Why do dogs roll in stuff? In particular, why to they roll in smelly and dirty stuff? According to Psychology Today, there are five primary theories:
(1) Picking up a strong scent might ward off parasites. However, this doesn’t seem as convincing given that many insects are attracted to foul scents.
(2) The odor might send a message to other pack members that there is rotting food nearby. However, dogs also don’t seem to try to backtrack to where their pack member came from, so this may not be accurate either.
(3) Instead of picking up odor, the dog is trying to cover it with his or her own scent. Think of it as territory marking.
(4) Perhaps the best explanation is that the dog is trying to not smell like a dog. By hiding his or her scent, your dog might be able to go undetected by prey when hunting.
(5) The author at Psychology Today also posited the theory that dogs simply enjoy the sensory stimulation. The below video certainly supports that theory. Why else would a dog chose to roll down a hill and then come back and do it again, if not simply for the fun of it? Watch and see!
Featured Image Credit: Aine