As dog owners, most of us have noticed that our four-legged friends have a penchant for scratching the ground with their hind legs after they have a poop. If you are like me, you have often wondered exactly what is going on with your doggo that makes them behave in such a fashion.
Well, the good folks over at GermanShepherdShop.com have removed the mystery surrounding the act, and it turns out that the “poopy dance” serves some really important functions, as well as being totally hilarious. Oh, and by the way, it’s also entirely normal.
THE POOPY DANCE
As it turns out, the poopy dance is essential for several reasons. Dogs will kick their feet, first of all, to sanitize them after they go to the potty. They do this to wipe their paws or bury their mess, but there is much more to it than that.
Dogs have special glands located in their paws which secrete pheromones. When a dog rubs their foot on the ground, otherwise known as “backward scratching,” it releases those pheromones and marks that territory with the animal’s scent.
The scratching also enables the animal to spread those pheromones far and wide as they paw at the ground.
What this actually does is communicate with the outside world just who the dog is and who is in charge in that particular area. The information contained therein includes who lives there and who is the intruder. This marking of their territory allows your little doggo to alert the whole neighborhood who is the top dog in the area.
WHY DOGS ENGAGE IN THIS BEHAVIOR
There are several reasons that dogs engage in this behavior. You will probably notice that it happens more often when you are entering new territory with your dog. It also occurs when a new animal has been in their area, when they have a poo near a fence, and even in the lawns of strangers while out on a walk.
The poopy dances are to alert the animals in the area of your dog’s dominance or attempt to do so, anyway.
Size does not matter when it comes to marking territory. Any size dog from a Chijuaja to a Saint Bernard is known to engage in the poopy dance. Other than the damage they are capable of inflicting on the grass, size makes no difference.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
If you want to stop your dog from doing the poopy dance, experts advise that you take them on long walks, far away from your lovely grass. However, you could just let your dog be a dog and laugh, as well.
The one thing you want to watch out for is this: If your dog is suddenly doing the poopy dance and nothing has changed, it could be a sign that something is amiss. Check out your pupper thoroughly to make sure there is no injury present and have them checked out if you aren’t sure.