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I have a Dachshund puppy, Peanut. As she is a breed originating as a small creature hunter, she displays some characteristics of that breed. Where my Labrador would point out dead animals, and might sniff around them, he would mostly leave them be. Peanut, however, will stalk small varmints/birds, and if I let her, chase them down, including down their holes/up trees. I understand this behavior.

When I'm walking Peanut, if she happens across a carcase, she'll pick it up and either attempt to eat it, or carry it back to our yard "for later" snacking. :) I discourage this behavior.

Sometimes, however, when we are walking, she'll stop, sniff once or twice (and I usually can't even see what she is sniffing, beyond maybe a spot on the sidewalk), and then kneel down and lay her chin and throat on the spot and kind of rub. (No jokes about a Dachshund not needing to kneel, please). This behavior has me absolutly baffled.

As I understand it, a cat has some (sweat?) glands in their chins that they use to leave a scent, but I didn't think dogs have that.

Note that it's not the "roll around in trash" behavior. She doesn't actually lay down on either her stomach or back, she just... "lays her throat and chin" in the, I guess smell?

I would also add that we got Peanut from a litter my father's dog sired with a friend's Dachshund, so she's purebred. We got her at around 7 weeks, and she's done this behavior since then. She doesn't do it all the time (every walk), but only when she finds a whatever-it-is.

I've never owned a hound breed before. Is this a Dachshund thing? A hound thing? or a Peanut thing?

Peanut's odd behavior

Here is a video of the behavior, although this is the most she has done it. She's never twisted like this before, just set her chin straight down. In this video I guess it is the equivalent of "rolling around in trash."

  • Does she seem to be doing anything else while resting her head on the carcass? (Sniffing?), or is does she literally just kneel there? – Carcigenicate Aug 21 '14 at 20:01
  • Are you sure she hasn't got some oral problems? Many animals will rub their jaws on things to relieve pain. It's so speculative, though, that I'm not providing it as an answer. – John Cavan Aug 21 '14 at 20:26
  • Peanut is teething, she recently lost at least one baby molar, but I'm fairly confident its unrelated. She only exhibits the described behavior when we're outside, walking on leash, and she shows interest in something. She doesn't constantly do it, nor on everything. It's usually only on a spot in the road/parking lot, or on a sidewalk, and it's only once or twice. She chews her chew-toys all the time inside the house. I take it by the lack of immediate answers, it's definitely unusual. I'm going to take a camera tomorrow and record a video if I can. – CGCampbell Aug 22 '14 at 0:58
  • The video would be nice. Does it seem like she's trying to get the scent of whatever is there on her? My dog loves to get dead bird scent on his body. – jeremy Aug 22 '14 at 4:57
  • Added the video of the behavior. – CGCampbell Aug 23 '14 at 21:04
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This behavior isn't uniquely odd and looks like she just enjoys the smell of whatever she's sniffing at and rubbing in. Dogs do this for a multitude of reasons.

It could be because she doesn't like the smell of something already on her (do you spray her with something or bathe her? do you use cleaning products in your home that may get into her fur and make her smell in a specific way?). It could also just be instinctual for her to cover up her scent with something that smells obnoxious.

I generally discourage my dog from doing things like this because I don't appreciate the smell of dead bird whenever I kneel down to pet him, but it's your call.

  • Probably right. We've had her for two and a half months, and I've bathed her twice, with unscented canine shampoo. I don't smell anything, but then I don't have a hound's nose. – CGCampbell Aug 24 '14 at 2:10
  • Quick follow up-- is there a specific reason you've bathed her this often? Bathing dogs is pretty bad for their skin, so the less you bathe them the better. One month should be the minimum waiting period between baths, but dogs really just need baths a few times a year. – jeremy Aug 24 '14 at 3:31
  • Nope. I didn't realize it until I read some books on the matter. I gave her a bath about two weeks after arrival. Then about a week ago. We've had her two and a half months. I most likely won't bath her again until/unless she needs it for some reason. (just pointing out that she's a little over 5 months and has had two baths total. That's far less than one per month.) – CGCampbell Aug 24 '14 at 11:46
  • Okay, just wondering. The amount you've bathed her isn't even bad, but a bit less is better. – jeremy Aug 24 '14 at 14:42
  • Peanut's a short-hair, my first. I can't believe how clean she keeps herself, actually. My first dog was a medium length hair Black Lab. Our cat was a long hair white mix. They were horrible at times. – CGCampbell Aug 24 '14 at 15:09

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