Dog playing outside and running through muddy water

While veterinary behaviorists aren’t sure why dogs like to roll in rotten and stinky stuff, many believe pets mark themselves with their most “prized possessions” in an attempt to show them off to their two-legged and four-legged friends. For a dog, wearing stinky stuff is like wearing the best designer-label scent.

While dogs have millions of scent receptors that humans don’t, they are polar opposites when it comes to putting stuff on their skin. People like smells that are fresh, floral and fragrant. Dogs prefer dirty, dead and (to us) disgusting.

Forget trying to prevent your dog from rolling around in the stinkiest things imaginable. For you, it’s foul; for dogs, it’s divine. With thousands of years of practice backing their interest, dogs will continue to go boldly where no man, or woman, would ever choose to go. The only surefire way to stop the stinky sniff-and-roll is to keep your dog on the leash or teach a foolproof “come-hither” when called.

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