Nose Rubbing

OK! You might think this is fluff but inquiring minds would like to know --- After my Border Collie eats she always goes into the living room and begins to rub her nose on the carpet. It escalates into full circles and ends with a back rub. This is almost a ritual with every meal. Do you have an answer as to why?

This is instinctive wolf behavior. With your dog it has become ritualized into this behavior. Wolves, after eating a kill, will often rub and roll in their prey, spreading the blood and smell all over their bodies. Why they do this, we don't really know but those that study wolves have surmised that they do it as a form of relishing their kill - a victory dance if you will. The idea is similar to rolling in a mountain of money after you've won the lottery. Since your dog is unable to roll in her "kill" (the food dish), she goes to a nearby spot and performs the same action. It has also been surmised that this covers their own scent by using the "perfume" of the dead animal they are rolling in, enabling them to sneak up on further prey without being detected.

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Page last updated April 1, 1997. All material Copyright 2004 Border Collie Rescue, Inc. and Dr. Nicholas B. Carter
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