Why do dogs circle before they poop
The fact is, we don’t know for sure. The only way we are ever going to know the real reason is when dogs start to talk and tell us. That is of course if they know themselves.
There are a few theories as to why your dog circles to find the perfect spot and direction to do their business.
It is possible that it is for hygiene reasons. They flatten the grass so their poop doesn’t get stuck on the long grass and stuck on them.
Or it could be marking behavior to let others dogs know they have been there. Or to help spread their odor as a sign to other dogs. You would have seen dogs kick their legs backward after doing their business. Dogs have scent glands on the pads of their paws. When dogs flatten the grass and kick their legs back they are leaving scent from those glads for other dogs to notice.
Other explanations are to look around to ensure it is safe from anything that may be hidden in the grass or around them. When dogs poop they are in quite a vulnerable position for a short time and can’t see what is going on behind them.
Another theory is that dogs align themselves with the Earth magnetic field.
Study into the direction a dog poops in
A team of Czech and German researchers from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague found that dogs actually align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field when they poop.
How did they come to this conclusion? The scientists measured the direction of the body axis of 70 dogs from 37 breeds. They recorded 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years.
The researchers found that dogs prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis. The dogs behaved most predictably during times of calm magnetic fields and were likewise more inconsistent when fields were unstable, such as during solar flares. The results were published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology.
Why do dogs do this
You may wonder why the dogs did this. So do the researchers themselves.
It is not sure whether they do it consciously by way of seeing, hearing or scenting the north direction or whether its reception is by feeling. Do they feel better or more comfortable or less comfortable in a certain direction Not only do the dogs not only prefer North to South direction but at the same time they also avoid East to West direction.
Of course, there are examples of other animals seemingly sensing the Earth’s magnetic field. Birds, turtles, and fish are known to use magnetic guidance while migrating. Salmon use magnetism to find their way back to spawning grounds Cattle and deer are known to graze on a north-south axis. This refers to magnetic north, not the geographic North. Some bats navigate using a magnetic compass. Scientists suspect that wolves also sense the magnetic field.
But this was the first time that magnetic sensitivity was proven in dogs. And the first time that a predictable behavioral reaction to the fluctuations in the magnetic such as field magnetic storms from solar flares was proven in a mammal.
The research was conducted with the dogs off leash in the middle of a field. Your dog’s behavior may be different when on a leash.
I guess this is the birth of a new branch of science called Orientation Defecation. LOL
The next time you find yourself lost while out walking your dog, just wait for them to go toilet. Their inbuilt compass will show you the way.