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Hi, I just adopted a dog from a local shelter and I am having some unexpected trouble with him. He is assumed to be about a year old, recently neutered Lab/Bloodhound mix. He is a very sweet dog, and has displayed no aggression towards any person or any other dog. He doesn't bark, and doesn't seem to like to play very rough. He just likes to be pet a lot.

I take him out daily for walks and take him to a fenced area near my apartment to let him run around. He mostly stays by my side, but I walk around to let him explore. However, when we get to one corner of the area, he seems to totally change. He sniffs something--another animals excrement, maybe, under a pile of leaves--and immediately defecates, urinates, and then scratches the dirt and runs around. He'll flip over and try to scratch at his collar and whine like he's trying to get it off. I always clean up after him and can walk over and immediately get ahold of him and he doesn't growl or anything, but it's so strange. Is this normal for a dog? He doesn't urine or feces mark anywhere else, is that what he's doing here?
 

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This is a clear case of scent marking. Very likely there's a strong scent of another animal. If he dosn't seem reactive to dog markings then I'd guess cat--their pee is potent and drives my rambunctious but non-aggressive dog CRAZY!

I've been told when a dog "rolls" it's trying to deposit fur and oils on the ground. Dogs have oil glans along their face and neck, (thus their collar is often in the way of rubbing their face on the ground) and can "most easily" drop the fur on their backs.

Your dog is simply trying to say "mine" in the nicest way possible. Given he's a hound, I'd probably be cautious around cats and any critter in the rodent family.
 

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Ah okay, that makes sense. I'll have to keep a closer eye around him when we get near his trouble spots and not let him get a whiff of the scent. Thank you!
 
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