Have you ever wondered why your dog is obsessed with rolling in mud when out and about?

If you have to continuously hose down your fluffy family members because they can't resist sprinting to the nearest patch of mud or sloppy puddle, you are not alone.

Those muddy paws aren’t ideal for the post-walk clean up but there are scientific reasons behind why your dog loves mud so much.

Ernie Kucera, the outdoor dog expert at Ruffwear, explains that it’s part of their glorious adventure-loving nature, as well as the top 10 breeds that are most likely to stop, drop, and roll.

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Why does my dog love rolling in mud so much?

Dogs are instinctively hunting animals

“Dare animals that have been around for centuries and have primitive instincts. When dogs used to hunt, they would roll around in mud, dirt, and anything they could find to try and mask their scent.

“This would make it much harder for their prey to spot or sense them, thus making it an easier catch. Or, they mask their scent to hide from danger.

“Ultimately, rolling in muck and animal excrement was a tactic used in hunting, and is built into a dog’s instinct.”

Rolling in strong scents helps them investigate their surroundings

Messenger Newspapers: Have you had any dog related mud disasters recently?Have you had any dog related mud disasters recently? (Image: Getty)

“Rolling in things with an exciting, strong scent is also your dog's way of investigating what has been there previously.

“Whilst it’s not the most desirable of behaviours for them to roll in mud or even dead things, it is just a part of being a dog.”

Rolling in the mud is a way of expressing their happiness

“You may notice that sometimes when your dog rolls in things that you wouldn’t necessarily want them to, they wiggle around on their backs and wag their tails.

“This is because they are genuinely happy and expressing their excitement. It’s similar to a child playing in a ball pit, or sand pit for example.


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“Rolling in the mud may scratch an itch for your dog, or they can be inviting you to play - it’s a positive sign, whether or not the smells that they bring home are appealing to you.”

Top 10 dog breeds most likely to roll in mud

According to Ruffwear’s national competition to find ‘Britain’s Muddiest Dog’, these are the top 10 breeds that are most likely to roll in mud:

  1. Golden Retriever (15%)
  2. Labrador (10%)
  3. Cockapoo (9%)
  4. Springer Spaniel (5%)
  5. Cocker Spaniel (7%)
  6. Border Collie (6%)
  7. Working Cocker Spaniel (4%)
  8. German Shepherd (3%)
  9. Labradoodle (3%)
  10. Sproodle (3%)

Ruffwear found that Golden Retrievers made up 15% of the overall votes into the competition, and Labradors brought in 10%.

However, Spaniels were the most entered muddiest breed, with Spaniel crossbreeds such as Cavapoos and Sprockers also being part of the Spaniel family and making up 37% of overall entries.