Why do some dogs love the smell of poop?
The smell of urine and feces can be a welcome distraction for some dogs, especially those who are tired or are suffering from allergies, and are in search of comfort, a new study suggests.
Read More>>”The smell of feces can create a calming, soothing environment for your dog, and it’s a natural, non-judgmental response that he would find comforting,” said Dr. Stephanie S. Crouch, director of the Veterinary Behavior Research Center at the University of Georgia, who led the study.
The study, published in the journal Veterinary Behaviour, also looked at dogs’ reactions to a variety of stimuli, such as a person, a toilet, and a food bowl.
They found that when their dogs were able to see a familiar scent, they were more likely to sniff, lick and touch that scent.
Crouch said the researchers hope their findings could help other veterinarians make the decision to use poop or urine as a training stimulus, as it has helped train dogs who have experienced physical and emotional trauma from other animals.
“There is this idea that dogs are naturally attracted to odors,” Crouch said.
“But this study found that the dogs who are most aroused are the ones that are able to smell and touch the urine.”
Crouch has studied the evolution of human behavior and how dogs react to different smells.
She said the most recent research suggests that dogs have been trained to associate certain smells with rewards, and that the same is true of humans.
“So dogs have learned that when you touch something, they get excited and they want to get closer to it, and they know that the smell makes them feel good,” Cope said.
“But when we put a bowl of food in front of them and they see the bowl, they’re not as excited.
So the idea that they are naturally drawn to the smell and that they’re attracted to it is not the case.”
The study also found that dogs who were tested as puppies had an increased level of sexual arousal when they were paired with a urine-based stimulus.
“What we found is that the urine-related stimuli were paired better with the urine than the other two,” Crop said.
Crop added that the findings suggest that training dogs with urine as part of their training might help them avoid accidents, and avoid situations where they might be hurt or injured.
She said she was surprised to find that dogs that were trained to sniff urine and other odors showed a similar reaction when they smelled the urine.
“We thought that it would be the other way around, but there is a difference,” she said.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga also published a study last year that found that training a dog to sniff a food container when it smells of food can make them more likely, even in the face of injury, to avoid the container in the future.
“This research shows that dogs do not have a strong aversion to odorous materials, and this may contribute to their ability to avoid certain accidents,” said David A. Zorzi, a veterinarian at the university who was not involved in the new study.
“It’s interesting that they show a heightened response in the absence of injury.”