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  • Writer's pictureCasey Tyler

Kicking Their Feet After Pooping

After taking your dog out to do their “business,” you may have noticed that they kick up the grass and dirt behind them. Is it just strange dog behavior or is there an actual purpose? The reason might surprise you. Kicking their paws up in a backward motion is so much more than just wiping off a mess. Dogs have glands located in their paws that release unique pheromones; they often will rub or scratch their paws along the ground to release a “territorial scent.” This might explain why your dog might seemingly stop in their tracks to kick backward for a moment or two — they’re letting other dogs know that they’ve “claimed” the area. This type of behavior within canines is the way they establish a hierarchy and who is in charge within that territory. Much like urinating on objects in the area, releasing their pheromones through their paws lets other dogs know who’s boss. This behavior doesn’t only apply to the biggest or scariest dog — both Chihuahuas and German Shepherds alike perform this normal bathroom behavior. In fact, a previously dominant or alpha-dog may cease to scratch their paws on the ground if another dog has established a stronger presence. Another reason that dogs may engage in kicking up the dirt or grass after going potty may be the fact that they are literally trying to spread the scent of their “business” to more ground. Both male and female dogs engage in this type of behavior

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