Eau de fox poo, what’s all the stink about?

Have you ever wondered why your darling little fur baby loves a good roll in the stinky stuff?

If you own a dog it is more than likely that at some point they have had a little sniff, dipped their shoulder and then rolled and wriggled and rolled some more, only to come up looking very pleased with themselves and stinking like “eau de fox poo”.

I swear the smell can survive numerous baths, brushing and sprays and if you have experienced the delight then you know it is a smell like no other!

Of course it’s not just fox poo that they enjoy, sometimes it is the delicious scent of squashed toad, dead deer or rotting rabbit. I find my dogs like to scent themselves in this way straight after having a bath or a groom, but what’s the deal with this type of behaviour? Why is it so appealing to dogs to smell so bad and what steps can be taken to correct this behaviour? The answer is historic. Before dogs were domesticated dogs were predatory and needed to disguise their scent whilst stalking their prey. You can see how the scent of a rotting animal or poo may have confused the dog’s prey and allowed the dog to get much closer than if they just smelled of wet dog.

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal you can do to stop this type of behaviour. 

Once a dog has found a delicious scent it only takes a few seconds for them to roll, however we can start to look out for the signals that a dip and roll is imminent. 

The first sign will be some serious sniffing  and then the tell-tale drop of the shoulder. It is usually behind the ears and the collar that will be worst affected but leave it too late and it will be the back too. My advice is to recall the dog as soon as you suspect a roll and leash them until you are down wind of the smell. Really strong recall will be required as this is after all, instinctual behaviour.

If you’ve not been quick enough what can you do about the awful smell? There are specialist wipes and sprays that you can slip in your pocket for those times where you are out and about and once you get home you can wait for the area to dry and then brush as much out as possible, then massage the area with ketchup and finally wash with a good quality dog shampoo.

We are a small team who have been walking dogs in Tunbridge Wells for over 7 years. We are experienced, insured, responsible and caring. We can offer regular daily walks or emergency one offs from puppy’s to elders.

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Hope Marshall