wonder if in the animal world, it's all a big conspiracy to wind up the humans. The foxes come out at night, leave all their scented presents all around, then the next day our fluffy clean pooches come out and rub it in with a grin!
So the EU DE FOX is the top smell in the pet canine world but watch out they may discover a new one when you are next out on your walk.
until next time...