Why dogs like to roll in shit and carcasses?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Syzygys, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    I've got a feeling the answer to this is extremely complex.
    But it's clear to anyone with a fundamental understanding of dogs that the idea of dogs trying to "mask their own scent" contradicts the whole essence of what dogs are.
    It's really obviously not the case.
    Other predators DON'T do it, actually bears do, but bears are hardly even predators. What bears have in common with dogs is an extremely sophisticated sense of smell.
    All signs point to this behaviour serving an intraspecific purpose, that they cover themselves in scents for the benefit of the advanced scenting abilities of their kin.

    Cat's don't roll in shit, they bury their own shit, and most of them are practically odourless because they are true stealth predators.

    As if a herd of deer in a field won't be alarmed by the sudden powerful stench of rotting flesh and feces hitting their nostrils?
    That's a head turner, the thing is dogs don't give a shit, they saunter casually towards a herd in plain sight and watch them bolt, then they analyse their movements for abnormalities, pick out the most vulnerable and run them into exhaustion before tearing them apart.
    Alternatively they might keep tabs on a moose that lives in their territory for years, smelling where it's chewed grass or browsed on a tree, and smelling it's dead skin cells where it's layed down etc to get a diagnosis on it's condition, once it's teeth start rotting and it starts getting elderly skin diseases and so on they know it's time to strike, but still there's no stealth involved. They know where it's going to be and they mosey on down to engage with it.

    Frustratingly (because it complicates things and simpletons need simple answers) some dogs do occassionally "stalk" certain kinds of prey, and know to stay downwind of them. I know my dog will stalk wallabies like a cat, and circle downwind from them before charging in.
    But there's some variables to take into consideration. He's really learnt this from hundreds of failed attempts to course them fairly, also he's of molosser ancestry, and mastiffs are odd canids in many ways, with many cat like traits.
    For example they lead into engagements with their paws, clasping onto foes and quarry with their forelimbs before biting. Most dogs lead with their mouths, and don't posess the dexterity to grasp anything with their paws.
    Mastiffs are also explosive like cats, powerful, but lacking the endurance of the classic dog (although still miles ahead of any cat) as well as the pace, so they're more inclined to try and ambush or stalk prey because it's just better odds.
    I think wolves might stalk jackrabbits and hares, but really this behaviour of covering themselves in stink is just far more significant than any importance canids place on stealth.
    It just really wouldn't make sense.

    I'm very confident that dogs roll on carcasses and feces FOR other dogs to notice, why specifically I'm not sure.
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  3. John99 Banned Banned

    First of all, who say's the do this?
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  5. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    anyone who ever had a dog.
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  7. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    Carcasses, yes. Feces, I've never seen them roll in them.
  8. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Is that because you've never had a dog?
  9. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Actually my dog doesn't roll in dog shit, but he rolls in horse shit, cow shit and deer shit.
    I guess the question is how many dogs have you seen step over these forms of dung without rolling in them?
    And yeah, he definately rolls in carcasses, or where carcasses have been or bled out.
  10. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Actually that's true. My dog never rolled in dogshit either. I saw him eat some once, but not roll in it, no. Loved cowshit though. I've never seen him happier than when rolling in a big cowpat, splashing it all over, grunting away.
  11. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    In the same way they put their stink all over their territory, perhaps they like to show off the bounties of their territory by wearing it on themselves.
    If you're a hungry stray dog and you come across another dog that wreaks of flesh and the dung of prey animals, you know he's got it made and you'll want to associate with him.
    It would impress females too obviously.
    And that's probably why bears do it.

    Now I have a feeling it's not that complex.
  12. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    The nicest shit they roll in is human shit.
  13. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Nicest? I always thought human shit was technically the grossest of the shits.
    Didn't they once prove this in a lab by smearing differents kinds of feces on infants (due to them being unconditioned and unbiased) and measuring the quantity they managed to vomit before dieing of stench overload?
    I seem to recall a 3 litre measurement for human feces with the closest competitor being a measly 600 mls for suid feces.
  14. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    I've heard that too.
  15. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Nicest as in most repulsive.
  16. Roman Banned Banned

    Dogs hunt. They don't stalk. Their prey bloody well know the dogs there, as they're running for their goddamn life.

    If shit's so great at masking scent from prey animals, why don't cats roll? Why are cats, the stealthiest of stealthy predators, so clean? They even dig holes to shit in.

    Valich, you're a terrible biologist.
  17. Roman Banned Banned

    Our own shit stinks the worst because it's the most noxious to us. It contains many more pathogens that are specialized for infecting us than other types of shit.
  18. valich Registered Senior Member

    Predatory animals - bears, dogs, wolves, jackals - are predatory mammals that mark their hunting territory. This is an instinctive behavior that serves to warn others of the same species that they are intruding on another's domain. This limits the density that any given predatory mammal can exist in. For example, a grizzly bear or a pack of wolves have territorial ranges of up to several hundred square miles. Balck bears need from 10-250 square miles, and in every predatory mammal species the males need twice or more as much as females need.

    My advisor is one of the world experts on mountain lions and is greatly involved in cougar ecological habitat restorations. He is often called upon by local government officials when lions start to get too close to human habitats. Female mountain lions need about 40-50 square miles of territorial range, while males need up to 100 or more.

    There is absolutely no question why dogs roll in shit and carcasses or why they go from tree-to-tree in a given small area to pee rather than just relieving him/her-self all at once. This is inherited instinctive behavior passed on down from their ancestral wolve origin.
  19. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    A shame, then, that this thread isn't about mountain lions. And a shame also that he's not here to represent himself. Instead, we have merely your word for it.

    And you've already been shown to be a liar.

    You're such a douchebag.
    Your 'answer' to the question has already been shown to be mere conjecture. That's all that any of this can be. Conjecture. Theory.
    I find the reasoning behind the social aspect of the rolling behavior to be far more convincing than your authoritative stance. Especially since you're a dishonest hack.

    Duh der.
    So. You've changed your answer to indicate that this is merely inherited behavior now? But you've dropped the specifics of your earlier reply?

    Why didn't you respond to my post, Valich?
    You've been shown, point blank, to be a dishonest little creep. Why don't you answer why you edited those quotes as you did? You specifically altered them to make them seem more authoritative than they are.

    I know why.
    I bet that if you lay down in the woods, dogs like to roll in you.
  20. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Seriously, that didn't even look like an attempt at a rebuttal.
    What the fuck is he talking about?

    Valich, dogs are mammals, mammals give birth to live young and feed them milk.
    Christopher columbus discovered the new world.
    So there is absolutely no question why dogs roll in in shit and carcasses.
  21. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    That's Valich for you.
    He's not too bright. But he plays one on tv.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  22. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

    A dog will roll in shit when there isn't a leg to hump. Seriously....

    Rolling in shit to hunt seems kind of strange and it doesn't say much for prey, getting stalked by a pile of roaming shit.

    The human sense of smell is weak but we can all smell shit and when you come right down to it, no one including prey animals expects to be killed by a pile of shit. This fact should register with the commanders of armies, militants and terrorists anywhere.... rub your guys in shit before sending them out on patrol since the natural instinct of the enemy would be to take their finger off the trigger and hold their nose, let out a groan giving way position and instictively run away from unpleasantness. Apparently this is something dogs have already figured out.
  23. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Why should I bother?
    I've already asked at least twice but you don't answer line by line.
    So, you don't answer at all...

    Doesn't matter anymore anyway.
    I love how you've shown yourself to be not only a douchebag, but a dishonest douchebag as well.

    Good for him.
    Think I give a shit?
    And do you think that has any import to this thread?

    I'm sure I could if I were interested in the least little bit.
    I don't understand why you'd even want me to?
    Err... You think that by saying that some so and so is your adviser that this would somehow rub off on you or something?
    If anything, it makes me think that your adviser is a douchebag like you are.

    It should at least be sequitur.
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