Dogs' Pooping Secrets Revealed

You'll never walk your dog the same way again.

Dogs might align themselves with Earth's magnetic field when they eliminate.     Photo: John Steel/Thinkstock

There’s a reason your dog circles before settling on the perfect pooping spot. He’s likely aligning himself with Earth’s magnetic field.

A new study has found that canines have an inner compass that directs them when they’re eliminating.

“Urinating and defecating dogs tend to align their body along the North-South axis,” the researchers told the Huffington Post.

The team watched 70 dogs going about their business 70,000 times before determining that man’s best friend prefers to face due north or south when pooping. The caveat? They only orient themselves this way when the planet’s magnetic field is calm, or about 20 percent of the day.

"We found that dogs are magnetosensitive, and they are predictably disturbed by even small changes of the MF (magnetic field)," Dr. Sabine Begall, a zoologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, told HuffPost Science

And it’s not just dogs that have this special sense. Cattle and deer tend to graze along the magnetic field, and birds can navigate by the north-south axis.  

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