So, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of dog ownership, you know that dogs do their business and then kick dirt up in the air or grass or just nothing.
They stand there looking kind of silly and kick or scrape at the ground. Sometimes their paws don’t even make contact with anything but they still do it and look like they are inventing some new TikTok dance that we’re not coordinated enough to do.
They’re just acting on instinct.
According to the AKC
Dogs have glands in their paws that release pheromones that trigger social interaction with other dogs. These pheromones from dogs’ feet last longer than the scent of urine or feces, making them more effective as a communication tool.
If you’ve ever sniffed your dogs’ paws, you’ll notice a specific smell that isn’t always a clear sign that they need a bath or grooming appointment — it’s likely that your pup has recently stimulated the pads on their paws to produce pheromones and spread their “scent.” While these chemical reactions aren’t visible to the human eye, they’re as powerful as putting a mailbox out in front of your house with your last name on it to claim property.
The behavior dates back thousands of years, when dogs lived in the wild and were responsible for fending off prey. In the presence of other dogs, the action was used as a protection method.
Your pup isn’t attempting to ruin the lawn, but simply letting other dogs know they’re in charge.
What can we learn from this? Well, we could say that we’re learning that silly seeming behavior can have deeper roots, right?
Or we can say not to make assumptions about things that seem stupid because it’s just not your species’ way of doing things.
Or we could say, “Why the hell does everyone need to be in freaking charge all the damn time?”
Seriously, even our dogs need to be the top of the hierarchy? Maybe we all need to chill, spray something nice or burn a candle after we defecate, and call it good.
But wait. That’s not always the case, even with dogs. The AKC says:
But it’s not always a warning to “back-off” — this form of communication also allows canines to alert other dogs that there isn’t a present threat in the area. If another dog comes near, they’ll immediately know that another animal of the same species is close by.AKC
Phew. I feel so much better about things now. There’s a goodness in knowing you aren’t alone. That there is community out there, right? That’s why people love Star Trek have conventions, that Danganronpa fans cluster together on Discord. It’s nice to not be alone.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Leave your best smell behind. That’s how others recognize and remember you.
LINKS WE REFER TO
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!