Smelly Things And Your Dog.
source: email from Purina Foods and personal experience and knowledge.
My dog, Chance is going to be 5 this Dec. When he was about a yr. and a half, he did something I thought was just absolutely crazy. One evening, I was on the computer, working on this blog, when he came over to me and started to really bug me by butting me with his head, under my arm.
Well, after telling him, on numerous occasions, to go and lie down, he asked to go outside. Well, to my relief, or so I thought, I let him out. He came back to the door about 5 minutes later and barked to be let back in. Well, my husband got up and let him in. The next thing I hear is, "Chance what in the world is all over you?" He had gone out and rolled in poop! He was telling me, in no uncertain terms, "hey, smell where I have been!"
Personally, I think he did it just to get me to stop and pay total attention to him. So, I had to stop what I was doing, and take him to the shower and give him a bath. Where I am going with this little story is, "why dogs roll in stinky stuff."
This, I believe, is an instinctual behavior that comes from the dawn of the canine. It was used by wolves, the top of the canine list, to mask their odors when hunting. I could go back further, to the first ever dog-like creature, and I am almost certain, that they did the same thing. Hence, that is why, in a related theory of mine, that pre-domesticated canines, (feral dogs), roll around in smelly things to let their pack mates know where they have been and what they have encountered during their hunt or time out of the den.
What do I do, you ask? First, don't get mad. Remember, this is a natural and very normal behavior. Even though it is repulsive to us, it is almost like perfume to them. There are steps you can use to discourage this behavior. Here are some ways to help you with your smelly buddy.
If your baby rolls in his own poop, clean him/her up immediately and then the yard. If you are going for a walk, keep your best buddy on a short leash to prevent the infamous "smelly thing" roll. Now, to ultimately stop this behavior, you can try to put an unpleasant reaction to the rolling action. By this, I do not mean, hitting or yelling or jerking the leash. I suggest using a citronella spray collar or an e-collar on the vibrate mode, only. More intense use of an e-collar should be done by someone that has studied the collar usage and has been trained in its use.
If you use the spray method, remember to use it right as the dog starts to go into the roll behavior. You can also use anything your dog finds annoying. Loud noises to startle them. But, above all else, be consistent!! Consistency is the key to all, and I mean, all training. I hope these little tid-bits will help you and your buddy have a sweeter smelling experience together.