That’s How They Roll

My three dogs have a dirty little secret! They all roll in “stuff”. Pebbles and Remedy seem to prefer the more organic “stuff”, like dead carcasses and moldy leaves, etc. BUT, Chico prefers to roll in poop! Yuck!!

The organic smell I don’t mind quite as much. I keep little bath cloths handy to clean them with when they come in and it’s between bath times. That usually takes care of the smell too. I use these all natural wipes. >>

chihuahua rolling on back perhaps rolling in poop with green grass background
A Chihuahua in a roll position

When Chico rolls in poop it is quite a different story! I have to drop everything that I’m doing immediately and give him a bath!

My dogs use a dog door to go in and out whenever they want and we have a pretty good sized backyard, but when he has rolled in poop, you can smell him all over the house as soon as he comes in.

The obvious solution is to keep the poop picked up. Believe me, we try, but like I said it is a pretty big backyard and we would have to do it every single day, more than once in order for it to be completely poop free. Who has time (or the inclination)for that?

Why Do Dogs Like To Roll?

Experts have not figured out a definitive answer to that question. But, they have some ideas as to why. Some say it is a throwback from their ancestors that would roll in anything with a strong odor with the purpose of disguising their own scent or to bring it back to the rest of the pack.

To you, the act of rolling in poop or other odors may be disgusting, but that is not the case for your dog. Dogs are fascinated by things that have strong odors. They smell urine on posts and other objects, other dogs butts, for instance.

I captured Pebbles rolling in our backyard (please excuse the vertical video)

The reason dogs like rolling in poop and other strong odors may be the same reason we humans wear cologne. They like the smell, so they wear it.

How To Stop Them From Rolling In Poop

Stopping this behavior is not an easy thing to do, however, there are some clues to look for before it happens.

Generally, they will hone in on the odor. They may scratch at it, or stare at it intently before they begin the roll. (as the dog in the video below). If you see your dog doing this, distract him, or if on a walk, gently pull him away from the temptation.

The best way, really the only way to stop the rolling completely is to teach your dog the “leave it” command. This is one of the most important basic commands to teach your dog for many reasons.

  • To stop them from rolling in stinky stuff
  • To stop them from swallowing something harmful
  • To stop them from chewing objects that are off-limits to them, (shoes, belts, etc)
  • To stop them from ingesting some medication that was dropped on the floor

Below is a video of one of my favorite dog trainers teaching the “leave it” command.


Need a clicker for training? Find them here >>


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