Even if you don’t have a pet, you’ve definitely seen this strange phenomenon out there on the streets. It always goes the exact same way - a dog will be spotted sizing up a tyre, chilling around it for a bit, then leaning in to take a good whiff, before cautiously raising a leg after a final moment of deliberation, and hallelujah, the deed is done!
I mean, even though we’re used to the sight, we’ve all wondered the same thing: why do they do it?
Well, to begin with, they’re free beings and can do whatever they want. Apart from that, there are other logical reasons. So, here’s what happens.
Vertical is the easy way to go
Dogs prefer going for vertical level targets before taking aim. And a tyre fits well in that category, just like a bench or a bush. Not only is it placed at a convenient level, it also allows dogs to leave their scent at ‘nose height’ for other dogs.
Perfect to mark their territory
Like I mentioned above, this is also how they leave behind their scent for other canine friends. It helps them mark their ‘area’ effectively. Like, “Hey! FYI, I’ve been there.” Dogs are extremely territorial animals by nature. This is all part of their social status game. I’m sure it’s a lot of fun.
Another reason why this works is because the scent lasts much longer on a vertical surface as compared to a horizontal one.
An enticing blend of scents
Tyres gather many scents as they run around town. Imagine all the stuff scattered out there: garbage, food, excretions by other animals etc. It is all picked up by the rubber, which in turn attracts dogs wherever the cars are parked. Dogs can sniff out a soiled tyre from far away using their super smelling powers. Interestingly, as cars move around, these spots are re-marked by new dogs, and so on.
Sharing is caring, right?
So, now you’ll know what’s happening when you see a dog loitering around a tyre next. I hope it’s not yours.