Now, this is news you can use. According to a paper published in "Frontiers in Zoology", dogs align themselves along the earth's magnetic field before they, well, do their business.

As reported on, dogs actually align themselves along the north/south axis before relieving themselves. The researchers conclude that dogs react to "changes in the polarity of the magnetic field". Also, it appears that dogs actively avoid orienting themselves along the east/west axis. Why? They don't know. It does, however, explain why dogs take such a long time "preparing" before they go.