You must have wondered many times why your dog loves to roll in stuff that you would avoid like the plague. So why do dogs look for the smelliest stuff to anoint themselves with. There are many ideas put forth, but who really knows….except your dog.
One suggestion is that dogs are placing their scent on the stuff. Many people discount this as dogs normally leave their scent by marking places of interest with their urine and feces.
Another belief is that dogs roll i smelly stuff to use the scent of certain animals to fool them by smelling like the prey they will hunt. However, prey animals use their sight and hearing to alert them to predators, not their sense of smell. Many prey animals’ eyes are on the sides of the their heads to give them better all around vision. These same animals have excellent hearing.
Scent rolling may be a way of bringing information to the rest of the pack (dogs thinks of us as their pack) as wolves probably did.
While rolling in stinky substances may be a turn-off for humans, dogs may be attracted to dogs who smell which could indicate a food supply.
We humans use perfumes, lotions, powders, soaps and so on that smell good and make us attractive to other humans as well as making us feel good about ourselves. Perhaps dogs roll in that stuff that smells awful to us for the same reasons.
In any case, our dogs will continue to roll in that stinky stuff that we find repugnant. That is until we find a way to communicate to them that we don’t find it attractive.