June 29, 2004

*Ask Jen: Smelly Dogs Edition

Victor wants to know, "Why do dogs like to roll around in dead stinky things?"

Well, first of all, let's not generalize. Some dogs are awfully fussy about getting their royal paws dirty, much less getting animal carcass or fecal matter on their luxurious fur. But let's focus on the dogs who do enjoy a good romp in smelly goodness.

My initial reaction to this question was that it is to hide their scent from predators, and that is the most popular theory. But there are a couple other theories.

Some scientists think it's a show-and-tell kinda thing. The dog rolls in the smelly stuff to bring the scent back to his pack. "Hey! Look what I found!"

Still other scientists hold the position that it's like perfume--the dogs just like it. Their noses are much more sensitive than our own, so perhaps the icky stuff is a great smell to them.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at June 29, 2004 01:25 PM


My dog continually rolls in shit. She loves it. She seems really happy when she returns from a stroll covered in stink. I just give her a bath and all is good.

Posted by: Tom at July 2, 2004 03:18 PM