I took my 6 month old lab to my local off leash area and she was having fun playing in the river, chasing birds/rabbits, playing with other dogs that come along when all of a sudden I saw her lay down in the mud and start bucking around on the ground like she does when we play.
I ran up to her to see what was going on and noticed she was rubbing her body all over a dead bird!
I couldn't explain the behavior so I was hoping someone here could shed some light.
I think they do that because in doing so, it masks their own odor (and identity).
Four different scenarios could lead to an evolutionary tilt to developing this:
Two rabbits (or squirrels or other prey) are talking. Monty says, "Hey, do you smell a dog nearby?" Herb says, "Yeah! Let's run for the rabbit hole!"
Two lions (or bears or other predators) are talking. Clyde says, "Hey, do you smell a dog nearby?" Herk says, "Yeah! Lets go have lunch!"
Two squirrels (or rabbits or other prey) are talking. Sebastian says, "Hey, do you smell something strange nearby?" Kyle says, "Yeah! But it's just dead bird (or horse poop) passing by. What harm could that possibly be!"
Two bears (or other predators) are talking. Mark says, "Hey, do you smell something strange nearby?" Kyle says, "Yeah! But it's just dead frog (or rabbit poop) passing by. No sense going after it; I prefer something else for my lunch!"
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]