The latest from science:
The researchers measured the direction of the body axis of 70 different dogs while they were off-leash during 1,893 acts of defecation and 5,582 acts of urination over a two-year period. They found that, under calm magnetic field conditions, dogs prefer to orient their bodies along the North-South axis when they poop. However, this behavior did not occur during unstable magnetic field conditions, and the best predictor for this change of behavior was the rate of change of magnetic declination.
A reader points out:
The coauthor of the study is named Sabine Begall.
John Aravosis chimes in:
Every dog owner is familiar with the intricacies of doggy-pooping. It seems to be a quite delicate dance, for some dogs – and conditions must be just right or it won’t happen. My Sasha is a relatively easy pooper, but things still need to be just right. My mom’s dog, Kukla, on the other hand, is a basket case. Kukla usually has to walk blocks and blocks first – regardless of whether it’s approaching zero outside – and even then the result is not always guaranteed.