Karen B. London
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Identifying Who Passed Gas
My dog never claimed responsibility
He did it!

I’m not sure why, but I’ve reached a point where refined jokes don’t always cause me to guffaw but gas is always funny. Perhaps it’s just because I have two young boys, which means that a certain amount of potty humor is a part of daily life. Actually, the trend may pre-date having children because years ago my dog Bugsy could always prompt giggles when he passed gas.


It was his response that amused me. Even before the horrid smell had spread to the rest of the occupants of the room, he would sniff in the direction of his back end. His facial expression would show true disgust, and he would grudgingly stand up, look at the rest of us as if to say, “Really? Who would do such a thing?” and leave the room. It was rare for him not to want to be in our presence, but his own emissions were too much for him to bear.


It seemed to us he had no idea that he was the cause of the bad smell. Of course, we can’t prove that. He wasn’t the brightest of dogs, so I think it’s unlikely that he was purposely trying to feign ignorance of what he had done in a complex plan to deceive. In support of that, I should share that usually what he did was silent (but deadly) and on the rare occasions that he made noise, he would literally startle to the sound and then proceed with the behavior described above.


I know that Bark readers are a sophisticated group, but I’m hoping there are others out there who share my ability to enjoy lowbrow humor, too. Do you have a story to share about your own dog along these lines?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Amy | February 29 2012 |

My dog gets startled at the sound that comes from under his tail. I can't help but laugh, when he investigates the source of the sound. My husband and I joke that he's doubling checking to see if anything solid came out.

Submitted by Kirsten | March 1 2012 |

Our mini-Schnauzer mix - Stubby - has a similar reaction. We always know when he farts - SBD or otherwise - because he leaps to his feet and races away, or spins in a circle. If he's getting pet, or is in your lap, he launches to the other side of the room, and cranes his neck around to look at his butt. It's extremely comical!

Submitted by Anonymous | March 1 2012 |

This is pretty funny because Ben and Shiloh always have this quizzical look on their faces when they hear this sound - usually when they are going to sit on the kitchen floor - and glance behind themselves

Submitted by Ann Mason | March 1 2012 |

I'm alone in the apartment right now, so I was free to laugh when I read this item.

My doctor adopted a Pug puppy about ten years ago. The dog was in the office one day when I was there, and quietly broke wind right in front of me. The doctor was terribly embarrassed, until I started giggling. Then he laughed with me.

My doctor and I were very comfortable with each other after that. What an ice-breaker!

Submitted by Dee | March 1 2012 |

Mine just looks at us when we react as if to say, "What? I don't smell anything."

Submitted by Ann Mason | March 1 2012 |

That's a smart dog.

Submitted by Dixie | March 1 2012 |

I have laughed until I had tears in my eyes! I thoroughly enjoyed this article...and I'm even happier to know that my dog is not the only one who is startled/offended by his own gas!

Submitted by ohevshalomel | March 1 2012 |

Our dog rarely passes gas, but when he does, it's awful. And he wears a guilty look the entire time that he's doing it.

Submitted by dogjudge | March 2 2012 |

Actually two stories. Labs and Rotts seem to be the worst for this.

Had one Rott who slept in our bedroom, not on the bed, who would wake you up from a dead sleep.

I teach obedience. One of my Utility students has a Dalmatian. Somehow he got into beet pulp for their horses.

The dog was doing hand signals when all of a sudden he released the longest and loudest that I've ever heard. In addition to cracking the class up, the dog sent everyone as far away as possible. On the positive, he never broke the sit.

Submitted by Karen London | March 5 2012 |

This blog has prompted quite a few friends to e-mail me, which has been a wonderful surprise. The general themes are

1) Thanks for the laugh. (Obviously, I don't hang with a crowd that is above this sort of humor!)

2) Many people are blaming their own contributions to air pollution on their dogs, and though they wanted to share this fact with me, they weren't eager to confess publicly.

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