Does your dog use their paws to kick and dig up the surrounding areas after they poop? It turns out; there is an actual reason and logic behind the habit.
Nearly every dog owner has noticed their pup engaging in this behavior. It seems as though our dogs are much more interesting and complicated than we give them credit for.
Dogs often will rub or scratch their paws along the ground to release a “territorial scent” because they have glands in their paws that release unique pheromones. This may explain why your dog might stop in their tracks to kick backward for a moment or two; they are letting other dogs know that they’ve “claimed” the area.
This is canines way of establishing a hierarchy and who is in charge within that territory. Just like urinating on objects in the area, releasing their pheromones through their paws lets other dogs know who’s boss.
This behavior applies to all dogs. Both Chihuahuas and German Shepherds alike perform this normal bathroom behavior. A previously dominant or alpha-dog may cease to scratch their paws on the ground if another dog has established a stronger presence.
The other reason that dogs engage in kicking up the dirt or grass after going potty may be because they are literally trying to spread the scent of their “business” around. Both male and female dogs engage in this type of behavior.
In fact, if you notice a change in behavior or cessation in kicking or scratching, you might want to consult your veterinarian as there could be a larger underlying issue.
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