A 2015 study in the Czech Republic and Germany reported that dogs tend to poo along the north-south axis of the Earth’s magnetic field. This presents the intriguing possibility that the circling behaviour is their way of gauging the orientation of the magnetic field before they get down to business. But this research is controversial, and other researchers have been unable to reproduce the findings. It’s more likely that dogs are acting out an ancestral behaviour to flatten the grass and drive away insects before they squat.

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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.