Your News: Rolling is fun for your dog - but not for us!

Karen Wild column
Karen Wild column
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Eating and rolling in things is fun!

The other day I needed to stop people stroking my dog as a matter of urgency. Although she is an adorable little canine, with a sweet temperament, there was a very good reason no-one was allowed to touch her. Why? She had just rolled herself through the middle of a big pile of faeces left by a local fox.

Indelicate and not for the faint of heart, as a dog owner, you cannot avoid the issue of poo. Picking it up, disposing of it properly, clearing the lawn… all daily chores nobody really wants to perform. If this were not hard enough, huge numbers of dog owners ask me the same question ‘How do I stop my dog eating/rolling in it’!

Firstly, think dog.

Dogs are scavengers by nature, and scent is important to them. Anything can be a food item (or tastes the same way coming out as it went in – ugh!).

In particular, faeces of other animals can represent a tasty snack. It is thought that dogs roll in it to disguise their scent, however, recent thinking has led to the theory that the dog in fact is marking the faeces as something belonging to them to enjoy at another time!

Most importantly, as long as you maintain your dog’s health, regular worming , vet checks and make sure they are eating healthily, this habit is not something to worry about.

A good recall away from the offending item is a must, and teach an ‘off’ command too. It’s a good reason not to allow too much face-licking, either!

Karen Wild is an APBC registered behaviourist and qualified dog trainer with 20 years experience. 
Her practice ‘Pawprint’ offers behaviour referrals for vet practices and puppy classes in the local area. Karen is a training and behaviour contributor for Dogs Today magazine and author of ‘What your Dog Wants’. To find out more visit www.karenwild.co.uk or call 01778 560465.