Its not just poop; dogs love to roll in anything that smells. There are many different theories as to their reasons behind this. The umbrella reason is that what smells bad to us, like dog poop, doesn’t smell so bad to them; in fact, they might even like it.
They will often roll in anything they can to get away from more perfumed smells, such as the shampoo you use after giving them a bath. They really hate those excessive scentsÃ‚ remember that they can smell concentrations of scents 100 million times lower than we can, so not only is it awful to them, but if its strong enough for us to smell, imagine how powerful it is for them.
Another reason is that they can mask their own scent. Rolling in poo, they will be able to cover up their own powerful scent and enable themselves to sneak up on prey without detectionÃ‚ this is a wolf technique that has carried over to domestic dogs.
Wolves would also roll in poo to let the pack know what they have found, and this must have carried over, so that your dog wants to let you and your family, its ‘pack’, know that it has found something really interesting, and wants to show you.
Yet another theory is that when rolling in the poo, the dog is bringing attention to itself. They may correlate, similar to Pavlov’s dogs, that when they roll in something smelly, like poo, they get a bathÃ‚ and some dogs really like baths. For those dogs that don’t, however, attention could come from other dogs, who instantly want to know what has been found when your dog comes back covered in feces.
Finally, it may just be bad behavior, because the poo smells interesting to them.