Why Do Dogs Kick After Pooping? Poop Practice!

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

Why do dogs kick after pooping? You see, for dogs doing their walk in the park is not their only business.

Some dogs like to do little poop dance by kicking their back legs, kicking poop together. Maybe they like to make sure grass🌿 is properly fertilized or maybe something.

Join us as we solve this mystery of why dogs kick after pooping, common myths related to this, and what can we do about this behaviour.

Why Do Dogs Kick After Pooping

Why Do Dogs Kick After Pooping?

You may notice your dog may look more happy after their bathroom break. Many pet parents believe this is due to their little poop dance and poop kick. After pooping some dogs spin around, while others may scrape the ground with their legs. 🐕

According to Dr Wailani Sung from PetMD, “Before being our furr balls to hug our dogs were wild canines. In the wild, their ancestors needed to mark their territory and communicate with others of their kind, that’s where this habit may have started”

Dogs Kick After Pooping

Let’s see what are the other reasons behind this quirky behaviour:

1. Scent-Marking

Dogs kick to leave their scent behind. You see, dogs have scent glands in their paws, and by kicking the ground, they spread their scent.

It’s their way of saying “I was here” or maybe a sign to tell other dogs, “This is my territory.”

2. Cleanliness

Another idea is that dogs kick to “clean up” after themselves. In the wild, leaving poop around can attract predators or rivals. By hiding it with dirt or grass, they might be reducing the smell and the risk.

3. Communication

Dogs are social creatures, and they have their own secret language. Kicking the ground might be their way of leaving a message for other dogs, like, “Hey, I was here, and I’m feeling fine!

It’s like a doggy version of updating their social media status.👋 Or maybe just letting other dogs know that they are ready for the “special act.”

4. Sensory Stimulation

Ever noticed that your dog has sensitive paw pads? When they kick, it’s not just about marking or cleaning.

It’s also like a little foot massage for them. They might be enjoying the sensory sensation of the ground under their paws.

dog owner cleaning after the dog

How Do Dogs Stay Clean After Pooping?

Dogs have their natural way of cleaning after the poop break. They lick themselves after pooping, some dogs will lick their butt too just like cats. Some dogs also kick their back legs after pooping to move away their waste and stay clean. 🫧

To stay clean after pooping dogs unlike humans don’t have to do effort. The dog’s anus contains a gland which has a substance that releases lubricant that makes it easy for the stool to pass. Apart from this, the dog uses grass or other surfaces and rubs their bum to remove the remaining residue.

Though a dog’s bum does not require to be cleaned if you want you can clean it using wipes, a damp cloth or warm water. To remove the poop tangled in the fur of the dog you can use a comb and remove it.

So, dogs don’t necessarily use toilet paper like people, but they have their own way of cleaning themselves after pooping. This is a natural dog behaviour after the potty break.

Common Misconceptions

One big myth is that dogs kick to cover up their poop like cats do in the litter box. But dogs are not trying to bury their waste. They just want to kick for joy after pooping.

Some owners also worry the kicking means their dog’s tummy is upset. But the kicks don’t really mean the dog feels sick or had trouble going poop. It’s just a natural behaviour dogs are born to do.

The main point is that it's perfectly normal and natural when dogs kick after pooping. They don't need any training to stop it.🚫 It's not a problem that needs correction. It's just part of being a dog, like how we humans stretch after waking up.

So when your dog does a fun kick with their legs after pooping, you don’t have to worry. They are just being happy, healthy dogs. It’s totally natural dog behaviour and not anything odd or concerning. You can relax knowing those post-poop kicks are just an instinct dogs are born with and enjoy doing.

dog playing joyfully on the ground

Practical Steps to Embrace This Behaviour

We must never scold or yell at a dog for this behaviour. Also, never stop them because due to that fear, they may hide their poop from you which makes them anxious eventually hindering your bond with your dog. Let’s see some other ways to embrace why dogs kick after pooping:

  • Recognize that this behaviour can provide valuable insights into your dog’s well-being and state of mind. Use it as an opportunity to bond with your dog by observing their body language and reactions.
  • If you’re into dog training, consider incorporating this behaviour into your training routine. For example, you can reward your dog for their post-poop kick with a treat or praise,🍭 reinforcing positive behaviour.
  • Carry poop bags and be prepared to clean up after your dog. Even though they kick after, cleaning up their waste is crucial for hygiene and community respect.
  • If your dog’s kicking creates a mess or disturbs others, try to redirect their energy by engaging them in play or providing a toy to keep them occupied.

For dog owners who frequent public areas, teach your dog basic obedience commands, like “leave it” or “come,” to control their actions when needed.

clean dog paws

Can This Behaviour Harm the Dog?

Yes, if your dog is doing this constantly then their paws may get affected.🐾 They may become sore, damaged, or lead to cracking or bleeding due to consistent rubbing. You may use some paw balms or creams for this[1]. 

It’s important to observe your dog for anxious or stressed behaviour as there may be an underlying issue due to which dogs display unique behaviours. You must consult with the vet for your dog’s well-being if you find anything unusual.


Why Do Dogs Scratch the Ground After They Pee or Poop?

Ground scratching or ground scraping is the action taken after a dog is eliminated. This might look funny, but this behaviour actually has a valuable canine purpose: dispersing scent and giving off a visual cue. This behaviour is considered to be a marking mechanism.

Do Dogs Clean Themselves After Pooping?

Just a quick swipe of the area takes care of business. It is not as common for dogs to lick the anal area after eliminating it; however, if the stool is sticky or watery, the dog may feel the need to tidy up a bit. Normal, firm bowel movements are not usually followed by licking.

Why Do Dogs Kick After Pooping?

The act of burying waste isn’t done because a dog is trying to hide something, though, but rather to spread the scent of their poop further. Kicking up dirt and covering it brings more attention to the faeces so it is another way a dog marks its territory after pooping

What Do Dogs Smell Before They Poop?

According to this article for Wired, dogs can tell not only who was at the same spot, but when, which is pretty astounding. They can pick up on that dog’s diet, and smell if there is a female in heat nearby, all from sniffing the potty spots of other dogs.


In conclusion, “Why do dogs kick after pooping?” We understand kicking back legs after pooping is a natural dog behaviour. They mark their territory, letting other dogs know it’s their place. 🐶

Communicating with other dogs about their feeling or just rubbing their paws and enjoying that little massage. In general, you do not need to worry as this is completely normal.

And make sure you do not yell at them or try to stop this behaviour, as it is our responsibility to make them feel safe. So, go ahead and take that evening stroll around the park without worrying about their poop breaks!⏯️


  1. Zachary, J. (2023, September 23). Why Does My Dog Kick The Grass After Pooping? American Kennel Club.
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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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