Dogs do Their Poo in Line With the Earth’s Magnetic Field

Dogs do Their poo in Line With the Earth’s Magnetic FieldYes, you heard it right – dogs align their furry little selves to the Earth’s magnetic field (MF) when they do the necessary.  Do you think maybe that’s why they sometimes do crazy little circles before adopting the pose to poo?

If you are wondering who came to this fascinating conclusion, a team of researchers from the Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology at the Czech University of Life Sciences working together with the zoology department at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany have been doing a little testing.

They took 70 dogs, from 37 varied breeds, and observed them doing their duties.  Over a period of two years, they watched the dogs go number two a total of 1,893 times. They also observed them doing the good old number one 5,582 times.

From these observations, it was established that dogs prefer to excrete with their bodies aligned along the North-South axis, when MF conditions are calm.

Mind you, according to Vlastimil Hart, one of the researchers, not only to they prefer the North-South direction, but they also actively avoid using the East-West direction.

According to the paper, which has been published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, this recorded behavior did not happen under unstable conditions.  The paper also says that why it actually happens is a mystery.

An extract from the paper reads:

“It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ … or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction).”

According to the researchers they apparently found no differences in the alignment between males and females when defecating.  They also observed females during urination, as that pose may also be related to that of defecation in both sexes.

The preference of the North-South axis was mainly observed when the magnetic field was calm.  Reportedly when the field is thrown out by something along the lines of a solar flare, dogs did not necessarily stick to their normal preference.  That could quite possibly be what causes Fido to really do the circling thing before producing the pile.

While this is the first time that sensitivity to the magnetic field has been proven in canines, there are several other animal species sensitive to the magnetic field, according to researchers. These apparently include cattle, deer and foxes.  In fact, the researchers were apparently inspired to start their study by the previous observations of other animals.

In the paper it mentions that the discovery of magnetoreception in dogs is likely to open totally new horizons for magnetobiological research.  The researchers say that as dogs are widely available globally, and are easily trained to react to particular sensory stimuli, this makes them readily useful for research.

So when Fido is nearly driving you round the bend trying to find the perfect spot to “christen” with his precious poo, bear in mind that he might just be having a problem lining himself up correctly.  So now you know, dogs do their poo in line with the earth’s magnetic field.  Just imagine what else we can learn in 2014.

By Anne Sewell


The actual paper  at Frontiers in Zoology


The Week


10 Responses to "Dogs do Their Poo in Line With the Earth’s Magnetic Field"

  1. MichaelL65   January 3, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Ever since I saw this story, I have been carefully watching which direction my dog poops. I would have to say, it’s fairly accurate so far!

  2. Jennifer   January 3, 2014 at 6:15 am

    I have two small dogs, one male, one female. He always circles and she doesn’t. What does that mean?

    • Anne Sewell   January 3, 2014 at 6:26 am

      Good question! Maybe because she’s female, she is more sensitive. 🙂

      • Jennifer   January 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

        Anne you are brilliant! Of course! 😉

  3. Jim Brown   January 2, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    “If you are wondering who came to this fascinating conclusion, a team of researchers from the Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology at the Czech University of Life Sciences working together with the zoology department at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany”

    Second Paragraph.

    Before you Poo Poo the study to much, think about when you have heard of dogs acting strange before an Earthquake. It’s that they can feel Magnetic Lines of Force that is the interesting thing, and may help researchers detect Earthquakes some day.

  4. Adolf Siebenhaar   January 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Are you serious? How much did THIS study cost the tax payer????

    • Ray Andrews (@SteelToad)   January 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      It doesn’t take reading past the first sentence of the second paragraph to see that the study was done at the Czech University of Life Sciences. So unbunch you panties, US taxpayers didn’t pay for it.

      • Adolf Siebenhaar   January 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        To the contrary, I don’t wear panties. The U.S. Government provides financial support from our tax dollars to many countries in the world through the International Monetary Fund. That is apart from financial agreements to which we may or may not be privy by treaty or other agreement. Besides that, the Czech Republic is a member of the EU to which we contribute our tax dollars by a number of agreements….

        • Jim Brown   January 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm

          I don’t understand that at all, Germany and The Czech Republic are loaning money to the EU and the IMF not borrowing, to prop up the Economies of mainly; Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus after the Banking Crisis of 2007 – 2008. The EU was designed to be a Economic and Political Union of Countries into Member States that promotes Free Trade and helps stop Wars in the region. Neither of those Countries received any Foreign Aid from us last year. They did receive Grants from us totaling approx $100,000 in 2008, but that was for the Defence Departments of both Countries. We asked Germany and The Czech Republic to help us with the War of Terror and they asked us to pay for what we wanted, so we did.

          And I still say that the research is valid since it showed that Dogs can sense Magnetic Lines of Force, which may explain why some Dogs and other Animals act strange a few hours before an Earthquake. If we can figure out what disturbance they are responding to before an Earthquake we might be able to detect them ourselves and get people out of an affected area before it happens.

          I would much rather have my Tax Dollars going to that (Although I don’t think I would have wanted to do the Research myself) that some of the other things that we do.

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