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Discussion Starter #1
I'm assuming he is just trying to absorb another animal's smell, right? He can do that for a while (digging and rolling around the hole). Could it be any other reason?

 

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He's just getting whatever scent is down there on him. I would stop him from doing this because I'll tell you a story of what my dog did. My father would never let Luke roll in anything, even grass that I could see nothing was there. So I knew what Luke was doing and so I let him do it. Well one day my back was turned and Luke rolled and I saw he had something brown on him. I stopped him immediately, but it was too late. He rolled in some other animal's poop. Good thing it was summer time as we bathed him outside with shampoo and water. We (as my mother and I) finally got the smell off him and Luke will never roll again.

Point is, your dog could roll in anything even if you're watching him. He could pick up a smell you won't detect till later or, like me, with your back turned roll in something disguising. So if I were you, I'd stop your dog from doing that.
 

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I heard a new theory on this recently and I like it. Of course I don't think we will ever find out exactly why they do it but I think 2 things are probable:

1. As Tofu said... its kind of like a cologne or perfume
2. It is a left over trait from Wolves. Wolves will roll in scat and other animal scent so they can take that scent back to the pack and let them know that he/she found something and that the pack should follow.

Personally, I think its not bad. Dogs get great enjoyment out of being filthy and I tend to indulge them when its practical. If we are hiking through the woods, they can roll in whatever they want because we will inevitably end up at a water source and its really not a big deal for me to rinse off my two short haired dogs.

Add:

And Zoop... is there fish in that water? My guess would be left over dead fish smell. They LOVE that. Nothing better than rotting, decaying sea life! If not, well, maybe the sandy/rocky surface was giving Dex a good scratch?
 

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My two girls do this outside but my Kizzie does this to my hair when I get out of the shower! If I'm sitting on the couch she'll jump up behind me and roll against me. it's so funny. Your dog is beautiful!
 

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I have read that in dogs such as husky's , what they are doing when doing the same thing as your dog is doing. Being they are a wolf breed they, they are hiding their own smell so other dogs can't pick up on them so well.
 

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I've never heard of a wolf breed before. Sounds exotic.

Dead and decaying fish is always a winner.
Kaki's favorite is goose poop. And I think she just about peed herself with joy when she found a puddle of crane excrement.
 

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I do apologize, All dogs way back when come from the wolf, Husky's just have the traits in them like the wolf, such as the pack need. They however are pure breed dogs that are not part wolf. I stand corrected on my last post. Again, I do apologize.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Glad it's just a smell thing. I didn't want him to be itchy or anything, but he really focused on the exact same spot today.

My guess is wolf scent. That's exactly the spot where Dex hung out with the wolf a few weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Puck does that but I usually see him doing it on our bed or the carpet, we say he does it because his face itches.
Dexter ADORES the smell of Bounce. He will run after the sheets if they fall off the dryer. As soon as I was my bed, he'll go roll in it.

Yeah, that was fun after the skunk, when I had to wash my bed twice in a row because of it.
 

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I dunno if you can stop it in general.... My dog catches large Texas-sized grasshoppers (They try to hop away with his dog dish... when it's filled!!! :) ) After he chomps them once or twice, he takes great delight in roll in them.... I'm glad I can't smell what he can.
 

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Just consider yourself lucky. Back when I had Moosa, he once rolled in a rotting fish carcass that was on the waters edge of the creek. There was still the entire fish there, but it was squishy and he came back very very smelly. And both Moosa and Lady have come home multiple times completely green, literally green from rolling in cow pies. Image a large double coated dog coming home covered up and down in cow manure. Then you will be glad its just a little poo he is rolling in or a bit of fishy water.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As a pup, Dex had the brilliant idea to go roll IN a dead caribou carcass. The body was there in the woods since january. Dex did that in May, when it started to thaw. He came back covered in infected green bile.
 

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I'd stop it quick. Jack started doing this and it always ends up with a bath. Maddie never did this until we got Jack and it too ends up in a bath. They always find some kind of animal poop to roll in - it reeks!

Maddie just did it last week. We had a barrel out by the garden. There was plant debris and rotten tomatoes in it, plus rain water - so a nice raunchy mix. My husband dumped the water out and hauled the barrel away. The minute our backs were turned Maddie was rolling like a hog in mud! So gross!

On the plus side, Jack like to roll on the carpet when I spray it down with Frebreez!
 
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