At German Shepherd Place, we generally concern ourselves with providing factual and useable information that serves you our guest, and the German Shepherds in your lives in the best way we can.
This has us educating ourselves on conventional wisdom, researching new findings, listening to the concerns of our GSD-owning community and then sharing the best information with you here on the website and through related avenues such as The German Shepherd Report. There’s a level of gravitas called for to accomplish this mission.
But we all need to shift gear once in a while, and enjoy the lighter side of things.
A Baffling Doggy Behavior
Do you ever wonder, as I have, what in the world your dog is thinking when he goes about finding the “perfect spot” to do his business? And there’s more than finding the perfect spot. Let’s not forget the necessity of rotating to find the ideal orientation. What self-respecting German Shepherd would undertake one of life’s vital tasks without facing the precisely perfect direction?
What are we to make of all this? Are such actions based on some mysterious doggy superstition?
Science Tackles a Great Canine Mystery
According to a recent study, there may be some science behind all this after all. A team of Czech and German researchers did a study:
Proving at least that they’re really devoted to their work, the researchers measured the direction of the body axis of 70 dogs from 37 breeds during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years, and found that dogs “prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions.”
Related by Ben Richmond, a Motherboard.com contributing editor. Full article: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/dogs-poop-in-alignment-with-earths-magnetic-field
The original report was published in Frontiers in Zoology journal: http://www.frontiersinzoology.com/content/10/1/80/abstract
So, while there’s evidently a pattern to the curious ritual in question, the reason for it remains a mystery. Let it suffice that we give credit to our German Shepherds and dogs everywhere for being faithful practitioners of one of the great mysteries of the canine universe!