If you notice your dog scraping frantically at the ground or kicking debris behind them, it's usually an act of marking their territory, formerly known as “scrape behavior.” While you may not always catch your dog in the act, their bodies are busy producing an important chemical reaction that allows them to communicate
Kicking the hind legs after elimination is known as ground-scratching, and it is a normal dog behavior. This behavior has been seen in dogs and wild canids, such as wolves and coyotes. Many animal scientists think it's a form of communication among dogs.
Not all dogs exhibit this behavior, and it can range in intensity. Some dogs may just kick each paw once and walk away, whereas other dogs kick and alternate legs multiple times. Some dog parents are embarrassed by the vigor of the kicking—their dogs might even kick up clods of dirt and clumps of grass.
The act of burying waste isn't done because a dog is trying to hide something, though, but rather to spread the scent of their poop further. Kicking up dirt and covering it brings more attention to the feces so it is another way a dog marks its territory after pooping.
Our dogs consider pooping as a way of sending a message to other dogs that the ground they just did the deed on, is theirs. By kicking up dirt afterward, they're compounding the scent of the bathroom along with the pheromones coming from their feet glands to create one strong scent.
Dogs like to kick up grass after a poop or pee as an instinctive action. Experts believe it's the dog's way of letting other dogs know that this is their territory, as by kicking up grass and urine, their scent is being spread further.
The kicking motion is a visual display for other dogs and may help spread the scent of urine. Since urine odors are short-lasting, the slashes on the ground serve as longer-lasting marks to indicate the dog's presence in the area.
Is It Normal For Dogs to Kick After They Poop? Kicking the hind legs after elimination is known as ground-scratching, and it is a normal dog behavior. This behavior has been seen in dogs and wild canids, such as wolves and coyotes. Many animal scientists think it's a form of communication among dogs.
Breaking up the dirt and creating a territorial spot is exposing other animals to the pheromones in the dog's feet. Even if your dog doesn't tear up the grass behind them after going to the bathroom, they may wipe their paws around the area in order to leave that same scent.
Siracusa added that these glands in the feet also produce pheromones, meaning that dogs may be leaving these smelly substances in the soil and then widely dispersing them through their vigorous kicking. This could provide a powerful chemical signal to other dogs that they've been there, Siracusa said.
They're telling the story of where they've been. This allows the other members of the pack to follow the trail back to the source and to any food that was found nearby. So in a way, rolling in feces is a form of communication amongst a pack—sort of the dog version of a social media post.
This is an instinctive behavior for some dogs that no doubt reaches back into ancestral behavior. A scraping of scent from paws into the earth post-elimination helps reinforce that the dog was there and left its mark," Jones explained.
Interrupt your dog BEFORE he kicks–this is where knowing the pattern helps. Try replacing the kicking with another behavior, like spin, jump, give-five, or tug. Once you get 95% success, start paying your dog for performance. If he does the work, he gets a big reward.
Your dog needs to be able to express fluid from his anal glands. If the fluid cannot be released, the impacted fluid inside the anal glands creates increasing tension, causing the dog to tilt his hind quarters down to relieve the tension. When the dog's hind quarters are tilted down, his back may be arched.
Running Around After Pooping Your dog might be marking its territory, as dogs have scent glands in their paws (this also explains kicking after pooping, which many dog owners assume is covering up the mess). Or, they might just feel free and relieved so they get the dog zoomies.
The real reason to why dogs do this is to mark their territory. Canines have scent glands in the back of their feet, and when they kick against the ground they are trying to leave behind their scent. Dogs who are dominant will do this with the goal to warn others dogs to stay away unless they want trouble.