Dogs are nothing but happiness and boundless energy. Their playful antics, from chasing their tails to a simple game of fetch, can bring a smile to even the most solemn faces.
They are excellent companions in adventure, always ready to participate in whatever fun and frolic we humans have in mind. And usually even more!
Sometimes though, that fun can get a little out of hand (or is it out of paw?). Understanding why dogs behave in certain ways can help us guide them toward behaviors that are more aligned with our lifestyles and preferences.
Like when you have a dog that insists on getting absolutely filthy every time you go out! What can you do about a dog that is obsessed with puddles? Why do dogs roll in puddles?
The quick and easy answer is that dogs roll in puddles to cover up their scent, have fun, cool down, scratch an itch or imitate another dog.
Covering Up His Scent
One of the reasons your dog might be rolling in puddles is to mask his scent. This is an instinctive behavior, developed over time to blend in with his surroundings and stay camouflaged from both predators and prey.
The other reason your dog might want to cover up his scent is if you’ve used a fragrance or grooming product on your dog that he doesn’t like, rolling in a puddle could be his way of getting rid of that unnatural smell!
I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog that doesn’t love to have fun. Puddle-rolling is a great way to play in the water in the mind of your canine companion.
Just like how some humans love splashing around in puddles during a rainy day, your dog might also find pleasure in splashing around too.
A Cool Way to Cool Down
On hot summer days, your dog might seek refuge in a cool puddle to beat the heat.
Rolling in puddles can be an effective way for him to lower his body temperature and find some much-needed relief from the heat.
Scratching That Itchy Spot
If your dog has an itch that he just can’t reach, rolling in a puddle might be his way of finding relief.
While the water won’t make much of a difference, those tiny pebbles and rocks at the bottom of the puddle can be very effective back scratchers!
Learning From His Canine Companions
Have you ever noticed your dog picking up habits from his fellow four-legged buddies? Dogs often learn new tricks and behaviors by observing and mimicking others.
If your dog has a playmate who loves rolling in puddles, chances are he could have picked up the habit from them.
Watching dogs learn behavior from each other is both fascinating and maddening (when it’s something you don’t want them to do!) to witness.
My Dog Keeps Rolling In Puddles After A Bath!
Do you remember when I mentioned the idea of masking scents?
Your dog may not appreciate the fragrance of the shampoo you use on him. Or maybe he finds it too overpowering.
Regardless, he wants to get rid of the unnatural scent and since he cannot wash it off, the next best option is to mask it.
Is It Okay For Dogs To Roll In Puddles?
That’s a tricky question. On one hand, rolling in puddles is a natural behavior for dogs and it doesn’t pose any medical or social risks (at least from their perspective).
On the other hand, do you really want your dog smelling like a muddy puddle and being covered in grime?
Chances are, you’d prefer your dog clean and fresh or at least not soaked and covered in mud.
While it’s understandable that dogs need to indulge in natural behaviors, it’s okay to set boundaries and discourage them from making a habit of rolling in puddles.
After all, finding balance is key to making sure both you and your dog are happy.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Rolling In Puddles
Whether you find your dog’s puddle-rolling habit strange or amusing when you don’t want him to get dirty it’s also annoying.
But how do you get him to stop? Fortunately, there are effective methods. It just takes time with a mix of patience, basic commands, and positive reinforcement.
Use Basic Commands And Then Upgrade
Use basic commands that your dog is already familiar with, like ‘no’, ‘off’, etc. Once he has that down, introduce a more specific command like ‘no puddle’ or ‘no roll’.
Make sure to say it in a firm yet caring tone. The idea is to make your good boy understand that puddles are a no-go area.
Use A Leash
During the initial stages of training, you might want to consider using a leash to guide your dog away from puddles.
Remember – it’s all about gentle guidance, not yanking or tugging.
As you guide him away, repeat the commands you’re working on. This helps to associate the action with the command.
Positivity Goes A Long Way
Rewarding your dog whenever he obeys your command is a great way to reinforce what he’s learning.
You can use his favorite treats or toys, or even a pat on the head or a belly rub.
Remember, dogs respond better to positive reinforcement than punishment.
Patience And Consistency
Training takes time, so be patient and consistent with your approach.
Dogs learn through repetition and routine, so reinforce the rules consistently to ensure your dog understands what’s expected of him.
Final Thoughts: Why Does My Dog Roll In Puddles?
There are several reasons why your canine friend might engage in the seemingly strange behavior of rolling in puddles.
The instinctive drive to mask his scent, an attempt to get rid of an unpleasant smell, the simple enjoyment of the activity, a way to cool down on hot days, as a makeshift way to scratch an itch and imitating the behavior he saw his doggy pals do are all valid reasons.
If your dog likes to roll in puddles after a bath, it might be because he doesn’t like the smell of the shampoo you’re using.
And while it is a natural behavior…you might not appreciate the aftermath. A wet, muddy dog that needs (another!) bath. Fortunately, with some work, you can train your good boy to not roll in puddles.
Basic commands and positive reinforcement, combined with consistency and patience, can go a long way. A leash can be useful in the early stages of training to guide your dog away from puddles.
So, while it’s completely natural for dogs to want to roll in puddles, after all, it’s fun and it satisfies some instincts, it is possible to train your dog to curb this habit without hampering his joy.
With patience and consistency, you can guide your dog to make choices that align with your lifestyle and preferences, creating a happy co-existence.