Dogs Will Be Dogs

Dogs are members of the family, they share our beds and our sofas. We hug and kiss our dogs. But what’s that awful smell? Maybe from now on, you shouldn’t hug or kiss your pal without a quick sniff first.

Here are sample questions from horrified readers.

Q: Zoey runs loose at a nearby dog park, but he always sniffs out the stinkiest, the grossest, the most God awful smell – then he rolls himself in it. Being an Irish Wolfhound, and living in the city, Zoey isn’t easy to bathe. What do you suggest for training Zoey to stay away? G. S., San Francisco, Calif.

Q: Just want to tell you about our dog that rolls in manure at every chance, whether it’s horse manure or dog manure doesn’t seem to matter to Dolly. This isn’t very ladylike. I thought only male dogs did this sort of thing. S.H., Evanston, Ill.

Q: Our six-year-old Labrador-mix rolls in manure. We live in a rural area with lots of nearby pastures. Locking her up and/or keeping her on a leash is not an option. How do we train our dog to avoid manure? L. P., Mt. Dora, Fla.

Sorry – there’s no trainer in this world who can help these dogs. Here’s the problem they can’t fix – they’re dogs.

Some dogs are so smitten with the sweet bouquet of such sweet fragrances as rotting fish, maggot-filled dead rodents or any old kind of manure (cow patties, horse droppings, even hippopotamus piles if they could), they can’t get enough of it. That’s why they immerse themselves in the stuff. After a while, even the most experienced trainers throw in the towel and put a clothespin over their nose. A veteran dog trainer at the circus was grateful the crowd never got close enough to notice just one of his performing poodle’s favorite pastimes – jumping into piles of elephant poo.

You can try hiding around the corner and hosing down a dog that goes for the stinky stuff. Some dogs don’t mind the water spray, and even most who do are willing to submit to a shower for a reward as great as rolling in rotten stuff. One trainer once claimed success when hiding a balloon in cow patties. But do you really want to spend your days following cattle, blowing up balloons and hiding them in the bovine dung?
While many dogs find feces as distasteful as their people, some dogs can’t get enough of the stuff. Experts have never identified a specific breed pre-disposition, however some pups do seem to learn from their moms. Also, puppies forced to live in their own excrement in puppy mills are more likely candidates. However, as shocking as it may seem, female dogs appear just as enamored by the sweet smell of stinky stuff as the guys.

Note: This article is copyrighted by Steve Dale and can be used as source material and for reference only. It cannot be reprinted verbatim. Please contact Steve Dale at if you have any questions.


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