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25 April 2021

Why do dogs love mud?

Let’s understand first, why dog’s find mud so appealing

When you take your pup out for walks, it is almost impossible for them to resist rolling in the mud. Have you ever wondered the reason behind such behavior? If you are looking for an answer to this weird behavior, you have come to the right place. Read the full article to understand the reasons behind such behavior, and how to curb it.

Why dogs love mud?

Why do dogs love to roll in the mud?

Rolling in the mud is probably one behavior which dogs do not share with humans. This is probably the reason why is humans always wonder why dogs like mud at all. Rolling in the mud leads to a bath eventually which is a hassle for both the guardian as well as the pup unless the pup is a bath lover.

Some dog guardians prefer to punish their pup for exhibiting this behavior. This should be strictly prevented at all costs. However, punishing your pup is almost like you cutting him or her off from his or her wild side. 

For easy hunting:

Dogs do remember some traits from their wolf ancestors. Just like wolves, dogs prefer to camouflage themselves to make hunting easier. He primary reason why dogs roll in the mud is to cover up their scent so that their prey do not see or sense them coming from a distance. 

Territorial nature:

Dogs are very territorial in nature. They prefer to leave their Mark on their territory and Perry so that other dogs know to not trespass. Dogs have a ton of scent secreting glands on their paws and other regions of their body. Dogs also use their assent to mark the trees and the ground as an indication to other dogs as to who owns that territory.

To maintain their own unique smell

Humans have a tendency to bathe their dogs a lot. Ever, too much of bathing with a perfumed soap (even if the product is suitable for animal use), removes the unique smell of your dog.

Smells which are perceived to be dirty by humans are actually the unique ID of a dog. That is why the moment you bathe your dog, he or she will tend to roll over on the bed and dig the bed order to get the paw glands activated so they start secreting sweat which contains your dog’s unique smell. 

To communicate with other dogs:

Dogs also use their scent as a way of communicating with other dogs. If you think that your dog likes to have a bubble bath and loves to have talcum powder spread on him, you cannot be any further from the reality. Dogs hate the smell of powder. If it was a left to dogs, they would rather wallow in mud, garbage bins and dead animals rather than take a bath and erase their own unique scent.

They enjoy the sensation and smell:

It might be hard for us to understand why dogs love to roll around in the mud, garbage cans and everything that we perceive to be dirty. However you must understand, that your dog's sense of smell is not the same as your own. Dogs have a much higher sense of smell compare to humans. It is most likely that your dog will find food and the smell of cow dung to be more appeasing rather than the smell of a fancy perfume that you value a lot.

To spread information amongst themselves

Every animal communicates with his or her relatives and friends. This behaviour all spreading information has also been inherited by dogs from their wolf cousins. According to research, when a wolf finds something that catches hear his or her attention, he will first sniff the prey and then wallow in the prey to cover himself with the scent of the same. The wolf will then go ahead and transfer the smell of the pray to the rest of the pack so that the entire pack and decide whether they want to eat the prey or not.

As an indication of superiority

Dogs also wallow in the mud to show their other pack members that they have got something that is very interesting and is deserving of praise. However in case of humans, the poor dog might get reprimanded instead of being praised if he or she lands up rolling in the mud. That is why if a dog is scolded for rolling in the mud, it confuses your dog and thus, such a behavior should be avoided.

Now that we have covered all the reasons why you are dogs might roll in the mud, it is time to discuss how this behavior can be curbed or prevented.

The first step to prevent your dog from rolling in the mud is to understand that scolding or punishing is not the solution. The only way you can modify this behavior is by avoidance and lots of patience.

Let's take an example. Suppose you are walking your dog in a park and there is a puddle of mud. Your dog immediately gets attracted to the puddle and wants to go and roll in it. To prevent this behavior, tell your dog a firm NO and remove your dog from the spot. You will need a lot of patience because initially your dog will not understand why are you commanding him not to go into the puddle which is such a heavenly place for him.

Your dog will not understand the new command in relation to garbage or rollin in the mud right on day one. You will need to have a ton of patience and exercise the same treatment every time. If your dog does by chance land up going to the puddle, do not scold him at all. Just clean him up and leave it at that.

If your dog is exhibiting such a behavior in your own backyard, there are simpler ways to curb this behavior. Clear your backyard of any dead animals or garbage if they are present. The aim of this behavior of this sure is to avoid giving your dog any kind of stimulus which would make him want to roll in the dirt or mud.

One more thing that I need to emphasize here is that, not all dogs like mud. Like my boy, Delta Bunny hates getting dirty. He hates walking on mud, hates going out if it has just rained and he hates to take a bath. Sometimes I feel he may have been a cat in his previous life. I think that the mud loving behavior might be breed dependent. It is unheard of that a golden retriever finds mud unappealing. Maybe some breeds like playing in mud while others don’t.

Does your pup love or hate mud? How does your dog react when he or she sees mud? Let me know in the comment section below. If you have any other queries, feel free to put them in the comment section as well or you can reach out to me on any of my social media channels. 

Until next time

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is so informative! I always wonder why my mini schnauzer loves mud. Most of the time I got frustrated because her pawprints are all over our tiled floors, and sometimes, even to the carpeted area of the house. We constantly have to wash her clothes too, so that's why we stack up some a lot of her clothes here.

    1. Thank you. Well, their is one benefit to dogs loving mud for the guardians. The muddy times make for some very cute picture shoot...:).

    2. True, very true! You can't get mad at them for too long because even if they're so dirty, they look so damn cute still!