As a pet owner, dog behavior can sometimes be difficult to interpret. When seeing a dog digging in their beds some people can often mistake this for destructive behavior however this is often something dogs instinctually do before finding the perfect spot to nest in. So when dogs scratch and kick the ground in the yard or the local park, are they doing this to intentionally destroy the ground, or are there other complex reasons behind why a dog kicks after pooping?
After completing our research we have compiled the answers to the question ‘Why do dogs kick grass after they poop?’ along with some more useful information for dog owners to consider when deconstructing your dog’s behavior.
Why Does My Dog Kick After Pooping?
There are a few speculations behind why this ‘poop behavior’ exists and the primary answer is that your dog does this to communicate to other canines that may visit the spot later. It is also said to be a behavior passed down by their ancestors and that it is not a defiant and heinous act to fling their excrement at other dogs.
Some dogs may heavily kick grass simply to remove poop they have accidentally stepped in. Also, the smell of the feces and urine is pungent, it could suppress the pheromones that are released from the glands in your dog’s feet.
Within dogs’ feet are scent glands that release pheromones known to trigger social interaction with other dogs. Not only will their urine or feces leave an odor but the release in these pungent pheromones will also help define their territory to other dogs.
Your dog’s nose is much more powerful than humans so they will often use scents as a communication tool. Canines will use the odor of their excrement as a way of letting other dogs know that they have been there and that the area is their personal territory. Any attempt to cover this scent marking by other dogs may be a sign of contempt and defiance.
Ground scratching is a completely common occurrence with dogs sometimes doing this without having relieved themselves first. However, this action primarily helps to spread their pheromones further and increases the territorial boundaries.
Although, if you notice your dog kicking without doing their business first they could be attempting to mask another dog’s scent with their own smell.
Other animals residing in the wild, such as wolves and foxes, will also use this as a way of warding off predators with their spoor. Similarly, cats are also known to bury their poop to hide evidence and protect themselves from predators.
Why Do Dogs Kick After They Pee?
If you wonder why do dogs kick after peeing as well as pooping the answer is somewhat similar. Peeing can also emit a scent when dogs don’t have to go number two. Dogs kicking their hind legs after peeing will help add to the scent and spread it further.
Why Do Dogs Kick Their Back Legs?
It’s unknown whether the pheromones are particularly more pungent in their hind feet however dogs will kick with their hind legs as they will use their front paws to balance. Other dogs may use their front paws however it’s more convenient and comfortable to use their back paws.
When Kicking Is A Problem
Pet parents may question ‘why do dogs kick dirt after peeing?’ The goal is similar to kicking grass however specifically kicking dirt, gravel, or other tough and rough surfaces can seriously damage your dog’s paws if they do it frequently.
Over time the constant kicking will scrape away at their paw pads leaving them damaged or sore. If your dog is a frequent kicker after relieving themselves, make sure you inspect their paws. If you find any sign of damage, consult your veterinarian about how to tend to the abrasion or wound.
Anxiety or Aggressive Behaviors
In some cases, kicking can be a sign of aggression or nerves in your dog. If you find that this behavior is relatively new and has become regular, consider what life changes your dog has undergone and how that may have affected them emotionally. For example, moving home or getting another dog or animal can sometimes trigger this behavior.
How To Stop The Kicking
Dog owners harboring concern for their dog’s paws or perfectly manicured lawn can use techniques to lure their dogs away from the area before they can have the chance to start ground scratching. Alternatively, you can apply training methods to avoid kicking.
The Subtle Art Of Distraction
When letting your dog out to poop, before they can finish with the act of kicking, use their favorite dog toy or treat to entice them back inside.
As a dog owner, you can also train your dog not to kick by designating a specific area in your yard for them to go potty in. You may notice your pup engaging in kicking still however this action will be reduced over time. If you’re trying to teach this to an adult dog, you may find the task a little more arduous, and it can be frustrating for both you and your pup, however, perseverance will be key.
Taking them to eliminate waste elsewhere on a leash will prevent them from kicking and destroying the ground in your yard. However, you will have to be prepared to take them out frequently if they are used to kicking or ground scratching after pooping.
Summary – Why do Dogs Kick After They Poop?
Dogs will kick grass after pooping as a way to mark territory through the pheromones in their paws. Ground scratching is completely normal behavior and should only be a cause for concern if you suspect your dog is suffering from anxiety or asserting some aggression.