Dog owners have observed some odd behaviors among their pets— sniffing butts, eating garbage, giving unconditional love — but one habit has probably escaped their attention: Dogs apparently prefer to poop while aligned with the north-south axis of the Earth’s magnetic field. That’s the surprising conclusion of an exhaustive study, conducted by German and Czech researchers, who spent two years watching 70 dogs while they defecated and urinated thousands of times. The scientists then compared the dogs’ behavior and orientation with the geomagnetic conditions prevailing at the time.
The researchers found that the dogs preferred to poop when their bodies were aligned in a north-south direction, as determined by the geomagnetic field. (True north, which is determined by the position of the poles, is slightly different from magnetic north.) And while dogs of both sexes faced north or south while defecating, only females preferred to urinate in a north or south direction — males didn’t show much preference while urinating (perhaps because males tend to lift their legs when urinating, the experts speculated, while females usually drop their hips in a position somewhat similar to defecation).
Animal magnetism – This latest set of findings, published last week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, joins a long and growing list of research showing that animals — both wild and domesticated — can sense the Earth’s geomagnetic field and coordinate their behavior with it. Via Dogs Poop Along North-South Magnetic Lines