Let’s face it, as dog owners, we all have had the experience to watch our best friend walk or run around the backyard and for some strange reason start rolling on their back in fresh mud. We start to wonder do we own an insane pet that now thinks like a pig or just stop and ask ourselves why do dogs like mud?

After some research, I would like to offer you some facts mixed in with some common sense and give you a better understanding of this common behavior.

Here we go…

Why Do Dogs Like Mud

Why Do Dogs Like Mud? (3 Key Reasons)

1) Cool Off

First I think you need to understand dogs love to be cool especially when it’s hot outside. They will seek out and find a “mud hole” to reduce their body heat, thus taking action by whatever means necessary to feel better.

Because mud has a cool water temperature, it will draw your best friend toward it.

Dogs understand that walking through mud creates a cooling sensation on their feet. It is considered natural for them to wanna roll on their back belly up so they can cool off.

They continue by rolling back and forth a couple of times until they are comfortable. Then finish by standing upright, shake off the mud, and continue to have fun.

2) Just Plain Bored

They just maybe plain board running around outside all day especially if they’re by themselves. They’re just looking for something to do.

My Basset Hound likes to roll in the mud and bark as well and move his feet back and forth looking for something to do.

Additional Reading:

How To Stop A Dog From Chewing On Wood Trim (Complete Guide)
How To Stop A Dog From Being Aggressive Towards Cats (Complete Guide)

3) Control The Environment

Your dog may just want to show you who is in control. Some dogs are just plain old stubborn and they know rolling in the mud is one way to irritate their owner. 

Probably because there is a lack of respect or they are just the Alpha Dog of the family.

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Why Do Dogs Roll In The Mud After A Bath?

1) Regain Their Natural Scent

You give your best friend a bath, use soap and water because you want to make sure he’s clean and smelling good.

Then you take the extra time to dry him off so you know they will appreciate your efforts, right?

We automatically assume that because we would feel good after a bath likewise our dog will feel better as well.

But that’s not always the case…

Because dogs always want that original scent permeating from their skin, they seek out any method possible to mask the fresh scent we applied during their bath.

When we invest our hard-earned money in a grooming salon, don’t be surprised if your best friend rolls in the mud just to mask that scent.

2) Hide From Their Enemies

Evolutionists believe that dogs originate from the wolf family. As a hunter, a wolf knows they need to hide themselves including their scent anyway they can.

Animal instinct will have the wolf roll in the mud and mask their scent.

This will give them an additional advantage when hunting and attacking their prey.

How To Stop Your Dog From Rolling In The Mud (4 Tips)

1) Maintain A Trimmed Coat

If you think about it, when you are outside in cold weather you tend to layer up and put on some extra clothing. However, when it gets warm outside, you will “shed” your coat and effectively cool yourself off.

By applying the same thought process, we can help keep our dog cool during hot temperatures.

Just simply keeping your dog’s coat trimmed up on a regular basis, will lighten the weight they carry around.

2) Keep Your Dog Inside

By keeping your dog inside the house for longer periods of time, you will prevent any rolling in the mud.

If your home is hot and you are wondering how to keep your dog cool inside the house, I wrote an article that outlines 15 tips on how to accomplish this task.  Click here to read it.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

3) Wait For Dry Ground

After a good rain soaking, keep your best friend inside until the ground dries completely. This may not be easy to do because we naturally want to take care of our dog.

They may sit next to the outside door act like they need to go to the bathroom.  If we let them outside after the rain stops, they have a strong urge of playing in the mud.

Again this will lead to havoc in your home when they are brought back in by tracking mud on your kitchen floor or carpet.

If you have a kennel, I would just keep your pooch in there until the rain stops if possible.

Most dogs are can hold the urge to use the bathroom.

After the rain stops and the ground is dried out then you can let your pooch out or take them for a walk and let them take care of their business

4) Walk On Leash

Lastly, I would suggest walking around the neighborhood or in the dog park with a leash on. Obviously, you have control of where your best friend will go and wander off.

If they have an urge to head over to some fresh muddy or dirt you can pull on the leash and tell them “NO” with a firm voice and then continue walking.

Additional Reading:

How to Raise Two Puppies Successfully (What You Should Know)
Can Dogs Eat Rotten Meat? (Ultimate Guide)


In summary, dogs like mud mostly to cool off and to either hide or replace the smell that is on their body.

By following the tips above, you can eliminate some frustration in the household while keeping your best friend happy.

Wesley Buck
Wesley Buck

Hello, my name is Wesley, and I grew up in Colorado. I went to school at St. Mary's University of Minnesota and have a B.S degree in Criminal Justice. I currently reside in Georgia and have been married for over 17 years.

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