As dog owners, we are well aware that our lovable dogs come with their fair share of quirks and unique personality traits that (usually!) make them all the more endearing.
From silly antics to their unwavering loyalty, our canine companions never fail to put a smile on our faces.
One odd behavior you may have noticed with your dog is a fascination with rolling in moss. If you’ve ever wondered why your good girl does this, there are a few likely reasons.
Why does my dog roll in moss? The quick and easy answer is that dogs roll in moss for fun, to scratch an itch, to mark territory or to cover up their scent.
Just for the Fun of It
Sometimes, the simplest answer is the best answer. Dogs often roll in moss (and many other things) just because they find it enjoyable!
Strange as it may seem, there may not be any actual reason behind it, other than the fact that your dog is having a delightful time doing it.
Who knows what makes it so fun for your dog? The unique texture could make it a distinctive experience for her for some strange yet satisfying reason.
Scratching That Itch
Rolling in moss could also be your dog’s way of relieving an itch.
Although the moss itself probably doesn’t help scratch itches very well…What lies beneath (a good rock or log) makes this activity worthwhile for your itching pup.
Some dogs may have a strong desire to mark territory. By rolling in moss, your good girl could be trying to leave her smell on the ground where the moss is.
There are a few instinctual motivations behind this. Claiming ownership of a particular spot or simply leaving a ‘calling card’ for other dogs to sniff out are both good examples.
By leaving her scent on the moss, your dog is sending a message to other canines: ‘I was here!’.
Covering Up Their Scent
In contrast to marking their territory, some dogs may actually want to mask their scent by rolling in moss.
Just like when dogs mark territory, there are also a few instinctual reasons behind this. Like not wanting to alert potential predators or prey to her presence!
By covering herself with the scent of moss, your dog might be attempting to disguise her own smell.
One, more modern reason for trying to smell like moss might be that your dog doesn’t like the scent of soap or shampoo that you used in her last bath. So, she may attempt to mask that unnatural smell by rolling in moss!
Is It Okay For Dogs To Roll In Moss?
As I’ve discussed, it’s completely natural for dogs to roll in moss.
In fact, it’s an instinctual way for dogs to use and interact with their environment. As long as your canine companion isn’t getting dirtier than you’re comfortable with or causing any significant other problems, then there’s no harm in allowing her to indulge in this natural behavior.
So, go ahead and embrace your dog’s curiosity and let her enjoy one of the simple pleasures of life!
Of course, if you’d prefer your good girl didn’t come home from hikes covered in moss and mud there are ways you can teach her not to do it.
How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Rolling In Moss?
The same principles used to train your dog to stop other behaviors can be applied here as well.
Start with basic commands like ‘no’ and use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to encourage your dog to avoid the behavior.
If you notice your dog about to roll in moss, quickly distract and redirect her attention elsewhere, perhaps by offering a toy or engaging her in a different activity.
Remember not to punish your good girl because punishment is not only mean, it’s unnecessary. Your dog will learn more, fast with training rather than punishment. I
Focus on teaching your dog not to roll in moss by consistently applying positive reinforcement techniques.
With time, practice, and of course, patience, you’ll begin to see the results of your efforts and help your dog realize she doesn’t need to roll in every bit of moss she comes across.
Wrapping It Up: Why Do Dogs Roll In Moss?
As I talked about, dogs might roll in moss for one (or more) of several reasons. Whether it’s for pure enjoyment, to scratch an itch or for scent-related purposes.
Understanding these motives can help you better appreciate your dog’s quirky behavior. Remember rolling in moss comes naturally to dogs and if your good girl isn’t hurting anything or getting too dirty, then there’s no real reason to stop her.
However, if your dog’s moss-rolling ways need to be put to an end, there are safe and effective ways to train your dog.