Why do dogs roll in grass?

+25 votes
asked Apr 19, 2015 in Pets & Animals by leatrice (1,190 points)
My dog is used to sniffing around every area and scratching the grass, and then rolls on that very spot. But why does she like doing this? Does she just love the scent of the freshly mowed lawn or is it the scent of a nearby dog?

3 Answers

+20 votes
answered Apr 23, 2015 by MARILYN (790 points)

To experts, the reason why dogs enjoy rolling on grass are varied.

  1. They inherited it from wolves. There is a very popular myth that rolling on the grass or any other such odorous thing is a trait dogs inherited from wolves - their distant cousin. According to Pat Goodmann, the curator and research associate of Wolf Park in Indiana, once the wolf perceives a novel smell, it sniffs and rolls on it to let the smell rub off on its body, especially around the neck and face regions. The park greets it and carries out a thorough investigation on the scent upon its return. We have observed some instances where a number of park members had traced the scent back to the origin.
  2. Ridding itself of every unwanted smell. Doesn't this sound familiar? Immediately after giving it a bath, it runs through the door in search of what to roll on like grass, or even the dirtiest of all spots. Your dog will not always agree that something smells wonderful just because you think so. Every dog is unique in its own smell and if this smell changes, the dog will try to get back and rolling in the grass is one of the ways.
  3. To alleviate a discomforting itching. Rolling on the ground may as well be your dog's way of trying to get rid of a very bad itching sensation from a diseases condition. This can include issues like skin allergies, tick bites, fleas, etc. Take your dog to your vet to have him examined to identify primary causes and, begin a tick and flea preventive regimen for your dog, if you are yet to do so.
  4. Obsessive behavior. An unending desire to roll on grass could be a possible sign of a compulsive disorder. What is the possible solution? Call your dog back whenever you notice it is excited and wants to roll on the grass. The training session may make recalling your dog once it takes off for the grassy spot seem a little tedious, but the time saved on unnecessary constant baths will make your efforts worth your while.
0 votes
answered Apr 20, 2015 by Barbara (380 points)

Why do dogs roll in grass? In fact, there are several reasons why dogs love rolling on grass:

  • To get rid of all unwanted smells, especially the manmade ones like shampoo scents.
  • For pleasure and to scratch.
  • To remove the scent from the grass.
  • Dogs enjoy disguising their scents with their environment, it is a kind of olfactory camouflage to make it hard for preys to detect it and hide it from predators.
0 votes
answered Apr 23, 2015 by Salay (930 points)
Even my dog does this, he tried doing it on the pavement once, and I noticed there was a dead worm there. I think the smell of a decomposing substance does this to dogs. I always stop my dog from doing this because I see no sense in it.
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