Why Do Dogs Scratch or Kick the Ground After they Poop

Dog Scratches or Kicks After Poop

Dogs are full of funny behaviors, one of them being their tendency to kick or scratch the ground after they pee or poop. They might do this even when they are indoors. It’s a harmless behavior but you are probably interested in knowing why they do such a thing.

Many dog owners assume that when a dog kicks or scratches the ground, they are doing so to clear up their mess. This certainly seems plausible except a lot of dogs kick or scratch the ground a good distance away from their poop. The actual reason for this behavior has to do with a dog’s territorial instinct.

The act of kicking the ground (after they poop) is one of many ways for dogs to mark their territory. Most times, we see dogs mark their territory by urinating on certain objects. The scent of the urine sends a message to other dogs that pass by the area.

Well, here’s a cool fact. According to Dr. Bonnie V Beaver in the book “Canine Behavior: Insights and Answers”, Dogs actually have scent glands in their feet which release certain type of pheromones. These pheromones also provide a reminder to other dogs a territory has already been claimed.

In addition to the scent, the fresh pile of ground material the dog kicked up also leaves a visual marker for other dogs. As strange as this behavior is, it’s actually a very effective ways for dogs to fulfill their territorial instincts. You should let your dog continue the pooping ritual uninterrupted.

The only time this behavior could be of concern is when the dog is destroying the landscaping. In this case, we would recommend you train your dog to do her business in a different area of the garden or lawn. Getting a dog potty, such as the PETMAKER Potty Trainer, could also be a good way to minimize the damage from your dog’s scratching and kicking.

John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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