Solve a mystery - what is my dog rolling in??

(18 Posts)
spiderlight Mon 13-May-19 10:58:09

We've always had dogs, but our current lad, a rescued cocker, has only been with us since March. He's found something in the grass in our garden, which he absolutely loves to roll in. When he comes in after rolling, there's no visible residue on him but he has a weird, almost sweet smell that sort of reminds me of caramel, but within an hour or so it seems to mature into an indescribably vile honk that is immune to wet wipes and doggy deodorisers and can only be shifted with a full bath (which he hates). We're mystified, though. We've literally been on our hands and knees searching the patches of grass where he rolls and there is nothing there. We've sniffed the earth, we've mown it really short, we've poured soapy water on it, but still he keeps rolling there and coming in with this smell on him. None of our other dogs have ever done it and visiting dogs aren't interested in that spot at all, but Ed does it almost daily. It's not a wee/poo sort of smell at all. Any ideas as to what it might be?

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Mon 13-May-19 11:07:25

fox wee.

the fox marks its territory and the dog rolls in it. Doesn't smell of wee, it is quite a different smell. The fox will mark the same spot.

Sorry, but the only cure is a shampoo.

really odd though that it has persisted through mowing and soil change etc, I wouldn't have expected the fox to be so exact!

Have you got an old hanging basket? Try turning it upside down over the spot, or putting a piece of netting over it, until it is no longer attractive.

spiderlight Mon 13-May-19 11:13:22

Hmm - we do have foxes in the field behind the house but I'd be amazed if they could get into our garden. We have 6ft-plus fencing right round. I guess it might be though.

OP’s posts: |
Fazackerley Mon 13-May-19 11:14:37

badger wee or fox wee. Both honk. Foxes can dig under anything.

spiderlight Mon 13-May-19 11:27:32

We've seen no evidence of anything digging in though, or of other animals in the garden - been here twelve years and the most exciting thing that's ever come in was a frog. I'd be delighted if it was a badger but we're not rural enough. I'm tempted to buy a wildlife camera now!

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Mon 13-May-19 11:27:43

we have 6 foot wall. There is a lower fence between us and neighbours, but still 5 foot.
We get foxes in the garden. Not often, we are obviously a last resort, but we do get them. The wall is sheer, but we think they scramble up a few houses along where there is a bush and then walk along the top of the wall to our garden. they get out but jumping up on log pile and then greenhouse roof to the top of the wall.

Once I saw them doing that, I realised there were lots of possibilities where they could get over

Still18atheart Mon 13-May-19 11:28:37

If my ddog is anything to go by it will be fox or badger excrement

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spiderlight Mon 13-May-19 11:59:41

It's definitely not fox poo - we know all about that thanks to our old springer who could find fox poo in the flipping Sahara! It's not a wee smell at all though. No hint of ammonia. Just a weird weird smell.

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Mon 13-May-19 12:09:18

but the fox scent is because they are marking their territory, and it isn't really wee. Maybe from scent gland? It certainly doesn't smell like wee.

Fazackerley Mon 13-May-19 12:11:23

yes fox oomska doesn't smell of wee

spiderlight Mon 13-May-19 12:20:32

Oomska - now there's a word I haven't heard in many many years! (Zoology degree several decades ago). It might well be that, then. I'm not getting very far Googling 'What does fox oomska smell like?' though! grin

OP’s posts: |
vinegarqueen Mon 13-May-19 13:18:49

Fox marking/poop, or, at a push, hedgehog (their poo smells unexpectedly bad for such a small animal...)

longearedbat Mon 13-May-19 18:48:43

My dog rolls in bird poo (as well as other things). I couldn't work out why she was going crazy rolling when I couldn't see anything, I mean, a sparrow shit is pretty insignificant. But she will try to drop and roll even on a pavement if she spots bird poo. Of course, some of them are bigger (like pigeon or seagull, or horrors, swan and Canada goose). It doesn't smell too bad initially (for small birds) but you know she's rolled in something, and it does tend to get worse as it gets ripe. So my suggestion is bird shit.

GetOffTheRoof Mon 13-May-19 18:59:18

No clue on the scent, however the answer to dealing with the stench is ketchup. Ketchup, passata or white vinegar.

Douse the stinky area, let it dry on the fur if you have time (not compulsory but it helps), then wash off.

Extra marks for dying your dog's fur / dog's white undercoat pink with the passata 🐶😁😁😁.

spiderlight Mon 13-May-19 20:49:33

Ooh, I could try a vinegar wipe-down - thank you. I used it for years to clean up after my leaky old boy but I hadn't thought of it for this. Thank you.

@longearedbat - that sounds plausible (and don't talk to me about the size of bird poo - we had a duvet cover on the line christened by a heron on Friday!). He comes in with nothing visible on him. Someone elsewhere has suggested that it might be dead worms.

OP’s posts: |
SpamChaudFroid Mon 13-May-19 20:54:25

Mine rolls in earthworms, they bloody stink. A sort of mud mixed with blood smell.

SwimmingintheDeepBLUESea Wed 15-May-19 21:11:22

If it's one specific area I'd fence it off with some cheap mesh fencing and poles for a while to see if it breaks the habit.

Empathy56 Sun 19-May-19 05:02:51

Fox poo is disgusting,it stinks to high heaven.Sounds like it could be that.Have had to shower our dog a few days ago as he rolled in some in the garden.Revolting!

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