Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that is generated deep down in the Earth’s core. This magnetic field is very important to life on Earth as it protects us from dangerous solar and cosmic rays.
Many species show awareness of the Earth’s magnetic field, for example many species of birds, bees, fish and sea turtles all use the magnetic field as guidance in migrating each year.
It appears that dogs also have a sensitivity to the Earth’s magnetic field. A fascinating study by German and Czech researchers found that dogs prefer to defecate along the north-south magnetic axis.
The researchers measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period and found that they prefer to poop with their bodies aligned with the north-south magnetic axis. Additionally, female dogs (bitches!) also tend to urinate along the north-south axis but male dogs show no magnetic sensitivity when urinating. The researchers found that the dogs were also sensitive in fluctuations in the magnetic field as the north-south alignment was less consistent during magnetic field fluctuations.
The 70 dogs were observed by volunteers who had no idea what the topic of the research was so that the study would be truly blind. Additionally, the dogs were observed in fields or open areas while off-leash.
Why do dogs do this and how does it work? The researchers don’t know, stating: “It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorially perceived) … or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction).”
However, they do think their research is a big deal: “Our findings open new horizons in magnetoreception research.”
P.S.: Maybe its a coincidence, but now that I think about it, I tend to chose toilets that are north-south aligned!!!!!