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Dog owners are familiar with the sight of Spike sniffing, hovering, rotating, and then finally settling in to handle his business. It may seem like quite a production, but the pup may actually be getting into proper alignment with the Earth's magnetic field.
A team of scientists is behind a new study published in Frontiers in Zoology and titled "Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth's magnetic field." The researchers started off by observing dog behaviors such as resting and feeding, but soon zeroed in on excreting as the main focus.
The study concludes that, "Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm MF [magnetic field] conditions." When the magnetic field isn't calm, that directional behavior evaporates and the pooches aim any which way. The Earth's magnetic field is only calm for about 20 percent of the daylight period, so you may have a hard time replicating the study's findings with your own fuzzy test subject.
I just knew that you were all just waiting to hear this exciting news!
Just think about the possibilities for innovations in the highly competitive designer pet care industries. I can see high tech collars that support the canine decision making process during those stressful periods of magnetic instability.