Why do dogs like to cover themselves with stinky things?

Dogs are adorable creatures who love us unconditionally and whose ability to steal our hearts seems out of the question. But they are also fascinating creatures, whose behaviors sometimes baffle us.

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Or have you never wondered why your dog likes get covered in things that seem disgusting to you, when not, directly, disgusting? There are several theories to explain your dog’s fascination with smelly puddles and other foul areas, including manure, human feces, or a dead mouse.

One of them is that it is about an attempt to communicate with other peers (“Here I am, and it smells all that I tell you”). Or, quite the opposite, an attempt to go unnoticed and camouflage their own scent with a much more intense one; something that, according to this hypothesis, it seems that it could be useful if your puppy had to survive on its own, and hunt without being recognized.

Your dog’s smell is really complex, and it activates his brain!

But another hypothesis that is increasingly accepted in the scientific environment is that your dog’s smell constitutes a complex motor system that is directly brain related. In other barks: when your dog or your puppy discovers a dead squirrel in the park, a stinky puddle or a pile of manure, “that same smell that activates their olfactory lobe.”

But “it also travels to the motor cortex of your brain, and tells you to coat your entire body in that object of desire that you just found,” he explains. Alexandra Horowitz, director of the Canine Cognition Laboratory at Barnard University (Columbia) and author of Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell (Being a dog: entering the world of smell with the dog).

And why does my dog ​​rub himself on things that smell bad?

First thing: don’t judge your dog. His brain, unlike yours, lacks “foul odor” receptors. That is to say, that smell that you find repulsive, is not so for your furry friend. And if we who live with a dog know something, it is that our friend seems especially interested in covering himself and rubbing himself in things with smells that humans find repellent, or downright disgusting.

It’s not the only doggy behavior noses that catches our attention. A few days ago we also told you why dogs like to lick our feet (and, spoiler If you haven’t read it yet, it has to do with his sense of smell.)

Because many dog ​​behaviors that attract our attention (such as licking and sneezing) are related, in one way or another, to their smell. Yes: also those doggy croquettes in disgusting things. [No solo los perros: también los felinos tienen un olfato extraordinario, que explica comportamientos como que tu gato prefiera beber agua del grifo.]

What’s more, your dog enjoys scrubbing himself in strong smells!

It’s not so strange: your dog’s nose is superb. Its snout houses 300 million odor receptor cells, while our nose barely has six million. And while humans take in air only once every second and a half, your dog takes it between five or ten times.

But there’s another issue: your dog seems to really enjoy scrubbing himself in strong odors. “While humans are obsessed with vision, and with what we see, the dominant sense for dogs is their smell “, clarifies the scientist Stanley Coren, another reference in the world of dogs, and who has written dozens of books on the dog subject.

That is, while humans live in a world of images, your dog navigates, above all, in a world of smells. Although there is something that we may be alike in. “Both dogs and humans enjoy stimulating the senses: and we are both sometimes tempted to stimulate them to an excessive degree”, says Coren.

According to this reasoning, the reason that leads your dog to bathe in foul smells would be similar to the one that leads people to dress extravagantly; or to wear a perfume that is too intense. “For dogs, scrubbing in strong odors follows the same logic of excessive and somewhat outlandish aesthetics that leads humans to wear an excessively garish and colorful Hawaiian shirt,” concludes Coren.

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Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.

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