Why does my dog like to roll in fox poop?

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Why does my dog like to roll in fox poop?

As dog owners, being greeted by a mucky pup soon after they’ve rolled in something repulsive (…usually just after being washed!) is all part of our job. Dogs love getting up close and personal with the scents of the world. Unfortunately there is no exception for fox poop. When your dog rolls in something icky like faeces of other animals (…in particular fox poop! ) or in carcasses it is particularly unpleasant for us as their owners and most of us who own dogs have had the rather unpleasant not so fun task of washing the stink and mess off our pet before letting them back indoors. However it is very hard to prevent such an ‘instinctive behaviour’ (…as that is just what it is) in our canine friends and we know some dogs definitely find it harder to resist these urges than others.

“Why does my dog roll in poop?”

First of, lets just get it out there…  unfortunately animal experts have no definitive answer to the question “Why does my dog roll in poop?” But there are a few theories. Rolling in very stinky strong smelling mater is thought to be a behaviour handed down from their canine ancestors. There are different theories about why they do this:


  • It disguises their own scent, and smelling more like their environment they can get closer to their prey before being detected.
  • They can take back the scent to inform their pack of their find.
  • Another theory is that they simply just like the smell. It’s quote intoxicating for them. Dogs have very strong acute noses and are fascinated by strong scents. Rolling in fox poo is like us getting spruced up and putting on our favourite perfume.

Can i stop them from doing it?

Although our pet dogs no longer need to hunt, some breeds have retained a lot of these desires and unfortunately to roll in poo or a dead animal comes with that, particularly after a bath. Stopping them is quite difficult. One of the ways is to develop a really good recall, be vigilant, and call them back whenever they have been sniffing in the same spot for too long. If you spot the signs & know your dog is about to roll, then teach him the ‘leave it’ command, which you give just as he lowers his head to begin rolling. Remember to always reward them well with praise, a game, a toy or a tasty titbit to ensure he comes even quicker next time. If this isn’t an option then you can try keeping your dog closerto you and distract the, until you have passed the tricky area.

So how do I clean fox poo?

It’s no secret fox poo is a difficult smell to eliminate from your pooch. But what are you to do when our dog coats themselves in the stuff?

We found cleaning the area immediately or as quickly as possible with water and pet wipes really helps. Obviously you can’t wash your dog fully while still outside in the park, but on returning home a proper bath is called for – or even a necessity. We found that Animology ‘Fox Poo’ shampoo really is the best for this task in removing all the strong smell & odour. We haven’t found anything that matches it. Do let us know of you have another solution that you use & find works well in the comments! 

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