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Why Do Dogs Roll in the Grass?

This is a favorite pastime for many pups! On a bright green lawn, something is alluring about flip-flopping – often with legs up in the air. Is it freshly mowed? Newly sodded? Even better. 

Of course, the majority of dog owners find this behavior amusing. The grass stains…maybe not so much (but hey, that’s why Groomit offers in-home and mobile dog grooming!)

Curious why dogs have this quirky habit? Or would you like to see if there’s a better way to keep your dog clean between grooming appointments? 

Let’s find out. 

My dog rolls around in the grass all the time. Is this normal behavior? 


There is absolutely nothing wrong with your dog. As canine family members, dogs have a highly developed sense of smell. The outside world is filled with scents your dog’s nose can only pick up. Rolling in the grass is one-way dogs gather information and communicate. Even though they are domesticated companions, pet dogs retain some of their wolf ancestor instincts. 

It is 100% normal – though occasionally messy – behavior. 

Most common reasons why a dog will roll in the grass

Dog behaviorists have discovered that dogs roll in the hay for the following reasons. In their minds, dogs are: 

Marking their territory 

This is the #1 reason why male dogs roll in the grass. Just like when they relieve themselves on a tree, rolling is a way to mark territory. By disturbing the grass with their body, they are essentially depositing their unique scent for passing dogs to smell. It’s a nonverbal way of saying, “Listen up, fellow pups! I’m claiming this spot for myself and let you know I live here.” 

Mask their scent

Another reason why dogs roll in the grass is to mask their scent. Our four-legged friends eat kibble from a bag, but it wasn’t always that way. Thousands of years ago, dogs had to hunt for food. To better stalk their prey, they would roll in other scents in the grass—for instance, a patch where a squirrel or other animal peed or pooped. 

Filthy, right? 

However, it was effective! This tactic helped your dog’s ancestors hunt successfully. That is why even today, some dogs love nothing more than a good roll in the grass. 

However, if your dog rolls in smelly garbage or waste, it’s a good idea to call the Groomit dog grooming team. 

Swap smells 

Here is a tidbit of fascinating dog psychology…

Though you enjoy a whiff of aromatic shampoo after a bath, your dog might hate it. The same flowery, coconut or vanilla products dog owners like can cause a dog to go rolling in the grass in an attempt to cover up the smell with something more natural.

At Groomit, we understand the dog’s perspective. 

That’s why guaranteed our dog groomers use all organic and non-toxic supplies. 

Scratch an uncomfortable itch 

The following reason might sound obvious, but it’s true. Sometimes, your dog has an itch! Unlike humans (who have hands), dogs cannot reach around their shoulders to scratch their backs. They don’t have the flexibility. 

So, a dog will roll in the grass to get to that spot. 

Ahhh…much better! 

“Talk” with other dogs 

This point goes back to the scent marking. Puppies and dogs roll in the grass so they can communicate with others who live in their neighborhood. Does your dog sniff a lot on walks? Does he ever try to roll in front of a house where you know another dog lives? 

Chances are, he’s leaving a message via scent. 


Lastly, kicking up blades of grass, soil, and leaves is plain old fun! Bored dogs might find this to be a form of entertainment. It’s sort of like digging holes. The physical act of rolling relieves boredom and stress while also giving your dog exercise. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, rolling in the grass is normal. Dogs who regularly do so won’t come to any harm, though they can get covered in neon green grass stains, especially if their fur is a light color.

If your pup looks a little green – or stinks to high heavens from a roll in waste matter – download the Groomit app here for convenient dog grooming today! 

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Groomit Team

GroomIt is the first mobile platform connecting pet owners and groomers. By connecting owners and groomers directly, Groomit offers top quality services at affordable prices, all performed in the convenience and comfortability of your home.

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