Study: Dog’s Inner Poop Compass Lines Up With Earth’s Axis

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

I’m going to think twice the next time I get annoyed at Oscar taking his time to find the perfect pooping spot. It turns out his compulsion to turn in circles and rush from one piece of grass to another has to do with the Earth’s magnetism (sorry giving you the evil eye, buddy!).

Scientists at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague have recently released a study that states dogs have a kind of inner compass that points them to poop with their bodies aligned along the north-south axis. The study, which was conducted by Czech and German researchers and published in Frontiers in Zoology, took place over two years and focused on 70 dogs of 37 different breeds. The direction of the dogs when urinating and defecating were taken into account for the results found. And all I keep thinking is: “What a crappy job!” Pun intended.

In the end (another intended pun), researchers suggest that dogs, as well as other animals, have an internal compass of sorts that tells them where to poop when the earth’s magnetic field (MF) is stable. So why is this so important? According to the study: “It is for the first time that (a) magnetic sensitivity was proved in dogs, (b) a measurable, predictable behavioral reaction upon natural MF fluctuations could be unambiguously proven in a mammal, and (c) high sensitivity to small changes in polarity, rather than in intensity, of MF was identified as biologically meaningful.”

After reading this, I bet you’ll notice which way your dog’s poop is pointing. And if you ever get lost on a hike, perhaps you can use it to find your way back home.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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