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Why Does My Dog Kick Up Dirt After Going To The Loo?

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Dogs often kick their legs back and flick dirt behind them following a trip to the loo, and we’re keen to investigate just why the action occurs? Is it to spread their scent, or simply clean up after themselves?

Canines of both sexes are prone to scratching the ground immediately after defecating, and some even choose to perform the action when urinating – but just why do they do it?

Marking territory

It would be uncommon for a dog owner to experience no sniffing, circling or marking from their pet during its walks, and searching for the right spot to mark territory holds significant importance to a canine.

As a pooches’ scent glands are located underneath their paws and in between their toes, digging at the ground with their hind legs acts as a method of spreading scent and warning others of its presence.

Following the action, an individual dog's scent is transferred onto the ground and therefore marks their territory to others when they come into contact with the pheromones.

In fact, the technique has been used for hundreds of years, with predecessors such as wolves and wild canines using it to defend territorial areas that were unable to be guarded every day.

The scent also possesses a much more adapt longevity than faeces themselves, and the marks left behind by a dog’s claws indicate the power and strength of the breed, helping to warn off fellow animals.

Cleaning up

Dogs, as well as other canines such as wolves and foxes, can also kick up the ground simply for sanitary purposes in an attempt to stay clean.

Although, in some cases, cleaning up their mess has an effect on an owner’s garden. Some canines are seen to drag their bottom along the ground, again to deposit chemicals in an attempt to mark their territory.

Cleaning up after themselves can become a frustrating issue to owners, with well-tended lawns often the victim to the actions of their innocent pets.

Indication of health

Dogs perform the action as a natural instinct, and therefore if owners notice that their pooch has stopped the behaviour, it could be an indication that their health is depreciating.

In particular, problems with arthritis can result in a dog struggling to maintain a position when defecating, and further causing them trouble to flick dirt to covering their excrement.

Can you stop it?

As dogs are naturally possessed to perform the process as part of their trip to the bathroom, it can become fairly difficult to stop them.

If, however, your dog is destroying your precious garden greens, a possible suggestion would be to eliminate the area in which he can do his business and take regular walks throughout the day.

Whether you like it or not, your pooch will continue to complete its inherent tradition of kicking up dirt, and it may be worth appreciating the nature the action rather than viewing it as an annoyance.


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