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Thread: Dog wallows in dead animals

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Question Dog wallows in dead animals

    I think my dogs are cadaver dogs. I have 4 dogs (thus, 16 paws). They are shepherd-rottweiler, pitt-lab mixed, 2 females and 2 males. When I'm walking them (one at a time, of course), if they come across a dead bird, squirrel or other animal, they trot from side to side like a horse, and then they fall onto the dead animal and wallow. Why do they do this? It is disgusting. I have learned when I see the side-to-side trot, that something dead is afoot, so I will pull them away and say "No, nothing dead." After I pull them away, they will still wallow in the nearest area to where the dead animal was located. I have also seen another dog exhibit this behavior. Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Minnesota, USA
    I'm soooo glad that Keno (lab) has no interest in doing this kind of stuff (especially when you have a field with deer).

    If they are on leashes, how are they getting that close to do it? And you should be teaching them the command "leave it" - leave it means to ignore people, dogs, dead things, etc. Start by putting them on a short leash and when they show interest - pull them away and with a very stern voice tell them to leave it and keep walking.

    Soon (hopefully you spot it before they do) you can tell them to leave it and they won't go near it. This will take time and patience and it will have to be on a one-on-one thing.

    I'm so glad I learned about the leave it command in agility training. Several times we were walking Keno in the fields (loose) and we'd spot the dead deer and we would just warn her with a leave it command and she would totally walk by it without stopping. Also came in handy when the deer happened to be killed in the cross way of the highway!

  4. #3
    Senior Member opokki's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Many dogs seem to enjoy rolling in smelly things, whether it be animal poop or rotting carcasses. Natalie once rolled in something that smelled so horrible that I had to drive her home with the windows down and my shirt over my face. After 2 bathes I could still faintly smell the stench. I am much more careful now to avoid such occurances.

    My mothers dog rolled in turkey poop while we were was caked in his face and all over him. The smell made me want to vomit.

    Natalie, CGC, TDI

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  6. #4
    Senior Member sobreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Smile dead things

    dogs love to roll in dead things to them it is perfume to us it just stinks i have 8 dogs live in the country on a farm they find a lot of things to roll in my smaller dogs stay very close to the house but always go to do chores with us feeding the livestock one time sherman my westie poodle mix found real fresh green cow poo he looked like a little green hulk that smelled bad

  7. #5
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Elsa's House
    The are a couple of reason why some dogs do this. Some believe that it goes back to our dog's ancestory, wolves. Wolves will often roll in decomposing carcasses or the feces of plant eating animals or herbivores. This would mask their own scent and enable them to sneak up on their prey without detection. It could even fool members of the other species into accepting it as one of their own. This ancient instinct may have carried over to domesticated dogs. Another line of thought is that dogs may roll in smelly things to "advertise" what they have found to other dogs. Kinda interesting I think.

  8. #6
    Senior Member atldoglover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Interesting, yet disgustng, my cockapoo used to do the same thing.

    "Love that Raven Quinci"-#1 Cockapoo
    April 1, 2003- October 14, 2006

  9. #7
    Senior Member blackrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Lafayete, IN
    Ugh, I know how you feel. Rose LOVES to roll on dead things. She will proudly catch a mouse, roll on it, and then bring to to my feet thinking, "Oh, she'll be so proud of me!!!!!!" while gag and run for cover. I think the grossest thing she ever rolled on...I don't know WHAT it was...but if I just stood down wind from her I gagged. And she had slimey green and yellow crap all over her back! I have her a bath four times in a row with deoderizing shampoo and I could still smell her. Oh, it was soooooooooo gross.

    Yes, the leave it command has helped us out on walks when we walk by a dead rabbit or squirell on the side of the road. A quick "leave it" followed by a small tug on the leash keeps them from heading over to roll.

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