Why do dogs like rolling in fox poo?

Animals211 Why do dogs like rolling in fox poo?

We all love our best friends and pretty much everything they do… but if we’re honest there’s a good chance some of their habits are not going to be on that list.

From barking at traffic to chasing toddlers, most dogs will have one special trick we wished they didn’t. I’ll be tackling more of these as time progresses, but for now, I thought I’d share information on one of the most common questions I get asked…

Why Does My Dog Roll in Fox Poo?.

Now the jury’s out on why some dogs simply can’t resist a good old roll in fox poo, the foulest of mucks. Not all dogs partake, so if you’re one of the lucky ones, please read on and share our pain.

To mask their smell.

Behavioural experts and the Internet, in general, have all come up with a good few explanations as to why our furry friends like a roll around in poo. Some say dogs use it to mask their scent in a bid to hone their dormant hunting skills,

After all, if you want to be as “cunning as a fox  what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has moved on and is now working for the U.N. at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning” then surely the best way to do this is smell like a fox,

Can you guess where I have been?

I have also heard that rolling in fox poo goes back to the time of hunting.  By rolling in fox poo, it would help them carry the scent back to the pack.

This would then make it easier for the rest of the pack to follow the fox scent trail back the food ….. simples.

Dogs think we have a strange sense of smell.

Now, look at this from your dog’s point of view. They think that all humans are strange and have a weird sense of smell.  After all, why wouldn’t you like the smell of Fox Cologne?

Fact: Dogs are Olympic sniffers, and their sense of smell is  10,000 times better than humans.  So if dogs don’t find it off-putting, why should we?

It’s not just fox poo that attracts dogs.

Dogs don’t just like fox poo.  They are also happy to roll in cowpats, discarded fish heads, even dead sheep, In fact just about anything that has a really strong pong to it

Maybe, if we had a better sense of smell, we would understand why fox poo, cow pats etc are better than your Chanel No 5 or Diesel aftershave.

Mongrel dog resting on grass lying on back with eyes closed

Do you like my Hawaiian shirt?

This is a bit like the “do you know where I’ve been” theory but instead is saying “I found some lovely fish heads.  Are you well jel?”

According to dog psychologist Stanley Coren: “Dogs roll in stinky stuff for the same reason humans wear loud Hawaiian shirts. It’s a matter of their dominant sense of smell, whereas, for humans, the dominant sense is vision.”

Whatever the cause is, there doesn’t appear to be a simple fix,

Tips to prevent dogs from rolling in fox poo.

Keep Off The Grass.

Forewarned is forearmed, foxes are shy creatures and will usually, although not always, relieve themselves in longer grass and near bushes. If you can keep your dogs where you can see them it can only help you avoid them smelling like a zombie movie.

Teach a good recall.

There will be something they love more than a role in the rankness. Find out what it is and keep it close at all times.

Good quality dog treats that are super yummy such as cheese, chicken or sausage are often far too nice NOT to come when you call them, Teach a good recall and this should help you keep the poo off the pooch.

How to get rid of the pong


“Help my dog has already rolled in fox poo”.  One tip that many people swear by to get rid of that peppery fox poo smell is to use Tomato ketchup.

Simply smear some tomato ketchup over the fox poo area and gently rinse out with plain water.  The theory is that the acid neutralises the peppery smell.

Personally, when I have tried it on Roxy, I have never had success with it.


It is important to remember when you bath your dog to get rid of the smell to use a properly formulated shampoo for dogs.  The reason being is that your dog’s skin is a different pH from yours.

If you look on somewhere like Amazon, you will easily find a fox poo shampoo to suit your needs.  You’ll find there’s a huge variety of deodorising fox poo shampoos.  The range also includes vegan shampoos.

A dog taking a shower with soap and water

If your dog is a repeat offender and you have to travel by car to get home, then you may wish to consider carrying large anti-fox wet wipes. These wipes won’t totally get rid of it but will help eradicate the worst of the mess and smell to you get home and can shower him down.

The Good News.

Well, not really, but I am told by American dog owners that the spray from a skunk is far worse than fox poo.  It seems that the smell from a skunk can reappear weeks done the line, even after repeated showering,

So when  your dog gives you that cheeky look as he heads for the nice smelly  fox poo, just remember it could be worse – it could be skunks’