Friday, March 14, 2014

Why Do Dogs Scratch the Ground After They Pee?

Who hasn't wondered why dogs sometimes scratch the ground after they urinate?  What's more interesting to me is why they do, and sometimes don't. The truth is, scientists don't know much about scent marking because people can't see it, and we surely can't smell it.  But researchers suspect that ground scratching disperses odor, like a primitive perfume atomizer.

One reason is to indicate territory.  It's been noted that dogs scratch the ground more often when they're introduced to new locations, and as they become familiar with the area (or perhaps claim it), they lesson the amount of ground scratching.

Sometimes dogs will smell a spot where another dog has peed, then scratch up a storm without ever urinating themselves. Dogs have scent glands on the bottoms of their paw pads, so scratching the dirt and disturbing the air sends information that may be different than from that of their urine.

Read my post that presents detailed facts about olfaction.

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