Dogs Defecate According To Magnetic Field Alignment… And Other Very Important Research

 First of all, I owe you all an apology. As you probably know from reading my articles, I am committed cynic. So when this news article arrived I smelled something fishy:

“Dogs can typically smell and hear far better than their human companions. Now it appears they can sense Earth’s magnetic field too, say a team of biologists — and they show it when they poop.

These canine compasses prefer to align themselves along a north-south magnetic axis when they relieve themselves, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Zoology…

…We discovered (by measuring Google Earth aerial pictures) that cattle align with the magnetic field lines a few years ago, Begall said in an email. “Since then, we studied hunting behavior in (the) red fox and found that they have a preference for N-E during their mousing jumps, and from there it was just a small step to study dogs. First, we looked also at other behaviours but the results were less promising than the ‘pooping direction…

…The scientists studied 70 dogs of 37 different breeds as they defecated (1893 dumps, to be precise) and urinated (a whopping 5582 times) — data collected over two years. The researchers found that dogs prefer to point along the north-south axis when they do their business — as long as the magnetic field is stable.”

Could it have something to do with the town architecture? Or perhaps the wind direction? Or maybe… there couldn’t be a fat research grant  involved, could it? Oh, it’s me being cynical again.

But then comes the fine print:

“‘normal’ magnetic conditions occurred only in 30 per cent of the cases studied for this work.”

So let’s see, 70 dogs, 30% reliable results. That’s not a lot of data. Judge for yourself.And by the way, here is an aerial picture of cows i took from Google earth. They don’t look aligned to me…


About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim is a house call Veterinarian in Melbourne
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