Why dogs like to roll in shit and carcasses?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Syzygys, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    I have this theory, I thought I would run it by the board:

    I think dogs like to roll in other dog's shit or carcasses, because they wear that smell as camoflague. Since they are predators when they are on the walk (let's say not on their own territory), if they can pick up another dog's smell (possible the area's top dog) they can scent-camoflague themselves and get away with hunting on the forbidden land.
    With carcasses the camoflague works slightly differently, it is overpowering their own smell, so the prey wouldn't notice them so soon.

    How this explanation sounds for their disgusting behaviour?? Any better explanation?....
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  3. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    I don't think it's so much camoflauge as it is heightening the odor.
    Bet your ass the dog's nose can smell the base dog underneath all that rotting carcass and shit.

    Lou's prowling the forums. I bet he's got something to say here.
    I bet Fraggle would have some interesting words too....

    The suspense is killing me....
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  5. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    They need the bacteria.
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  7. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    That's why they eat shit. But doesn't explain their rolling in it.
  8. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    Skin and fur, too.
  9. valich Registered Senior Member

    The reason dogs roll in shit or other obnoxious material is because they are instinctively covering-up their own scent so as not to be detected when on the hunt.
  10. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Yeah. Because prey animals have no problems with the smell of rotting meat and shit. They love it. It means good times...

    An added thought on the behavior is pack behavior.
    A pack of dogs rolls in the same shit. In the same rotting carcasses.
    A pack of dogs has a communal pack smell.

    It's an aspect of social behavior.
  11. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    Where is Fraggle Rocker? I bet he knows, he knows everything about dogs.
  12. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    This is correct, not sure about prey but when it comes to other dogs there's nothing a dog could roll in which would mask it's own scent.
    Dog's break down scents into each of their elements, they don't smell a pizza they smell every ingredient including everything that went into the sauce.
    They could probably even distinguish in what order each ingredient was added and the time intervals between the placement of each ingredient.
    I'm not sure about that specific example as for all I know the cooking could throw things off but generally they can comprehend that level of complexity through scent. A dog, especially one with a travelled and experienced nose, will sniff your shoes and get a really good idea of where you've been, and also information about each of the environments you spent time in.
    It knows much more about your habits than you might want it to from sniffing your hands as well, and they can fully evaluate your health from particles of your breath on the wind.
    They can certainly smell the dog under the stinks.

    Scent is to dogs what sight is to humans, so it's really just a case of "wearing smells" to make a bigger impact in social situations, like we wear clothes and accessories. They're trying to sport a stylish stank.
    It's likely the more pungent and rank a dog can make itself the better it feels about itself.
    Dogs aren't particularly stealthy predators, they dedicate alot of their time specifically to getting their stink all over the place and letting everything know where they've been and who knows what else about them.
    We can probably never get to know another human as well as a dog knows another dog just from sniffing his piss. So they're uber-open rather than introverts trying to be camoflaged.
    It's not a cover up, it's more an accentuation.
    The other dogs will smell them where they were laying in the grass or whatever, but also smell all the stinks they were wearing at the time and they'll be impressed.
  13. valich Registered Senior Member

    What is the problem here?

    Dogs roll in other animals shit and carcasses to conceal their own scent so that they are not detected by the prey when on the hunt. This is a basic instinctive behavior practised by many predatory mammals.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2006
  14. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    To me, part of this is the fact that prokaryotic and eukaryotic life still have an intimate relationship. Ever notice that dogs don't generally eat the rotted stuff that they roll in? Also, did you ever notice that they only rub it on the parts of their bodies that they can't reach to lick?

    A carnivore's digestive system needs certain bacteria to function well but if it ate the rotted meat it would still sicken or kill it. It needs bacteria that have the same diet that it does. The way to get this is to infect its hair with the bacteria, which share genes with the dog's more usual skin bacteria and then die off in the more aerobic conditions. It's probably even beneficial to their humans. People who have pets live longer lives and happier ones.
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    But why do they roll in other DOG's shit? It just makes them more noticable.

    Also please give a list of other predators with similar behaviour and as an extra question: why cats don't do it?
  16. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Sure, nobody said it was perfect, nevertheless it can work from a distance. Make this experience:

    Put a dry dog into a room. Wait until it shits. Take a big sniff and tell me, what do you smell, the dog or the shit? Case closed...
  17. valich Registered Senior Member

    Other example: wolves. Dogs are by nature carnivorous predatory animals. Dogs will roll on shit or carcasses on the upper parts of their body behind their neck where they cannot lick it, but this is irrelevant. They do it to conceal their own scent. They also piss on locations, out of instinct, so as to mark their territory for the recipient of any nearby alpha-led pack. They do this to delineate their territory.
  18. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    And you don't see the contradiction there?

    Also. I repeat.
    "Yeah. Because prey animals have no problems with the smell of rotting meat and shit. They love it. It means good times..."

    What does that have to do with anything?
    Ask the dog what it smells. That's the issue.
  19. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    I think this is why they eat other dogs' poo too. They don't want strange dogs pooing on their patch, just like we don't want tramps wandering in and availing themselves of our bathroom facilities (or most of us, anyway - personally I love it).
  20. valich Registered Senior Member

    "Rolling in strong smelling substances is a behaviour handed down from their ancestors who would do this to camouflage their own smell when out hunting. Smelling more like their environment would enable them to get closer to their prey before being detected. Although our pet dogs no longer need to hunt, some have retained the desire to do this, particularly after a bath or then they don’t smell ‘like themselves’. It’s a bit like us putting on perfume or aftershave to make ourselves smell more acceptable!" http://www.dogbehaviour.com/behaviourproblems/dogs/yourdog/obsessions.htm

    "rolling in a maggot-infested carcass (to hide her own scent, no doubt)" http://usads.ms11.net/eulogy.html

    "because they are trying to hide their scent from their prey" www.champdogsforum.co.uk/board/topic/66481.html

    "they rub in dead animals to hide their scent from predators....
    it's a natural instinct"

    "Wolves, jackals and dogs roll in decomposing animals to hide their scent."

    "Dogs will roll in nasty things to hide thier scent. In the wild, dogs have to hunt for thier food. If the animals that they hunt smell them those animals will run off. Therefore, by hiding thier scent with any kind of nasty smell, skunk, feces, ect.; they increase thier chances of catching something to eat." http://www.leerburg.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4159336/an/0/page/0

    "dogs have a primitive instinct to roll on decomposing things to hide their scent in the wild." www.fullerfamilyfarms.com/2005/09/page/7/
  21. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    You're a weaselly little guy still.

    I like the way you edit out "thought".
    Why did you do that, Valich?
    Could it be that you didn't want to state the simple fact that what you're saying is not, in fact, a fact at all? Hmm?
    Could it be that you're simply attempting to use the argument from authority fallacy which is so so common in your posting history?
    A little bit?

    And this?
    This is an example of authority?
    A eulogy for some poor dead dog?
    Ah. The proof is so strong here!

    More selective quoting? Let's show the full quote.

    "I was told it was because they are trying to hide their scent from their prey. I think they just like to annoy us ;-) After all, you have to bath them, don't you. If you've got more than one it can take forever :-D"

    So. You find LindyLou to be an authoritative source?
    So, I can assume that you also believe that the dogs do it to annoy us?

    Again with the selective editing.
    And again with the oh so authoritative source.
    A forum just like this one.
    Here. From the same 'source'.

    "I think that they like to get the scent of their kills on them. Almost like a trophy.... so they can brag to other dogs."


    "Because they're dogs. And dogs like to do weird things. "


    "Maybe they're a fan of the movie " Caddyshack"?"

    Ah. That's the one.

    So. Why didn't you include any of these statements from your source?

    Tired of going through your bullshit 'proofs'. They're all crap and you know it.
    They sure looked good though, didn't they?
    All gathered together like that.
    Authoritative like and everything.

    At least you haven't yet claimed to have spent 10 years in school studying dogs.

    A clue, Valich, it's all theoretical.
    Stuff your 'facts' up your 'facthole'.
  22. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    A little puzzle for you to turn over in that tiny little mind of yours.

    Let's assume that a prey animal exists which is preyed upon by a pack of dogs (wolves, whatever...).

    Do the animals have an instinctive fear of dog smell? Or is it a learned behavior?

    Now. Let's say that these dogs roll in carrion and feces in order to disguise their scent so as to not startle their prey?
    Sound reasonable?

    The dogs attack the prey. Smelling like rotten carrion and shit. Their own dog scent is camoflauged by these scents.
    Is it not safe to assume that the prey animals would quickly learn to associate the smell of rotting meat and shit with the dog pack?
    Is a conditioned response too much to ask for?

    Please respond to Lou's point that dogs aren't stealth hunters.
    Do you believe that dogs are, in fact, stealth hunters? Do they rely upon camoflauge? Do they spring upon their prey unawares?

    Maybe you're confused...
    You're not thinking of a cat, are you?
  23. John99 Banned Banned

    what the **** are you talking about?

    This lady (whom haS one leg) cat set the house on fire with a candle. Meanwhile her dog grabbed her fake leg and woke the lady up. THEN this dog runs BACK in the house to save her cat...did you hear that thie ******* dog runs BACK in to save the CAT AND guess what the do died in the process.

    What would you have done?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    **** im being an ******* again, however, that is a true story. Dog's man what is it about them?
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