Scientific reason behind dog chasing: Why do dogs chase in the toilet?

Why dogs follow you to the bathroom

Why dogs follow you to the bathroom
Why dogs follow you to the bathroom


Understanding the behavior of our furry friends is crucial for fostering a healthy and happy relationship with them. One intriguing aspect of dog behavior is their chasing tendencies and peculiar bathroom habits. By exploring the scientific reasons behind these behaviors, we can gain a deeper insight into our dogs’ instincts and needs.

The Instinctual Drive in Dogs

Historical Background

Dogs have evolved from their wild ancestors, wolves, who were natural hunters. This evolutionary background plays a significant role in the behavior of modern dogs. The instinct to chase and hunt is deeply embedded in their DNA.

Hunting and Chasing Instincts

For wolves, chasing was essential for survival, enabling them to hunt and capture prey. While domesticated dogs no longer need to hunt for food, the instinct to chase remains strong. This explains why your dog might suddenly bolt after a squirrel or run after a moving object.

Understanding Dog Chasing Behavior

Natural Predatory Behavior

Dogs’ chasing behavior is rooted in their natural predatory instincts. This behavior is often observed during play, where dogs chase balls, frisbees, or even each other. It’s a way for them to exercise their instincts and burn off energy.

The Role of Breed in Chasing

Certain breeds are more prone to chasing due to their genetic predisposition. For instance, herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds have a strong drive to chase and herd. Understanding your dog’s breed can provide insights into their chasing behavior.

The Connection Between Chasing and Bathroom Habits

Territory Marking

One fascinating aspect of dog behavior is their tendency to mark territory. When dogs go to the bathroom, they are not just relieving themselves but also leaving their scent as a territorial marker. This behavior is more prominent in male dogs but can be observed in females as well.

The Science Behind Scent Marking

Dogs have scent glands in their paws, which release pheromones when they scratch the ground after going to the bathroom. These pheromones serve as a communication tool, conveying information about the dog’s presence and status to other dogs.

The Bathroom Routine of Dogs

Why Dogs Choose Specific Spots

Dogs are particular about where they go to the bathroom. This behavior is influenced by various factors, including scent, texture, and previous experiences. Dogs prefer spots where they feel safe and where their scent can be easily detected by other dogs.

The Importance of Routine for Dogs

Establishing a bathroom routine is crucial for dogs. It helps them feel secure and reduces anxiety. A consistent routine also aids in house training and prevents accidents inside the home.

The Role of Scent in Dog Behavior

How Dogs Use Scent to Communicate

Scent plays a vital role in canine communication. Dogs use scent to convey messages, mark territory, and identify other animals. This reliance on scent explains why dogs spend a significant amount of time sniffing before going to the bathroom.

The Importance of Scent in Chasing and Bathroom Habits

The same scent-based communication used in bathroom habits is also at play in chasing behavior. Dogs can pick up scents of other animals, which triggers their chasing instincts. This behavior is particularly noticeable in dogs with a strong prey drive.

Why Dogs Sniff Before Going to the Bathroom

Understanding Scent Investigation

When dogs sniff before going to the bathroom, they are gathering information about the environment. This behavior, known as scent investigation, helps them understand who has been in the area and whether it’s a safe place to relieve themselves.

The Role of Olfactory Senses

Dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell, much more developed than humans. Their olfactory senses allow them to detect a wide range of scents, making sniffing an essential part of their bathroom routine.

How Environment Affects Dog Bathroom Habits

Influence of Surroundings

The environment plays a significant role in a dog’s bathroom habits. Changes in surroundings, such as moving to a new home or visiting a new park, can affect where and how a dog goes to the bathroom. Dogs need time to familiarize themselves with new scents and areas.

Changes in Environment and Behavior

Environmental changes can also lead to changes in behavior. For instance, a dog that is used to going to the bathroom in a grassy area may be hesitant to go on concrete. Understanding these preferences can help in managing your dog’s bathroom habits.

Behavioral Differences Among Dog Breeds

Comparing Various Breeds

Different breeds exhibit different bathroom habits. While some breeds are quick to find a spot and go, others may take their time. Breeds with a strong sense of smell, like Bloodhounds and Beagles, are more likely to spend extra time sniffing before choosing a spot.

Specific Traits Influencing Bathroom Habits

Traits such as size, coat type, and temperament can influence bathroom habits. Smaller dogs may prefer sheltered spots, while larger dogs might seek out open areas. Understanding these traits can help in accommodating your dog’s needs.

Training Dogs to Go to the Bathroom

Effective Training Techniques

Training your dog to go to the bathroom in a specific area requires patience and consistency. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, are effective in encouraging desired behavior.

Positive Reinforcement and Its Impact

Using positive reinforcement helps create a positive association with the bathroom area. This approach not only makes training easier but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

Common Myths About Dog Bathroom Habits

There are several myths surrounding dog bathroom habits. For example, it’s commonly believed that dogs prefer to go on grass. While many dogs do, others might prefer different textures. Understanding the individual preferences of your dog is key.

Understanding the Truth Behind the Myths

Another myth is that dogs need to go to the bathroom immediately after eating. While this can be true for some dogs, others might need more time. Observing your dog’s behavior will provide better insights into their bathroom routine.

Identifying Signs of Health Problems

Changes in bathroom habits can indicate health issues. If your dog suddenly starts going to the bathroom more frequently or shows signs of discomfort, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian.

Importance of Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining your dog’s health. Early detection of issues can prevent more serious health problems down the line.

The Psychological Aspect of Dog Bathroom Behavior

Anxiety and Bathroom Habits

Anxiety can significantly impact a dog’s bathroom habits. Stressful situations, such as loud noises or changes in the household, can cause dogs to avoid their usual bathroom spots.

Behavioral Therapy for Dogs

In cases where anxiety affects bathroom habits, behavioral therapy can be beneficial. Techniques such as desensitization and counterconditioning can help reduce anxiety and improve bathroom behavior.

The Role of Diet in Bathroom Habits

How Diet Influences Digestion

A dog’s diet plays a crucial role in their bathroom habits. High-quality food that is easily digestible can lead to more regular and predictable bathroom routines.

Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog

Consulting with a veterinarian about the best diet for your dog can help ensure they have healthy digestion and regular bathroom habits. Different dogs have different nutritional needs, and finding the right balance is key.


Understanding the scientific reasons behind dog chasing and bathroom habits provides valuable insights into their behavior. By recognizing their instincts, breed tendencies, and environmental influences, we can better cater to their needs. A well-established bathroom routine, effective training, and proper diet are essential for maintaining your dog’s health and happiness.


Why does my dog chase its tail before going to the bathroom?

Tail chasing can be a way for dogs to relieve excess energy or stress. It may also be a playful behavior. If it becomes excessive, consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How can I train my dog to go to the bathroom in a specific area?

Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise when your dog goes to the designated area. Consistency and patience are key to successful training.

Is it normal for my dog to take a long time to find a spot to go to the bathroom?

Yes, it’s normal. Dogs rely on their sense of smell to find a suitable spot, and this process can take time. Be patient and allow your dog the time they need.

What should I do if my dog shows signs of discomfort while going to the bathroom?

If your dog shows signs of discomfort, such as straining or whining, consult a veterinarian. These symptoms could indicate a health issue that needs attention.

Can changes in diet affect my dog’s bathroom habits?

Yes, changes in diet can affect your dog’s digestion and bathroom habits. Introduce new foods gradually and consult your veterinarian for dietary recommendations.