What Affects The Direction That Dogs Face While Pooping?

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Who would have thought that dogs face a specific direction when going poop?

It always seems random to their owners while on walks or witnessing their deed in the backyard, but really, there is some science behind it.

Well, we can thank the Earth’s magnetic field for animals and their weird decisions about where to nest, hunt or even take a poop.

So, if you’re curious about the rest of the science behind this animal oddity, then keep reading to find out!

By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

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Does A Magnetic Field Affect The Direction Dogs Face When Pooping?

Short answer – most likely.

The Earth’s fascinating magnetic field is controlled by a current created by a swirling pool of liquid metal within the planet’s outer core.

This magnetic field fluctuates regularly and is rarely calm (only for about 20% of daylight hours), and is typically the strongest near the North and South pole while being the weakest near the equator.

Ever notice how your dog spins in circles several times before they finally do their business?

Well, you can look at it as if your dog is “calibrating” his doggie GPS signal, trying to decide which direction is the way to face.

During the short time where it is calm during the day, dogs will often point due North when pooping.

No matter what time of day it is, dogs seem to avoid facing East or West.

Why Do Dogs Like To Face A Certain Direction When Pooping?

Scientists are still unsure of the reasons WHY dogs and other animals are linked so closely to their behaviors and the Earth’s magnetic fields.

We are unsure of how they even know what direction is North.

It is speculated that dogs just have a sense of “what feels most comfortable,” instinctively knowing which ways they like to face and which ways they don’t.

Are Dogs The Only Ones Who Are Magnetoreceptive?

Many other species on Earth use the magnetic field to interpret location and navigation.

Some science indicates that birds can actually see the magnetic field, helping them to fly through storms and bad weather.

Not only are birds a huge user of magnetoreception but cows and bees are also known to stick to Northern directions for grazing and traveling to food sources.

Magnets And Animals: Who Knew It Would Affect Their Poo?

While this area of study continues to raise questions, it is incredibly fascinating and animals continue to impress us with their unique nature and instincts.

Who knew that something like the Earth’s magnetic field would affect the direction that dogs faced while going number 2?


Continue reading – here are interesting US dog waste facts.

How many of these have you wandered about?

Photo by Mylene.