5 Reasons Why Do Dogs Roll in The Dirt?

Why do dogs roll in the dirt?

Rolling in the dirt, mud or grass is natural to dogs and they do not feel disgusting. You might be disappointed or worried by his behavior because humans are awful at such things. 

Why Do Dogs Roll in The Dirt

The lousy skunky smell doesn’t irritate them; they love to take a straight leap into the fresh mud wagging their tails and rubbing their belly.

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What is this unusual love affair dogs have with dirt? 

Almost every dog owner has this question in their mind, including me. I used to wonder why dogs roll in the grass and dirt. But now I realize this is not a problem but my pooch’s survival instincts. 

I’m a parent of the most loyal and affectionate labrador retriever, Mala, who loves to climb on my head, roll in the dirt, bury his head in my couch and a lot of these kinds of stuff. 

I can’t help but start accepting it and having fun with it. So, this article answers the probable reasons why do dogs roll in the mud? 

1. Natural Predatory Instincts

My dog, Mala, apart from being lovely and loyal, has another side, hunter’s instincts. He gets these habits and behaviors from his wild ancestors, wolves. 

Dogs want to camouflage themselves while walking in the forest searching for their prey. They do not want their prey to notice, so they roll through dirt to hide. 

Dogs have strong hunting instincts; although pet dogs get food on time still their predator instincts make them cover up their scent. 

Chasing, hiding body scent, stalking, and pouncing are all hunting instincts and you cannot stop dogs from doing it.  

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2. Keep Back His Scent

Dogs can be very tricky, dogs roll on the dirt to keep back their scent so that they can communicate with other dogs. He also does that to claim his territory. 

Before being the mother of Mala, I used to know that dogs mark their territory by urinating. But, no, dogs are territorial and pack creatures. 

Leaving his scent is a warning sign for the dog to stop trespassing by another dog. Every dog has strong smell glands and by rolling on the dirt, he is spreading his aroma all over the place.

Therefore, if you ever wonder why do dogs roll in the dirt? The simple reason can be that he is letting other dogs know about his presence. 

3. Maintaining a Unique Scent

Dogs love the messy environment; he loves the smell of mud, the excrement of horses, their poop and whatnot. Eww! I don’t know why he doesn’t love the scent of talcum powder? 

My dog, Mala never likes lavender or honeysuckle scents. He never finds these smells appealing, rather he loves the smell of bare soil. 

If you wonder why dogs roll in the dirt after a bath, then this can be the primary reason. He does not like the smell of his present scented shampoo or conditioner. 

Therefore, it is better to offer him something with which he is familiar or that makes him happy – the scent of mud.  

4. Itching Back

How do you relieve your itchy skin? You scratch. It is irritating and the continuous itching can cause minor rashes.

Similarly, it is also possible that your dog has an itchy back. Now, he cannot itch his back by himself. 

Dogs sometimes scratch themselves by rolling on their toys, soil, or furniture to relieve the itch. Or, he wants to remove something(sticky seeds or burrs) from his fur that is irritating him. 

Therefore, next time when you wonder why your dogs roll in the dirt, remember itching skin might be the one reason. It can be the result of fleas, yeast infection or allergies. 

5. Communicative Their Happy Behavior

Dogs do not speak like a human does, with words, expressions, and writings. Body language and non-verbal signs like barking, snarling, howling, and starring are common methods of communication. 

Dogs communicate through the tail and rolling on the ground. Rolling makes dogs happy and they want to celebrate and communicate with their group by marking their territory. 

Also, they want to adopt a new smell that is unusual to communicate with you. 

Why Do Dogs Roll in The Dirt

Why Do Dogs Roll on the Ground or Mud?

Mud has cooling properties

The hot tropical climate is extremely painful for your dog. On such occasions, rolling on the ground or mud is a relaxing activity for your dog. Mud acts as great temperature control, so why not give him a mud spa, particularly on a hot day? Mud consists of a lot of moisture and it helps them to relax. 

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Playing around in mud is fun

Have you seen people putting mud on their bodies before getting into the Red Sea? The Red Sea has some scientific reasons but playing on mud is so much fun. Splashing around the dirt with your dog in the mud can be a great way to spend a weekend back in your yard. Such fun activities can make your puppy excited and happy. 

The fantastic natural Earthy smell

Mala loves the earthy smell no matter how expensive scented shampoo I use on him. Before I used to wonder why dogs roll on the dirt after getting wet. Now I know the reason behind his actions. He does not love the smell of scented shampoo, so now I buy Earthy smell shampoo which he loves to apply. 

Tasting mud – Warning! 

Yes! If you see your dog tasting mud then that’s a warning sign. Eating mud on a regular basis is a sign of a health condition like anemia or lack of any important nutrition from his diet. Sometimes dogs eat mud because they are bored or stressed out but that cannot be the reason for having mud regularly. So, take him to the vet. 

Why Do Dogs Roll in The Mud

What Does it Mean When a Dog Keeps Rolling in The Dirt? 

Dogs roll on their back or rub their belly on the ground, to show how happy they are. But, why do you need to prevent dogs from rubbing on the dirt? 

Reasons Why You Need to Prevent

  • Ticks and fleas are parasites that can cling to a dog’s body and can cause irritation and allergies.
  • On the ground, there are harmful chemicals that can cause infection on a dog’s skin. 
  • Bathing a muddy dog can be frustrating. 

Ways to Deal with a Muddy Dog

  • Use paws and presto towel to dry out the moisture before bringing in the dog house
  • Take him to the washroom and give him a proper shower
  • Use an ultra-absorbent towel to dry them up. 
  • Use a dog fur comb to brush the dog’s fur (post-bath).
  • Treat him and kiss your fresh dog now. 
Why Do Dogs Roll in The Dirt?

How to Stop Your Dog from Rolling around the Mud and Dirt?

Pet dogs rolling on the ground is a genetic symbol of having fun. So, you cannot stop them from doing it. Rather you can prevent them from doing it by following a few simple tips. Here are the following helpful tips:

Keep him on-leash

My dog Mala rolls around the dirt whenever I take him out around the lake or garden. I was so fed up with his behavior that I stopped taking him out on rainy days. 

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But, later I realized this is not healthy behavior and therefore I started taking him out by only sticking to the sidewalks and keeping him on a leash

Keep him clean and check for skin allergies: 

Have you ever seen your dog eating mud while playing? I would suggest you talk to his vet and provide him with a properly balanced diet. 

Due to a lack of proper vitamins and diet dogs can develop skin allergies that may result in rolling and rubbing of back on dirt. Therefore, remember to check your dog’s skin to discover any redness or swelling. 

Do not scold your puppy

Despite getting a scolding from your mother do you stop having chocolate cookies? Chocolate cookies are so tempting and mouth-watering. Similarly, scolding dogs for their behavior won’t help.

Rather training him is the only permanent solution. Try to incorporate positive reinforcement to encourage dogs from rolling in the dirt. 

Keep your dog busy

This trick is applicable when you are taking him around your yard. Once you are out with him you can start playing with Frisbee or other activities like throwing balls. 

Such physical activities will keep the dog busy and will drain his energy preventing him from rolling on stinky surfaces. 

I hope these tricks will prevent you from wondering why dogs dig and roll in the dirt. 

Final Words

Therefore, the best thing for your dog is, as far you are concerned, let him be happy by rolling in the mud, grass, or dust. You can clean him and brush out his fur if it looks messy. Remember, not to scold or punish him for his natural behavior. I hope now you know why dogs roll on the ground. 

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FAQ: Why Do Dogs Roll in The Dirt?

1. Is rolling in dirt good for dogs?

A: Yes, rolling in dirt is good for dogs because that is their instinct and even helps in calming and being happy.  

2. Why do dogs like to roll in filth?

A: Dogs are descended from the grey wolf and therefore they like to roll in filth. Dogs want to hide their smell by rolling in the filth. 

3. Should I let my dog roll in the mud?

A: Yeah, allow your dog to be happy by rolling in the mud. Rolling in the mud, grass, or dust is not dangerous for your dog.

4. Why do dogs roll in dirty underwear?

A: Dogs love the smell of socks, and underwear because they want to carry the concentrated scent of their owner. 

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