I’m wondering if you could tell me why– when I’m walking Yogi through some grass– that he smells something and the next thing I know, he’s stuck his head on the ground and starts to roll his body over the area he was smelling. On two occasions, he coated himself in another dog’s poop. I’ve been asking vets and laypersons to explain this behavior but no one seem to know.
Thank you so much for listening. Very Sincerely, -Robin Dear Robin: This is a hold-over instinct from before dogs were domesticated. They would roll around in a heavily scented object to mask their own scent, when hunting. This behavior can be stopped by telling your dog, “No.” Sounds easy, right? Well, if that hasn’t worked, then you can bet that your, “No” command doesn’t have any meaning to your dog. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Establish yourself as the pack leader.
2. Leave a training collar and tab on your dog, so that you can start consistently associating a “negative” with your verbal “No” command.
3. If your correction is motivational, your dog will get the picture, fast. Dogs simply do not continue to do a behavior that does not feel good.