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March 30, 2009


Our dog uses the archipelago distribution method, which means if she unleashes (very rarely, fortunately) in the basement, it means a tedious cleanup. I think she does it that way so the doesn't step in it.
She very rarely does the 'kick back the hind legs thing' I see that as either she thinks she stepped in it, or it feels good to drop a pound...

What if it's a dogs way of wiping their behinds? Making sure that no feces has stuck to their butts...

aaa no

I think they are proud of their poop and are trying to decorate it.

I know that's what I do.

Prettiest turds in the forest.

Take pride in your work.

I come to this site for answers also, my half pit/boxer boy 81 pounds does this every time he poops on leash, and he also will do this when he pee's, not every time he markds, but its a pattern I have learned, when he kicks his hind legs with leaves flying and dirt to cover his pee, I know the next stop is poop time and he will do the same. When we keep him outside in the yard, he will sometimes wait all day and will not poo until he is unleashed and walked and will hold it the whole day. Sometimes he has went and I notice a big pile of leaves in the yard where he is at, to find under them, poop! He is very private, if one of my children are with me at walk time, he will not go, he will pee, but not poop. I do think its alot to do with hiding what they have done!

As I pick up after my golden retriever day to day, I watch him sniff the ground that has been littered repeatedly with nothing but his own poop; yet, he continues to perform an extended pre-sniff each time as to find the perfect upon which to poop. Over the years I have wondered if we have underestimated the intelligence of the otherwise witty and dumb-founded canine. I am not yet sure what it is, but I believe the careful planning and strategic positioning of dog poop is destined for great things far beyond limited knowledge and bounded imaginations.

I'm convinced my Lab does it to clean her paws if she feels she stepped in it. She only appears to "kick back" when she either accidentally steps in it, or steps close to it.

I was asking this question too and the answer I found was that dogs have sweat glands in the pads of their feet and they are marking a straight line to their poop so other dogs can find it.

Am very curious about this. I adopted an about 8 month old pup in early November. Each time she defecates, she assiduously pushes fallen leaves and dirt over her scat, using her nose. No idea why she does this, but I've never seen a dog behave this way, so I'm interested in trying to figure out why. Chloe is likely an Australian Cattle Dog/Chow mix, according to the vets. I'm wondering if she doesn't have a bit, or more than, of Shepard or Husky in her.

why do some dogs like to poop on a hill my doby does

My dog has started covering his poop but he does it with his nose, pushing snow over the poop until it disappears. I hope he doesn't continue this practice into spring and summer using dirt. His schnauzer beard is going to be a mess.

It is definitely not to cover their poop up.

a. They would basically only have to poop in soil that can easily be dug up (beaches/sand, moist soil, clay or something else). Dogs live in a variety of places and don't go poo only on these kinds of soils.
b. It will STINK even if they cover it with some dirt or leaves or whatever. People might not smell it (doubtful), but I think all other four legged animals in the dog ecosystem can.

I believe that they are using the sweat glands on their feet to spread their scent. My dog, mia(boxer/beagle mix) does the hind leg kick back even when she hasn't pooper or peed. Sometimes she'll just sniff around on a walk and find something she "likes" and she will do the kick back. It's something about making their territory and maybe covering up a follow canine scent. Who knows?? I just think its funny and sometimes embarrassing. Mia can really do some damage on that grass!!

I had a 16 yr old Jack Russell who didn't start doing "signing her name" (as I always called it) until later in her her life. Well, now I have two 5-mos old Rat Terriers (litter mates). When started house-breaking them, he does his business quickly. She, however, has her potty dance - walking back and forth before she squats. One nite on their last trip out before bed, After trying to coax her with the "go potty" command, and she just looked up at me and the pawed the ground with all four paws, and she wouldn't go. Days later, after actually doing her business, she pawed again. This is the norm now, and I have learned that is her way of telling me that she is done or doesn't need to go.

Wow, Paul. My Dobe Rudy poops on hills to. that is what brought me to this forum. google found your comment and brought me here. maybe it's a Doberman thing ?

the question is can i stop her from doing it? i practically have to follow her around with a bucket of grass seed! (btw., it's SO instinctive that i suspect it might be a way of relaxing the sphincter)

My 9 year old shepherd/border collie mix recently started covering her poo by pushing dirt over it with her nose. We used to live in the country and she would do her thing without an audience. We have moved to a smaller place with a yard and I clean up after her now. She looked at me like I had three heads the first couple times I picked up after her and has now started "burying" it with her nose. Love that dog! :)

This is hysterical!!!
My husband has observed that the constant-pee-behavior of our dogs on a walk is akin to a person updating his FACEBOOK status or commenting on the last person's post. That cracks me up, because that's what it's like, one dog pees, then the other dog pees right next to it. It's a comment with a follow-up comment.

Sometimes our boy-corgi kicks up the dirt/grass when he hasn't done any business. He's always so proud of his big kicks and we cheer him on like the proud parents we are, "good boy ARchie. Good kicking."

Loved this blog! Thanks!

I have also investigated this topic and the most logical reason for dogs kicking their hind legs after pooping is an instinct based behavior to cover their poop. The reason being, nature has checks and balances so when dogs lived in the wild and would eat fruit, the seeds would be pooped out and most seeds need to be covered with a layer of dirt/soil in order to grow so natures clever way to ensure this was to have dogs instictively cover their poop!

I recently moved closer to a city....anyway a bout a month ago my Shepard Husky mix started covering her poo with dirt and what ever she could with her nose also...I have the same routine of cleaning up her messes as before...the yard is nicer for her and she has never used the grass for poop in the past she picks a certain area to go poo one of 2 corners and then while sitting enjoy our back yard she started covering it...i thought i might have an answer here but i guess it will just be a wonder...T from AZ

I have this same problem. I live in Arizona and wondering if its a large cat, coyote or maybe bobcat. How do i stop this problem?

Our silky terrier is just over 2 years old. He didn't start to kick up dirt with his hind legs until just recently. We believe he has watched the cat in the litter box, observed the behaviour and copied it. He looks like a total lunatic when he does it because he kicks so vigorously.

I believe they don't do it to hide it or to mark territory, but to disperse it allowing the environment to best disguise valuable information which can be gathered from eating poop. For example if a predator found an intact poop and ate it they could find out an estimate of how far away the pooper is from the poop from the temperature of it, they could also possibly find out some health defects of the pooper telling it whether or not it would be an easy kill.


Creative theory. If there is a Dog Poop Research Nobel Prize, I'll nominate you, assuming you can find a way to confirm your theory. It makes good sense.

My little Dachshund, he's just a year old also uses his nose to cover up his poop with snow or dirt. Never goes on grass and always tries to hide from me to poop (mostly around the perimeter of the house). He never poops on walks, so I am just assuming that he is shy when he goes potty and doesn't want me staring at him. I got him when he was 8 months so I really don't know if he was disciplined while pooping and is now a little scared of pooping in front of me. I always pick up after so maybe it's because he wants it to be left there??? My .02 cents.

My dog is 2 years and half and this morning was the first time I saw her doing this move, it looked more to me like she wanted to scratch her legs, not to mention she has stomach problems(diarrhea) for two day now.

Kicking it about is surely a dominant sign of spreading sent. Hiding it under gravel/leaves I believe is a way of cleaning up/hiding it. Two behaviors might be seen here in hiding it. 1. Like a mother cleaning up the den after her pup has dirtied the den. Or 2. A dog who has been scholded for making a mess is hiding the evidence from his owner. This is not a dominant trait. I have seen this in fear based, excitable dogs.

My dog has taken to going in the house and covers it with his bed

I don't get it, my Shepard never covered his poop with his nose, when we lived in CT. Now moved to AZ. And this is becoming a hassle as I have to go looking for the poop under piles of dirt and stones in our back yard everyday, to clean up his bombs, is there a way to break this habit? Any words of wisdom? What's the dog up to?

My vizsla puppy does it but doesnt seem to have the same problem as others...he takes a step back into the feces before kicking, then hurling chunks through the air. I have to wash his feet twice a day

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