Why dogs kick at the ground after pooping

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Why Dogs Kick At The Ground After Pooping

Many dogs seem to have some unusual rituals when they poop, and,according to experts, these actions are often driven by their psychological needs.

As a recent article by The Dodo notes, canines tend to sniff around a prospective area, expel their waste, then kick up grass or dirt over the area.

While owners may think their pets are trying to cover up the mess, they're actually leaving an additional message to dogs who may walk the area afterwards.

According to VetStreet, "All dogs have glands in their feet that secrete pheromones, and a couple of backward scratches into the earth releases those chemicals."

This behavior could be traced to more primitive times when wolves and non-domesticated dogs would try to warn off other animals by leaving their scent, notes The Dodo.

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Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (REAR) rides a wave with his dogs Rama (Front) and Millie (obscured) off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Rama (L) and Millie off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz sits with his four dogs (L-R) Max, Murph, Millie and Rama before riding the surf at Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Swimmers watch on as Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dog Rama atop his shoulder off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Millie (top) and Rama off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A dog named Rama surfs a wave off Sydney's Palm Beach with its owner, Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (not pictured), February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (REAR) rides a wave with his dogs Rama (FRONT) and Millie off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Rescued dogs Rama (Front) and Millie ride a wave with their owner, Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (obscured) off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz receives affection from his dog Millie (R) as fellow pet dog Rama watches on as they wait for a wave off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz waits for a wave with his dogs Rama (L) and Millie off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Millie (L) and Rama off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Millie (top) and Rama off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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Modern canines still have extremely sensitive noses, containing as many as 300 receptors, so they are able to learn about their counterparts through these olfactory cues, according to WIRED.

While marking their territory is one reason for the post-poop digging, Dr. Brittany Jaeger, a Tampa veterinarian, believes it could also help dogs "cover their tracks so that other animals won't know they've been there."

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