There are plenty of us who have a dog that likes nothing better than to jump in the nearest muddy puddle! And be able to find the only muddy puddle in the forest! Here we look at why and what, if anything, you can do about it.
Show me the mud..
If you’ve just brought your dog home from the groomers, you will enjoy their fresh perfume and beautifully coiffed coat. For your dog, however, they are probably unaware of the results of the groomers visit. And probably didn’t enjoy it very much whilst they were there. So more than anything they want to let off some energy and have fun. And being able to splash around in muddy water is, unfortunately, fun! A 3 year old child enjoys jumping in puddles. Your dog will enjoy the different texture, feeling and smell of this environment too.
But why do they want to get all dirty?
The theory is that instinctively dogs want to mask their scent. This is a trait, also seen in wolves, that allowed them to sneak up on prey more easily. Dogs rolling in fox or badger poo is also about masking their scent. It suggests that before dogs became domesticated it helped with their hunting skills. It may also be simply that your dog is hot and jumping in the mud will cool him down.
Can you stop your dog playing in the mud?
The simple answer to this is probably not! If you know where the muddy parts of your walk are, then maybe you can avoid them, or take treats with you to encourage your dog away from the mud. Alternatively, make sure you have the right equipment with you or ready when you get home to make a muddy walk more manageable. Plenty of old towels, a hose to use in the garden before going in the house, and a longer lead to allow him the freedom to walk when you’re near mud but also to give you control to encourage him away!
And failing that, a good sense of humour to join in his enjoyment of the wonders of the muddy puddle!