My Dog thinks he is a Cat because he is trying to bury His Poop or is He?

Ok, I am a new canine parent and have just adopted my first dog. When I got him home, I took him out to potty. While he did his business, I stood there and waited. Oh my gosh, once he was finished he began to kick back his back legs over where he had gone. Since I am new to dog ownership, this behavior reminded me of what my cats have done and that is to bury their waste. Yes, I know my dog is not trying to be a cat but what can be going on?

Well, first this behavior is completely normal. Why? Well, dogs are very territorial. They mark territory with their urine, feces, and their feet. Yes, I said their feet. While the release of urine and feces does allow the dog to mark where home is, it is not as long lasting as other sources. Where does this other source come from? Believe it or not, it is a dog’s feet.

Dogs have scent glands on their feet and the process of scraping and kicking back of their feet helps release the aroma. This aroma provides information for other canines. This includes territory, sexual readiness, food trails, and warnings.

Keep in mind though that any responsible dog parent should pick up after their dog when they go to the bathroom. Leaving animal waste on the ground is very unsightly and is a big source of E. coli contamination of many of our waterways around cities. In doing so, make sure to pick up your dog’s waste but do not worry about the scent trail. While the waste no longer communicates information, the scent left by your dog’s feet still remains.

In just, your dog is not mimicking a cat’s behavior. He is doing what he needs to do to introduce himself to the neighborhood and inform everyone that this area is his. If the back kicking is causing damage to your yard, consider training your dog to only use one corner that way the damage is concentrated. Another choice is to walk your dog several times a day and allow him to empty out in other areas that do not include your yard. While I know many people do this and do not clean up the waste that their dog drops in neighbor’s yards, I feel this is a bad decision and this is especially true if that neighbor does not have a pet. If you decide to take your dog elsewhere to relieve themselves, be a good neighbor and clean up after them.