January 5, 2014

Dear Humans: It’s all About the Alignment. Love, your Dog.

I think the dogs are laughing at us humans is my first thought upon hearing that dogs poop in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field.

(By the way, Earth’s magnetic field runs in the north-south direction—it changes directions in what is called a magnetic reversal—the last one occurred about 800,000 years ago.)

In the meantime, the dogs are giggling behind our backs because we all know that everybody poops, so why bother correlating the alignment of their defecation.

We’re not talking about alignment like the downward dog pose. It’s all about a different type of direction.

Seriously, a study was conducted on the alignment in which dogs poop and pee.

Wow, that must have been fun to “collect.” Can you imagine a whole bunch of scientists in their white lab coats bending over fecal matter with their compasses?

Here are the results of the study that was published in Frontiers in Zoology:

“After examining 70 dogs—made up of 37 breeds—over two years, 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations, researchers found that under ‘calm magnetic field conditions,’ dogs preferred to ‘excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis,’ avoiding east-west altogether.”

In addition, these dogs performed their duties while roaming free, thus they weren’t converted by the direction that their owners were walking and such.

Even with all the crap collected, the scientists are still unsure why dogs defecate in a direction that runs with the Earth’s magnetic field.

The answer may be fairly obvious: dogs are people’s best friends and will always show us the way home.

We can trust our dogs if we ever get lost, and follow the direction of their poop (with the awareness that the sun rises in the East—gulp, some may not know that!).

Like I said, I think our dogs might just get the last laugh.

Remember the next time your dog wants to take a potty break, cut them some slack and see if this study holds any true direction!

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo Credit: Melissa Applebee/Pixoto

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